Michigan's Jake Ryan hauls down MSU's Le'Veon Bell in last year's game, won by the Wolverines, 12-10. (Leon Halip / Getty Images)
It's Michigan-Michigan State week, cue the trash-talk.
Actually, the zings haven't been flying all that much, and even if they were, do they actually really mean anything?
"We have a great respect for their football team," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Thursday morning on the Stoney & Bill Show on 97.1 "I can tell you we've got a great challenge on Saturday.
"Once the ball's kicked off, any of those comments or remarks don't mean a damn thing."
Hoke said both of Michigan's Big Ten rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State, provide more physical games for the Wolverines.
"In my experience, both of those games are always very physical wars," Hoke said. "You're going into a street fight, you know that, whether you’re playing in East Lansing, Columbus or Ann Arbor. You've got to be ready to play your best."
Senior left tackle Taylor Lewan early in the week said Michigan State "bullied" Michigan two years ago in East Lansing. Hoke said the co-captain's comments were meant as a message to the younger Michigan players.
"There's a high level of pride with a guy like Lewan, who has been in the environment,” Hoke said. “It's a message he's sending to some of the guys who haven't been there before, who haven't been in that environment or been in that rivalry.
"In all rivalry games, there's always a little extra that goes on from the standpoint of how you hit each other. There's just that little harder hit and playing through the whistle. All those things are part of a rivalry game."