By: Mike Stone
The 40th renewal of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry shifts to South Bend Saturday night, where the undefeated and 15th ranked (Coaches Poll) Fighting Irish is a 5 1/2 point favorite over the 17th ranked Wolverines.
In his weekly chat with Stoney, Bill, and Sara on the Stoney and Bill Show, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said the rivalry is still huge, but so are others: “On a national scale, I think it’s still a tremendous rivalry. The Michigan State game is an instate rivalry is very heated. People draw a line in the sand and either love Michigan State or Michigan and the Ohio rivalry is one that is so intense and so passionate and to me it’s the best rivalry there is.”
Notre Dame is coming off a convincing 20-3 win at Spartan Stadium — a game that proved to Hoke that the Fighting Irish are for real. ” I think they are a really good football team,” he said. “They have four seniors on the offensive line and defensively there front seven is physical up front. They flow to the ball at the second level very well.”
Irish head coach Brian Kelly has been competing against Hoke for years, going back to their days in the MAC at Central Michigan and Ball State, and they seem to have a very good relationship. At Kelly’s press conference this week, Kelly was asked if his familiarity with Hoke makes it easier to prepare.
“In terms of a wrestling match, he’s as big as he’s ever been,” Kelly said, adding, “so he’s still going to beat me on that one.” Sara asked Hoke if he was insulted, but Hoke actually agreed with his rival saying, “I think I am. Large, husky, whatever Chris Farley, whatever.”