The Spartans have won six of their past seven games against the Wolverines, only the second time Michigan State has accomplished that in a series that dates to 1898.
The Spartans have feasted on the Wolverines in the Paul Bunyan game ever since Brake Hoke took over the helm in Ann Arbor, and they don’t want that to change.
“I don’t want it to be a greedy program that’s solely going to be about money and money alone,” Greg Skrepenak said.
Hoke dismissed a question about Michigan’s status as a 15-point underdog, saying only gamblers care about that — and he does not gamble.
If all goes well, the Wolverines could walk out of Spartan Stadium having ruined Michigan State’s national-title hopes, but they insist that’s not their focus.
“You have a better evaluation of your team,” Beilein said. “Now your preseason practices should be more on point than they normally would.”
As poorly as Michigan has played for the last month or so, there was still a sense that the Wolverines had the makings of a solid defensive team.
Devin Gardner returned from a second-half injury and threw a 24-yard pass to Dennis Norfleet to set up Wile’s tiebreaking kick, but it was the defense that lifted Michigan in the second half.
“Our kids have worked their tails off, and they keep working their tails off,” Hoke said.
Hoke stated, as he has since starting Morris against Minnesota, that he was impressed by Gardner’s handling of the temporary demotion.