Rob Ash? Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh screws up the name of the Rutgers coach

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Jim Harbaugh was trying to be nice. The Michigan coach was asked a question about his team’s fan base taking over HighPoint.com Stadium for this 42-7 victory over Rutgers but used the opportunity instead to heap praise on the program he just defeated for a fourth straight time.

“That’s a team that’s very close to breaking through and winning multiple games, consecutive games,” Harbaugh said. “Rob does a really good job with them. They’ve got a good plan offensively and a good plan defensively.”

Nice sentiment. Just one minor problem.

Who the heck is Rob?

There is no Rob on the Rutgers coaching staff. There is no Rob on the team’s travel roster, either. The university president’s name is Robert, but he’s about as involved with the team as the average concessionaire. 

It would appear that Harbaugh was referring to Rutgers head coach Chris Ash but just messed up the name. Hey, the guy is trying to win a national championship. He can’t have all the details straight. 

One theory that was working its way around Piscataway: Harbaugh, who has been around forever, mixed up Chris Ash with his old college coach at Drake, who actually is named Rob Ash. In other words, it was a slip of the tongue, and not a glaring mistake. 

Harbaugh, who beat the Scarlet Knights 78-0 in his first trip to Piscataway, became a villain of sorts for the fan base when he “invaded” the state with a satellite camp and attracted some of the best New Jersey talent to Ann Arbor. In the years since, of course, Rutgers has had plenty of its own problems to deal with.   

The loss dropped the Scarlet Knights to 1-9 and improved Michigan to 9-1. Michigan out-gained Rutgers 453-252 and, other than a brilliant 80-yard touchdown run from running back Isaih Pacheco, kept the Scarlet Knights off the scoreboard.

Five observations: No moral victories, please

Still, Harbaugh was effusive in his praise. The full answer to that question:  

“Rutgers has a good — I thought the home fan base was really good. The team has improved. That’s a competitive football team. They did as good a job as anybody containing our running game. I was really impressed with their young backs — they run hard. The quarterback looked good, too.

It was a good competitive game. I knew it would be. I knew going in, we saw the way they played Northwestern, we saw the way they played Indiana. That’s a team that’s very close to breaking through and winning multiple games, consecutive games. Rob does a really good job with them. They’ve got a good plan offensively and a good plan defensively.”

Someone should tell Rob, whoever he is. 

Steve Politi may be reached at spoliti@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevePoliti. Find NJ.com on Facebook

Source : https://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2018/11/rob_ash_michigans_jim_harbaugh_messes_up_the_name.html