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Jon Jansen, Former Michigan Wolverine National Champion Offensive Lineman

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
November 28, 2022 9:46 pm

Jon Jansen, Former Michigan Wolverine National Champion Offensive Lineman

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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November 28, 2022 9:46 pm

Jon Jansen joined Zach to discuss the most impressive part of Michigan's win over Ohio State and if the Wolverines can win a national championship this season. 

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There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. John, appreciate the time. How you been?

Good evening, Zach. It's good to hear from you, and I couldn't be any better right now, that's for sure. So last year, I thought it could not get any better than that, and we went back and forth on Twitter about this. I know both are great, but I think this one is even better because it shows consistency, and they beat the crap out of Ohio State without their best player in Blake Coram. Well, and it was down in Columbus. Last year was very cathartic in the fact that it had been so long since Michigan had beaten Ohio State.

It was at home, everybody got a chance to celebrate, rush the field. It was special in its own right, and now you go down there, really in the belly of the beast, and you get a chance to do what Michigan did to them, especially in the second half, and it justifies what happened last year. It signals, hey, this is where Michigan should be, and it should be a Big Ten title contender every single year, college football playoff contender every year, and this rivalry is back to being a rivalry. I know they did not have a great pass rush up against Ohio State, but you look at the other side in the trenches, offensive line, they were unbelievable. I went into this game, I thought throughout the year Michigan was the better team than Ohio State, but I was nervous going into this game because you didn't know if you'd have Coram, you didn't know what Donovan Edwards would be, but to put 252 up on the ground, John, that was unbelievable.

Well, it was, and especially when you think about Donovan Edwards, when he went for 75, that was the longest run in that rivalry against Ohio State, and then three, four plays later, he goes for 85 and breaks his own record. So, that was obviously enjoyable to watch, and here's the thing about Michigan's game plan is they knew they were going to try and run the ball, and in the first half, at the end of the first half with only 10 yards on the ground, things hadn't gone well. Ohio State was packing the box, but Michigan did find a way to throw the ball downfield. Obviously, the two touchdowns to Cornelius Johnson in the first half gave them some confidence, and then you get a chance to hit your tight end in Colston-Leblin, and then Donovan goes off for those other two. So, when you have explosive plays like that in both the passing game and on the ground, you become a very difficult offense to defend, and in regards to Michigan's defensive line, you know, a lot of their pressures didn't necessarily come from the defensive line this year. Everybody thinks about Ojabo and Hutchinson of last year and the razzle-dazzle and all of the fire that came with those two being the guys that put pressure on, but that's really all that it was last year. This year, that pressure has come from the defensive line, it's come from linebackers, it's come from the secondary, and they've applied more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but against Ohio State, I would rather, and I think it was a great game plan by Jesse Mentor, drop seven into coverage against that very talented wide receiving core and skill set that Ohio State has and just say, hey, put whatever pressure on you can up front.

Mike Morris didn't get a whole lot of reps in, and so it was basically not allowing C.J. Stroud to escape the pocket. He doesn't do that a lot to begin with, but it was just making sure that he stayed in the pocket. They knew where he was going to be. Put pressure on as you can, but make sure that you defend the pass.

John Jansen here with us. What did J.J. McCarthy prove to you on Saturday? That he's got a big old pair of cajones. He stood in that pocket and took a hit on that first touchdown pass to Cornelius Johnson, and you could really see him get more and more confident in the pass game, and then the run game as well in terms of decisions on the read option, when to keep it. He goes for 19 yards on his longest run and a three-yard run to score a touchdown. It wasn't an easy run. It took a big hit right at the goal line, so he really showed that he's willing to put his body on the line.

He's willing to take some shots downfield and has the confidence, and we all knew he had the skill set to complete those, but the confidence to actually take them. Talking to John Jansen right now as Michigan once again beats Ohio State. So you talked about that first half. Ohio State was just great right out of the chute with that touchdown drive to make it 7-0. You had all the big plays, but going into halftime, Michigan was trailing by three. That drive to start the second half where you get the Colston-Lovlin 45-yard touchdown from J.J. McCarthy, that showed you that Michigan had a good, firm grasp on this game, even though it was only 24-20 at that time.

Because going into halftime, it felt like Michigan should have the lead, but they didn't. In that drive, Khalil Mullings, who is a linebacker and played some running back in the spring, was another guy that they had brought over just to try and shore up that running back position in the first half. He got stopped on the third and short.

This one is the third and short again. They have him in the ball. All of a sudden, he's running towards the line of scrimmage and then does that little jump pass.

I talked to Coach Harbaugh today and he said that Khalil didn't even see where Luke Schoonmaker was. He just threw it to a spot. It wasn't a great pass. It didn't need to be a great pass, but it shows you the confidence and the trust that these guys have in each other. That, hey, I'm just going to throw it to a spot.

I'm going to trust my guy to be there. That ended up being a huge play in that drive as well. Also, when Ohio State was trying to get back in the game and they had to settle for that field goal late, that pass breakup was really something too. There were a number of different plays throughout the course of the game. You're talking to Mikey Sanristil's breakup on Cade Stover in the end zone.

