For Max Bullough, the family ties were stronger to the Green & White.
"It was just something that we always looked forward to," explained Bullough. "I went to a lot of them, whatever play they were at, that was usually one of the games I made it to. When I a kid, I just watched it, like to have fun enjoy being there in the game day experience. As I grew older, like I said throughout my recruitment, Michigan State is my school and my place and that's just where my—that's just where I stand."
Despite having a two-sided family, Bullough never felt any pressure or does he hear much from those who lined up on the other side.
"All of my family was very supportive and really made it clear that it was my decision to do what I wanted to do and what I thought was best for me," said Bullough. "Obviously I'm sure he (uncle) have liked it if I would have went there and went to his alma mater. But I chose Michigan State and he's supported me ever since.
"We don't really talk about it that much. You know, we just know the implications of it and how big of a game it is for both schools. So there's never really any talking; just watch the game."
One thing the junior linebacker knows going into this game is the Irish will have a few changes from the film they've watched with the return of running back Cierre Wood.
"First of all, starting with Cierre Wood, he's a great football player," said Bullough. "We've learned that from watching him last year in various games that we were able to break down, and even that we've seen.
"For us as a defense, we always try to stop the run first. That's No.1 on the totem pole, on the poster, on everything, that's what we try to focus on. If you can make a team be one-dimensional you're going to be successful and in order to do that you have to stop the run. That's where our focus will be. And obviously the passing game, it comes after that."
Bullough knows the Spartans have something to prove after last year's showing against the Irish especially after watching film of last season.
"I think especially when it comes to Notre Dame week, you start thinking about the game and obviously you see the film from last year, and so you watch a lot of it," said Bullough. "It was a disappointing week for us.
We didn't think we played up to our standards. Obviously Notre Dame played a phenomenal game, obviously take no credit away from them. But we didn't think we played as physical and as together as we would have liked and we look forward to playing better and having a better experience against Notre Dame this year."