Michigan football coach Brady Hoke, making his regular appearance on the "Stoney and Bill" show on 97.1 FM on Thursday morning, said he's been asked a lot this week about whether he and his players are angry about last year's loss to Michigan State and whether they will play angrier this weekend.
Michigan plays at No. 8 Michigan State on Saturday. The Spartans pummeled Michigan 29-6 last season at Spartan Stadium.
"I've had that said a lot and asked a lot by media, are you angry?" Hoke said. "Well, I don't think we're happy. I don't think that's it.
"There's a difference being angry and a difference between going out to play your best, and play fast and play physical and execution. You've got to make sure you're poised and (have) composure because you don't want to hurt your team, but you want to play through the whistle when you play this game."
Michigan State under coach Mark Dantonio has won five of the last six against Michigan. The Spartans are the defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions. Hoke is 1-2 against MSU with a 12-10 victory at home in 2012. Show host Mike Stone mentioned to Hoke that Dantonio likes Hoke but hates Michigan.
"I'm not a big fan (of MSU)," Hoke said. "I like Mark. Mark and I have known each other a long, long time, and I think he's a damn good football coach. They've done a great job there. As we go about what we're trying to get done here and build here, we've got a lot of respect for what they've done. Obviously, it's not going to be a tea party on Saturday and shouldn't be."
Here are the rest of the show highlights:
■ On the Block M on the Michigan Diag being painted green with "SU" added after it in white Wednesday and whether that was vandalism: "To be honest with you, it's part of the emotion people have and the passion that people have for the game. Is it vandalism? I guess maybe by the letter of the law it might be. But that tells you what a great rivalry this rivalry is and how emotional it is. As things have changed during the years maybe with society and everything else, maybe that would be considered vandalism."
■ On going into the game coming off a win and a bye: "That always helps any time when you win. Going into this game, it's such a great rivalry, it's passionate on both sides, emotional on both sides. It's a fun game to play in and coach in. So coming off the bye, you always have to be careful of trying to get too much done during that week or doing too much or revamping your offense or defense, but also at the same time doing a good job of looking at what you've done well and hopefully you keep doing that well and what you haven't done as well you'ev got to improve upon. Byes can be good or bad, sometimes you lose a little momentum. Sometimes you come out a little bit without the same game speed you want to play with."
■ On no touchdowns scored in last two games against MSU: "They've played better. In 2012 when we beat them here we didn't score a touchdown, and we played very well defensively. I'm sure they weren't as excited from an offensive standpoint after that football game. You just find a way to win, and that's what we have to do. If we get one more point, that's what we have to do. It may be a dirty, ugly game as far as execution or points being scored. (For) Mark and I both, winning is what you want to do."
■ On the health of UM quarterback Devin Gardner, and also what Gardner has dealt with off the field from social media. Gardner told The News for a story this week he has received numerous messages containing racial slurs: "He's been great. His preparation, he's healthier than he was a week ago, and that's one of the things about the bye coming at the right time. When people on social media, and I tell our players the same thing, sometimes you ask for it because you want to get on it when things are good. When things are bad … but there's no place for anybody to racially have slurs. This is a kid who is getting two degrees from the University of Michigan and has done everything he can to represent this university in a great way. Those people who are usually faceless, it just tells you what cowards they are and what kind of human beings they are."
■ On rumors about Hoke and athletic director Dave Brandon's job security and if has he noticed that affecting recruiting: "We've got such a great place here. We were out last week (recruiting), the positiveness that the guys who have committed and how they stuck together and how they believe in this program and believe in Michigan, it really hasn't had a dent in any of that. I didn't realize there were rumors out there. So you're telling me there are rumors out there."
And, yes, Hoke was joking when he made that final comment.