ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
ANN ARBOR – When he takes his unbeaten and No. 11 ranked Michigan football team into East Lansing this week to face bitter in-state rival Michigan State, Wolverines’ coach Brady Hoke expects the physical nature of the game to hit a peak.
There is still that late November meeting with Ohio State out there on the schedule, but Hoke said nothing tops this one in terms of the raw strength he expects to see on display.
“It’s usually always been that way,” Hoke said Monday at his weekly news conference. “It’s always going to be guys playing their best football, guys playing as tough and as physical as they can be.”
The Wolverines (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) will get the best shot from the No. 23 Spartans (4-1, 1-0), who are coming off a bye week. Hoke said it has been that way as long as he has been associated with the rivalry.
“They were going to fight. They were going to punch you in the mouth," Hoke said, "and you’d better punch back.”