ANN ARBOR, Mich. If there's a more interesting way to explain why a level head could be used in such a game, cornelius Johnson found it.
The sophomore wide receiver scolded questions from reporters Tuesday night before their departure for South Florida, and decided to return to Florida to a second meeting on Dec. 31 - 7:30 p.m., ESPN - and put the matter aside so far to be resolved.
It has been difficult for Michigan to claim a national championship.
As soon as December rolls around, the best people will know how it's going to be in December, so you have to be prepared mentally for that, says Johnson. It is just a whit as it gets cold, but it becomes a shiver. If you really know it's going to end the season, you must dig deep.
The two thirties of the season, which was dominated by pivotal moments: a rip-roaring 7-0 start, a close loss to the US State, and a 4-game victory streak that ended the regular season for Michigan, and a sweeping win over Ohio State.
Everything was accomplished on Dec. 4 in Indianapolis, where Jim Harbaughs team shit out the unexpected and beat Iowa to win the Big Ten championship.
What more did we do?
When you're considering how many phases you look at, said Johnson. For example, if you take it monthly, like break it up between October and September, that ball in November is different than that from the ball you see in September and October.
For Michigans offense, the window into Johnsons thinking could have been explained no better. Only if only Navy, Army and Air Force had thrown the ball fewer times in the season, the Wolverines slowly expanded their passing game, with a varied group of receivers unafraid of doing things unconventional. There were deep shots, short and mid routes, and a small jet sweep, and so on.
An offensively talented player from Michigan earned coordinator Josh Gattis, who doubles his receiver coach role as the nations top assistant coach.
If you don't only take care of each day, you're not really surprised by the work you do, Johnson said. Call of the work we did in the summer, all the work weve done throughout the season, - it eventually gets through.
The other side did their part, too. Michigan ranks fourth nationally and 36.1 in points allowed (16.1 per game) and 11th in yards (336.2) thanks to the remarkable play of his senior runner-up Aidan Hutchinson and the success of David Ojabo in the secondary. An improvement from Xs and Os was instrumental, leaving the Wolverines to be more predictable.
We're not trying to change or do something different, Johnson said when asked about the teams approach. Treat to play our brand of football. Just because we won a few games, it's good but we have another opponent.
That opponent, who was nominated for the Southeastern Conference, has a unique defense against the nations highest-ranked people. Georgia has talent in the defensive line, and at linebacker, a front--7 with a pair of All-Americans in Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.
Michigan faced up to four great defenses in Big Ten, but against the likes of Wisconsin and Iowa, the Bulldogs will make a decision.
Throw in a stage and a venue, the 65,000-seat Hard Rock Stadium, and the bright lights can weigh on a group not used to the big moments. Johnson acknowledged as much Tuesday night, but said it is just another reason to remain focused.
You are at the point where you put yourself in a dark place, where you aren't thinking about the future, Johnson said. If one thing comes to an end, you get one chance, you can try to jot down anything that you ever wanted to.
This can be a field - in Glick (Fieldhouse), - which is a football field, and it is still just 100 yards long.
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