Hoke Not Expecting Any Surprises

Entering Saturday's battle against rival Michigan may be the medicine needed for a struggling Michigan State squad. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke understands the importance of the game and was asked several questions about the rivalry during his weekly press gathering.

Saturday afternoon Michigan State will head to the "Big House" for another epic battle against rival Michigan. The Spartans enter the game struggling on offense and coming off a heart breaking loss to Iowa in double-overtime.

However, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke knows this is an important game for both squads and not just because it's against a rival he's reminded about throughout the year.

"I think it's important because we're trying to get our fifth win," said Hoke. "We're trying to win a conference championship just like everybody else. That's important. I mean, obviously in-state, you know, there is a pretty direct line drawn in the sand if you're University of Michigan or Michigan State.

"So you understand, and from being here eight years before you understand the game itself and what goes into it."

Despite knowing the Spartans struggles this season, he knows his team has lost four consecutive games to their rival and is not worried about motivating his team.

"When you're playing a rivalry game, your motivation, it better come from within," stressed Hoke. "It's not something you put up or something you do."

While some may stress the Wolverines annual rivalry game against Ohio State as being more important, Hoke knows this game holds its own level of importance.

"I think it's an important one of the rivalries that we play in," said Hoke. "Obviously in-state and the passion of both schools and teams and fans, yeah, it's important.

One thing Hoke does know is what his team will see come Saturday from Mark Dantonio's squad.

"You know, there is differences in what you see and what you play against from both sides of the ball," said Hoke. "An aggressive defense, which they are, they have very physical guys on the outside. When you look at their corner play, they've got physical linebackers. So from an offensive perspective, you know of get that idea of how they're going to play the game. They're leading the conference in every category and playing very good defense.

"From an offensive standpoint, you're not going to play versus a spread. You're going to play versus good old fashion two-back football, some one-back stuff, but downhill vertical run. And so the last two weeks we've been against two teams that were obviously spread teams. This is not a spread team.

Can the Spartans pull off their fifth consecutive victory over the Wolverines? Stay tuned for more coverage of this year's battle right here.


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