That was a huge play. Earlier in the game... 31-20 at the time. Yeah, 31-20 and forcing them to only get three out of that. Michigan stays up eight. And then that's when, obviously, Donovan Edwards goes for his first 75-yard run.

And said night-night. Yeah, even earlier in the game when you got Jalen Harrell on Cade Stover as well on a fourth down play, a pass breakup. I mean, you've got guys making plays like that throughout the course of the game. And they're ones that when you go back and you look at, you go, wow, that was a huge play. And it seemed a little underrated at the time.

And I don't think the Sanristil pass breakup was underrated at the time. But there were just moments like that throughout the course of the game where this was a total team victory. It took every single guy to have a great day. Some of the guys had the best day that they've ever had playing for Michigan in Columbus on last Saturday.

Talking to Jon Jansen for a few more moments. Michigan off to the Big Ten championship game for a second year in a row. And they are well on their way to another berth in the college football playoff. What can you say about Harbaugh at this point? He had to take a pay cut.

We all know the story. A year ago, finally beat Ohio State and now does it again. How about the future of Jim Harbaugh in Michigan? Some people still may think he tests those waters in the NFL. I think he's going to stay now. A few weeks ago, I thought maybe he was going to leave. Now I think he's going to stay. Yeah, I mean, we're always going to hear that.

I mean, who knows when or if that ever ends. Obviously, he fanned the flames a little bit last year when he was up in Minnesota on National Signing Day. He was very honest with his team. Talked to him about it.

Talked to Ward Manuel about it. Everybody knew what was going on and decided that he wanted to stay in Ann Arbor. I think he's here for some time. I'm not going to say he's here for good, but I think he's here for some time.

The longer he stays, the closer it is to being for good. Is Corum going to play this weekend? I would be surprised if he does. That's a great question.

I honestly don't know the answer to that. I know that he gave it a go as we all saw on Saturday in Columbus. It didn't go well for him.

I do know that if he can, even if it's in a limited capacity, he's going to give it a go. He wants to be a part of a game down in Indianapolis, but they also have eyes on what they could possibly do in the college football playoffs. They want to be smart about it, but they also understand, hey, this is for a Big Ten championship. I hope he's also a finalist still for the Heisman. I was talking about him winning the Ward months ago, but when you don't play, unfortunately because of injury against Ohio State, and now you may miss the Big Ten championship game, it seems like momentum is really shifting to Caleb Williams now winning the award. Yeah, I think you probably got three guys going in the last weekend. It was Caleb Williams, it was CJ Stroud, it was Blake Corum, and those three I think will probably be the guys that will be in New York. I think Max Duggan, too, from TCU. He'll be a finalist, I think.

Could be, could be. It depends on how many they end up taking. I do think Caleb Williams has probably sold that one up, especially with the opportunity in the Pac-12 championship game against Utah. If they can come back and get a win against them. A lot of it will rest on the arm and the legs of Caleb Williams, but Blake Corum didn't have that Heisman moment in the biggest game of the season for Michigan.

It's unfortunate, but he's a terrific back, had a great year, and is not finished. He told me on this show after the UConn game that he thought this team this year was better than the team last year that won the Big Ten championship that got to the college football playoff. When you look at the team this year, what do you think they could accomplish? Because we know last year, as great of a year as it was, they did get blown out against Georgia in the college football playoff. I think they have the ability to go all the way.

I think that, especially with what we saw JJ do against Ohio State, and Cornelius Johnson, and the passing game finally coming to life. I think that there's a chance, they have the ability, they have the talent, they've got some confidence to be able to go into the college football playoffs. It looks like if things go as planned that they won't face Georgia until the national championship game. If they get TCU, if TCU moves up to three to take place of Ohio State and USC takes four, I really think that they do have a chance to go all the way. Georgia is not as good as they were last year. Still a good team, don't get me wrong, but I think Michigan is a better football team this year than they were last year. If I would have told you before the year that Michigan would be in the national championship game, would you have believed that?

Yeah, I thought it was possible. The questions going into the season were, like I mentioned earlier, how do you replace the production of Hutchinson and Ojobo? How do you replace the leadership of a Josh Ross as your linebacker, Dax Hill in the secondary? Defensively that was going to be the big question.

Offensively, I think everybody agreed they were going to be a better team offensively, but this year's defense, much deeper and more talented in the secondary. Linebackers with Junior Colson and Mike Barrett have performed extremely well and are fast. This would be in Junior Colson's second year.

Then up front, you've got a rotation of eight, nine, sometimes ten guys, so guys are fresh up front. You've got the freaking Mozzie Smith playing great this year, Mason Graham coming in as a freshman. There were some guys that we didn't know would have the season they're having, but right now they're a better defense than they were last year. John Jansen, congratulations to your alma mater.

What a performance that was. We'll see how much further they could take it, but we really appreciate you carving out some time for us. Hey, thanks for having me, Zach.

We'll talk to you guys soon. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm in a rush to making money.

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We'll see you next time. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app, your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown, and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about, like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news, and add shows to your queue to catch up later.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-29 20:05:21 / 2022-11-29 20:11:49 / 6

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