It wasn’t fully intentional, but the meaning of it still was heartwarming for the Michigan football team.
Late in the Wolverines’ Big Ten championship game win vs. Iowa on Saturday, U-M players scored their 42nd point.
It was also the final point in a 42-3 rout of the Hawkeyes, a score that ended up having special symbolism.
No. 42 was also the jersey number of Tate Myre, one of four students killed during the school shooting in Oxford, Michigan just last week.
Myre served as a captain of the football team at Oxford this past fall.
The three points scored by Iowa also represented the other three students who lost their lives in the tragedy.
Again, none of that was by design, as the Wolverines were just focused on beating Iowa. But it was a neat thing to point to afterward.
“God works in mysterious ways,” Michigan star defensive end Aidan Hutchinson said.
Tributes to the four slain students were all over Michigan and at the Big Ten championship game on Saturday. Myre’s mother, father and two brothers served as honorary captains and were on the field for the coin toss.
Michigan players wore decals on their jerseys with a block yellow “O” that had “TM 42″ and four hearts within it, paying tribute to the four students killed.
When Michigan kicker Jake Moody made an extra point to give Michigan its 42nd point, Harbaugh immediately looked on the scoreboard and turned to Hutchinson.
“‘Hey Aidan, that’s 42 up there,’” Harbaugh said to him.
Hutchinson also noticed it right away.
“Goosebumps,” Hutchinson said.
Harbaugh said it was Hutchinson’s idea to pay tribute to the students, and the school then quickly put together the decals to honor them.
Harbaugh called Myre “a hero” for how he reportedly ran toward the shooter to try and disarm him.
“You know, it’s a community that needs all of our prayers, every one of them,” Harbaugh said. “And we just, yeah, wanted to offer that up. We wanted to offer our prayers.”
And as a result, 42-3 in the 2021 Big Ten championship will forever be more than just a final score.
“It was incredible,” Harbaugh said.