UM’s Kyle Kalis on MSU’s losing: ‘Makes me happy’
Ann Arbor — Michigan offensive lineman Kyle Kalis and his teammates have been keeping tabs on rivals Michigan State and Ohio State.
The third-ranked Wolverines face Illinois on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, but games at MSU and OSU have caught their attention, although their focus, they have said all season, is on the most immediate game.
Still, it’s hard not to peek.
Since Michigan last won a Big Ten title in 2004, Ohio State has won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
“I want them to win all the way until we play them,” Kalis said of Ohio State. “I know some of the guys were wishing them to lose. I mean, it’s hard not to. A little part of me was hoping they’d lose. I’m glad they won. I want to make the game as meaningful as possible.”
Kalis watched the Ohio State-Wisconsin game Saturday — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh also said he watched that one — and has been following Michigan State. The Wolverines and Spartans meet on Oct. 29 at noon in Spartan Stadium.
“Definitely keep tabs on them a lot,” Kalis said.
He was asked about the Spartans’ recent losing skid.
“Makes me happy,” Kalis said. “Makes me happy.”
The Wolverines have not erased from their memories the final 10 seconds of last season’s game against Michigan State — a muffed punt, picked up by the Spartans, who scored to win the game. MSU has won seven of the last eight in the rivalry.
“Unfortunately, yeah, we do (think about it). I know I do,” Kalis said. “I definitely do not want that to happen again. I think about that.”
Michigan cornerback Channing Stribling said he has talked the most about that loss from last year.
“Just because the way it ended,” he said. “We had the game. Ended how we didn’t want it to end. I’ve been looking for that game since last year, since we lost. But making sure we focus on each week first in between.”
Stribling remembered the swing in emotions during the final seconds of the game.
“Before the kick and after it was a different mindset,” Stribling said. “We had the win and then it kind of went black after that.”
Kalis said the Wolverines will work hard to ensure a win over MSU.
“(By) practicing our (butts) off during that game week,” Kalis said. “First of all, I’m not looking past Illinois and when (Michigan) State week comes, it’s up to us. The ball’s in our court.”
He was asked if he thinks Harbaugh will make it a focal point next week and bring up the ending of the game.
“I don’t think he’d actually bring that up, but it’s kind of like the elephant in the room,” Kalis said. “We made adjustments even in our punt game to make sure that would never happen again. He wouldn’t say that, but everyone’s thinking that.”