Jim Harbaugh addresses teams frequently holding Aidan Hutchinson

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Aidan Hutchinson is having about as good of a season as an edge rusher could have — but it could be a lot more productive.

That’s not because Hutchinson isn’t getting home as much as teams are resorting to whatever they can do to slow his progress towards the quarterback. Oftentimes, that means holding.

Though holding comes with a 10-yard penalty for the offense, it’s very rarely called. Which, if you’re Michigan and you have a game-wrecking edge rusher, it can be demoralizing to some degree, because if he’s not getting to the quarterback because of a hold, it should at least be penalized.

Speaking to Jon Jansen on the Inside Michigan Football radio show on Monday, Harbaugh notes that he’s seen a lot of holds take place on Hutchinson to slow him down or to throw him off course.

“Aidan Hutchinson, again, had a great game,” Harbaugh said. “Just so hard to block. They resorted to holding him a lot, that’s taken place. But he continues to play at such a high level, MVP-type of level.”

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This is something of an echo from what Harbaugh said about the scenario in his Monday press conference.

So, what does he say to Hutchinson if he gets frustrated with the lack of calls? And does he make sure the Big Ten is aware of every instance in which these holding penalties go uncalled?

Harbaugh says he continues to encourage Hutchinson regardless of the situation. And yes, he does refer all tape to the league offices.

“Yeah, done a great job, Aidan — keep bringing it,” Harbaugh said. “He’s tough to block. Hope for the best. Hope that you’re gonna get a fair shake every time you go out there. Not always do you get that. Yeah, we turn the plays in, yes.”

We’ll see what happens this week when Michigan football travels to East Lansing to take on MSU on Saturday.

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