Jim Harbaugh Rips Purdue's Facilities, Calls Hit on Wilton Speight 'Egregious'

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on against the Purdue Boilermakers in the second quarter of a game at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 23, 2017 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Michigan won 28-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh was not pleased with the facilities or a hit on quarterback Wilton Speight after his team's 28-10 Saturday victory at Purdue.

Harbaugh called the hit "egregious" and didn't think Purdue's facilities were capable of handling Speight's setback, per Dan Murphy of ESPN.com.

"If I had a stronger word to use, I would use it," Harbaugh said Monday. "With all the emphasis on protecting defenseless players, it appeared that the player knew what he was doing. He targeted the head. [Speight] was on the ground, and he accelerated."

Speight left the contest after a first-quarter sack.

"After Speight took a hit from Boilermakers sophomore linebacker Markus Bailey, junior defensive tackle Eddie Wilson hit Speight in the head and neck area as he fell to the ground," Murphy wrote.

Harbaugh said he would complain to the Big Ten about the lack of a personal foul penalty on the hit, but that wasn't the only issue he planned on addressing with the conference.

The coach suggested teams in the Big Ten deliberately have lackluster facilities for the visitors to create a home-field advantage, as Speight was taken to a health center for X-rays in lieu of using what was available at Ross-Ade Stadium. Harbaugh said the conditions of visiting locker rooms are worse in the Big Ten than when he coached in the Pac-12 or when defensive coordinator Don Brown was in the ACC.

Purdue responded to Harbaugh's comments, saying there is "no place for gamesmanship when it comes to player care and safety."

Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic shared the full statement:

As for Speight, Harbaugh said he couldn't play if the Wolverines—who have a bye—had a game during the upcoming weekend because of a "soft tissue injury."

While the Wolverines trailed 10-7 at halftime against Purdue and were without their starting quarterback for the rest of the game, backup John O'Korn rallied his team to a dominant 21-0 advantage in the second half for the straightforward victory.

He finished 18-of-26 for 270 yards, one touchdown and one interception and helped preserve the Wolverines' undefeated mark alongside a stout defense.

Michigan will next take the field Oct. 7 for a showdown with the in-state rival Michigan State Spartans.