Sam Webb: (What are the) keys for Michigan? You kind of touched on it a little bit, but there is a game outside the x’s and o’s in this battle between Michigan and Michigan State. Is there not a mental aspect to this?
Marcus Ray: “Yeah, the whole thing about playing Michigan State right now is if you walk in there and believe you can win and truly fight back and get over in your mind that you’re playing a team that has been pretty good the last few years. The whole game is going to come down to the mental aspect of it, because physically, Indiana was right there with them for at least one half, but Indiana is still Indiana. So eventually, they’re going to wear down. Same thing with Purdue, they gave Michigan State all they could handle and Purdue as we know has not been a successful offense or defense. Mentally Purdue told themselves, we can beat these guys. Nebraska figured it out in the fourth quarter. What’s happening with Michigan State as the seasons go on and these games go on, each team is showing something different, their exposing something different and it might be that team from Columbus or this team from Ann Arbor that goes in there in their mentally and just says what, you know what, this is still Michigan State.”
Sam Webb: You make it sound like they’re getting away with something.
Marcus Ray: “They’re getting away with murder! Michigan State is getting away with murder, which means they’re out here killing people but don’t really have a lot of killers. The Big Ten is just sitting there watching, letting them get away with it, like wow. You mean to tell me with Ed Davis, Taiwan Jones in the middle they’re still beating people when their facing teams that should be running the ball down their throats. Their getting away with murder because they’re not that good this year. I picked them to win the Big Ten Championship earlier, I said even if they got in the final four, they may make some noise, but they don’t stack up with those teams in the SEC West and they’re some teams in the Big Ten, if they just turned that mental confidence or that cup of courage. Drink it and believe it, you can go in there and beat Michigan State. The team from Columbus has the talent to do it, but this team from Ann Arbor has the tradition. If I spoke to the team this week, I would tell them, listen when you walk into that stadium take it over. You’re still Michigan and they’re Michigan State. That’s the bottom line. Yeah they’ve been hot the last four years. I give Coach Dantonio and coaches all the praise, but I’m not sold that the skirt hasn’t been lifted, everybody see what they’re working with and now it’s time to do something about it. You’ve got to have the horses or have to have those type of kids on your roster, mentally who just have that forget it mentality. I don’t care about no defense, about no Rose Bowl. Michigan State has a championship belt, but to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. It is going to have to happen in their house where they’re getting away with murder because their killing people, but they’re not real killers.”
For more from Ray, including his take on the keys for Michigan's defense to slow down the high-powered Spartan offense, press play below.