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Hoke Says Harder Hits, Playing Through Whistle Are Part Of Big MSU Rivalry Game

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Speaking live on the Stoney, Bill and Sara morning show on 97.1 The Ticket Thursday, University of Michigan coach Brady Hoke had to get one thing out of the way fast.

Can he guarantee his team won't give up 47 points in the much-anticipated rivalry game against arch-rival Michigan State this weekend, like they did against Indiana?

"Yeah, that's something that we're not very proud of," Hoke said, adding there's a lot of pride on the part of players and coaches and "if we give up 47 it's obviously going to be a very long day for us."

Michigan tailback Fitz Toussaint pulled out the 'Little Brother' card again this week when answering a question about whether the U-M-vs. MSU rivalry is nastier than the Ohio State vs. Michigan game.

Toussaint said this: "I believe it. We labeled them as a little brother. And, you know the little brother always want to prove themselves and try to beat up the big brother one day. I think they really take offense to that."

What was Hoke's reaction? "My first reaction was, 'I think we have a great respect for their football team, and their kids who play and all that stuff. I can tell you we've got a great challenge on Saturday. But once the ball's kicked off, any of those comments or remarks don't mean a thing."

Will the big rivalry bring something extra special to college football fans?

"All rivalry games, there's always a little extra that goes on," Hoke said, adding "There's that little harder hit and playing through the whistle and all those things are part of a rivalry game."

Former U-M coach Bo Schembechler said the MSU rivalry game was always the most physical of all. Does Hoke agree?

"I tried to remember the eight years I was here and I think, in my experience, both those games are very physical wars, you're going to a street fight, you know that, whether you're playing in East Lansing, Columbus or Ann Arbor, you've got to be ready to play your best," he said.

Michigan's Blake Countess described the hostile environment he faced in East Lansing to the media Wednesday, saying "From rowdy fans to people throwing stuff (at the bus), it was just a hostile environment."

Is it true? Hoke seems to think so -- and he doesn't think it's that big a deal.

"That happens, it's a 3:30 game, just think if it was an 8 o'clock game," he said. "People are passionate, people love their universities and that's what makes college football special in our opinion. It's fun."

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