What Michigan Said About Impending MSU Matchup After the Wisconsin Game

What Michigan Said About Impending MSU Matchup After the Wisconsin Game

Football

What Michigan Said About Impending MSU Matchup After the Wisconsin Game

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Game one of Michigan’s brutal, mid-season three-game gauntlet is in the books as a decisive win for the Wolverines, as the maize and blue dispatched Wisconsin, 38-13 on Saturday night.

But now, things get interesting.

The Wolverines make the short trek to East Lansing to take on in-state rival Michigan State this upcoming Saturday. The Spartans’ obituary was all but written, heading into Week Seven 3-2, with an expected loss to formidable foe Penn State in Happy Valley.

However, the Spartans did not oblige that narrative, beating the Nittany Lions on the road.

So now Michigan will try to add a third-loss to MSU’s win-loss total, something it has only done once since Jim Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor. But the Wolverines are absolutely rolling, winning all but one game decisively, save for the single loss to Notre Dame.

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson will also be getting his first taste of the intensity of the in-state rivalry, but, having grown up a Michigan fan in Toledo, he has something of an understanding of what this game is all about.

Still, he says that it’s up to Michigan to prepare the same way it has for every other game this season. If the team does that, a win in East Lansing should come.

“I understand it — I understand the expectations and the hype around the game,” Patterson said. “I think we’re just going to attack it every single week moving forward, these last few weeks, just like we did tonight. Just like we have done the last few weeks.

“Obviously playing Michigan State and Ohio State — it means a little bit more. It’s a little bit more personal. It doesn’t matter who we play — we have to come out with the same intensity and the same expectation and belief in ourselves that we’re gonna win.”

Team captain and senior running back Karan Higdon wasn’t as magnanimous about his feelings in regards to where Michigan, its offense and the team’s ability are heading into that game.

With the offensive line taking major steps forward and the Wolverines rushing game brutalizing a Wisconsin team known for stopping the run, Higdon is — let’s say — confident.

“Did I mention we have the best O-line in the country?” Higdon said. “They not on my mind. We go handle this game, do what we need to do, get back into training room, practice field, prepare like it’s a championship game and we’ll handle our business on Saturday.”

While those in East Lansing certainly will utilize those words as a fresh batch of #disrespekt — as it’s often noted — Patterson says that MSU will be taken seriously.

There are players on both sides of the ball who grew up well-educated about this rivalry, and Patterson expects that MSU will give Michigan all it can handle on Saturday.

“I think anytime you play a rivalry game — growing up, I’m sure some of the guys on Michigan State grew up Michigan State fans and were raised like that — and so were we,” Patterson said. “It’s gonna be a battle. We’ve gotta come out ready to play and know that they’re going to give everything they’ve got. They just beat Penn State, who’s a great team. So yeah — just have to come out ready to play.”

The criticism, sometimes, is that Michigan rarely matches MSU’s intensity when it comes to the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Wolverines fans — and lately, even Devin Bush Jr. — trot out the ‘little brother’ moniker, but the Spartans tend to approach this game with a feverish desire to beat Michigan in a way that isn’t reciprocated often.

However, asked about how the Wolverines will match that intensity on Saturday, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh had a simple answer:

“We’ll be really intense for it.”

The Spartans and Wolverines will kick off Saturday at noon at Spartan Stadium.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@isaiahhole

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home