When Sherrone Moore was introduced as the Michigan football head coach, replacing Jim Harbaugh, who served in the role for nine seasons, a big theme at his first press conference was "smash."
That's the word the Wolverines use to describe their running game, which has been dominant in college football over the past three seasons. It was vital in breaking through against Ohio State and showed up again this season in the biggest games against Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama, and Wisconsin.
A key hire for Michigan football
One thing Moore wasn't going to be able to keep doing is coaching the offensive line. It doesn't sound like he will call plays either and since so much of the identity of this Michigan football team is about the offensive line and running the ball, the O-line coach was a key hire and Moore knocked it out of the park by convincing Grant Newsome, the tight ends coach, to take over the offensive line job.
Newsome was a former starting tackle for Michigan football but an injury ended his playing career. He's worked his way up the ladder and has spent the past few seasons as the tight end's coach for Michigan football, replacing Moore after the 2020 season when he moved to coach the offensive line.
Jim Harbaugh has offered effusive praise for Newsome and many believed he was going to take him to the NFL had the Vikings hired Jim in 2021. They didn't and this time around, Newsome is staying in Ann Arbor, which is huge for Sherrone Moore, especially after strength coach Ben Herbert announced he was leaving Michigan football for the Chargers to join Harbaugh.
The running game is Michigan's identity and if Newsome can help the offensive line play remain elite, the Wolverines should be just fine without Jim Harbaugh.