Sam Webb: Set the scene after the 2007 game, Michigan wins and obviously there is some popping off there, as there generally is in this contest. It really seemed to be something that was used as a motivational tool, not only for that team but for that program. Just take us back to that time.
Otis Wiley: “I can paint you a picture. It was third and 20 and Ryan Mallett came in for Chad Henne. Ryan Mallett snapped the ball, he got hit, fumbled and we thought we was going to recover it and we won the game. Then you have Mike Hart that magically grabs the ball and scurries away and runs for a 20 yard gain to get the first down. After that, Chad Henne comes back in and drives down and wins the game last minute. Then Mike Hart makes that comment and the best thing I still remember is Coach D making that statement, pride comes before the fall. You could see it in his eyes where he took the players perspective in how we were being beat down by Michigan and just kind of being the red headed stepchild in the state, but then he took it upon himself and take the name of our program and say hey, next year it is going to be a battle. It is going to be a blood brawl. I still remember that game. When he made that comment, he kind of recognized that we had that game won and they just came back and won at the end. It took that whole rivalry to another level when they made that comment. They were arrogant about it and just the way he said, it just gets my blood hot.”
For more from Wiley on the Spartans’ rise to prominence, their strengths & weaknesses this year, and more, press play below.