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Hoke Weighs In On Rivalry Week, ‘Whole Different Animal’

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Head coach Brady Hoke of the Michigan Wolverines looks on against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 3, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Head coach Brady Hoke of the Michigan Wolverines looks on against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 3, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) It’s that time of year, the time when the Mitten state divides into maize and blue, green and white, when friends become enemies, when sports fan office chatter gets heated.

It’s the week the University of Michigan takes on Michigan State in college football.

“We have a whole different animal this week,” Hoke said Thursday morning on the Stoney and Bill show on 97.1 The Ticket.

Opposing coach Mark Dantonio recently heaped praise on Hoke, saying he has the utmost respect for the man  and the way he handles his job. So, who is Hoke’s favorite coach?

“I’ve known Mark a long time, my brother and Mark knew each other before we knew each other,” Hoke said. “We’re both comfortable in our own skin, there are a lot of similarities when you talk about wanting to run the football, we’re both defensive minded guys, so there are probably a lot of similarities.”

Does he think the Michigan-Michigan State or the Michigan-Ohio State rivalries are bigger?

“I think they’re both important,” Hoke said. “You look at the rivalries that we have, you’ve heard me talk about we’ve got a great national rivalry with Notre Dame, we’ve got a state rivalry that’s as intense as any rivalry … When you look at any state and the passion and people drawing a line in the sand, this is as good a rivalry as there is.

“The Ohio State rivalry … They’re all very important … I don’t know if it’s more important, I always thought it was important. It’s important for us to represent Michigan football, I know that, we haven’t done that in four years.”

On the differences between the match-up this year and in previous years, Hoke said Michigan will have to execute better than they have in past  years, and play a more physical game.

“I think they’ve (State) played a schedule that’s a pretty daggone good school, when you look at who they’ve played … Iowa, who is always a tough, physical football team… Maxwell is leading the league in passing yards… I think they’re going to be a tremendous team and they are a tremendous team.”

Hoke, who was jabbed at with a Chris Farley comparison recently, took time from the rivalry to weigh in on his favorite comfort food.

“Chicken pot pie — that’s very comforting,” he said. ‘That does comfort you a little bit.”

The coach was also asked to tell his favorite Michigan State joke — but he refused to take the bait, saying, “I’m not that funny.” A State fan jokester may disagree.

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