U-M Underdogs? ‘Nope' Says Hoke

STORY: Brady Hoke on Michigan being an underdog versus OSU and more. W/VIDEO

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- While a Big Ten championship is no longer a reality for the Michigan football program – playing spoiler to rival Ohio State's perfect season is – even if U-M coach Brady Hoke says otherwise.

"We're going to do what we have done since the start of the year and that's play for our seniors," Hoke said. "And they have to play their best football. And so we have been pretty consistent about that. We've been pretty consistent about what a great rivalry game this is. So I don't know if there is anything more than that."

The Wolverines (7-4, 3-4 Big Ten) play host to No. 3 Ohio State (11-0, 7-0) this Saturday. The rivalry -- also known as "The Game" – has the Wolverines as the clear underdog, with most sports books having the Buckeyes as two touchdown favorites.

When asked if he felt his team was underdog against the Buckeyes? Hoke simply replied: "Nope."

And then was asked, why not?

"You would have to ask them," Hoke said. "Practice was competitive and good.

"I think this team will be ready to play."

Kalis back in action

Redshirt freshman offensive guard Kyle Kalis was back in the lineup at Iowa last week. Hoke says Kalis will be in the starting lineup again this Saturday and "responded" well asfter his benching earlier this season.

"He responded," Hoke said. "working technique, working his fundamentals better. He had a chance and opportunity to watch a little bit. Sometimes that's important. I think his work ethic and personal pride. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, which is easy. That's human nature – he went back to work."

Hyde is the Key

Hoke said stopping OSU running back Carlos Hyde is the No. 1 priority if the Wolverines are going to have a chance on Saturday.

"They got four veteran offensive lineman," Hoke said. "Four seniors that play a lot of snaps, play a lot of football in there. It's Ohio, they have talent like they should. Carlos Hyde is a force. Braxton (Miller) runs the whole show, but Carlos Hyde is a guy you got to stop."

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