The Michigan football team will have its own “12th man” on the sideline for Saturday’s pivotal rivalry game against Ohio State: Juwan Howard.

The Michigan men’s basketball coach said he will be at the game in Ann Arbor as the No. 5 Wolverines (10-1) take on the No. 2 Buckeyes (10-1) in a matchup with serious College Football Playoff implications.


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“They’re gonna need me out there,” Howard said Wednesday after his team’s 65-54 win over Tarleton State. “I’m going to be out there loud, lose my voice, because I am coming with the energy. I don’t know if [there is] a 12th man in football, but I feel like I’m the 12th man.”

Howard, the former Fab Five member, did not offer a score prediction, but he praised the team as it prepares for the game. Coach Jim Harbaugh is searching for his first win against the Buckeyes at Michigan after losing his first five matchups.

“Harbaugh and his beautiful staff, they are preparing,” Howard said. “I love our game plan. I haven’t seen it, but I trust it. I also love our players, led by so many outstanding young student-athletes starting with my man [Aidan Hutchinson]. I can keep going. I can name the entire roster. That’s how locked in I am.

“Don’t give up on J.J. McCarthy now. [Cade McNamara]: so solid, it’s beautiful to see. Our running back crew is amazing. But the offensive line, they’re going to play on Sundays. … They are so special and they have a great coach for that offensive line, but then our defense — I tell you, I could keep going on and on and on — our defense is so solid.”

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