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Posted on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:24 a.m.

No sugar-coating: Brady Hoke talks rivalries, including 4 straight losses to MSU

By Kyle Meinke

SOUTHFIELD -- Michigan football coach Brady Hoke says beating Ohio State remains his team's chief objective, even though the Wolverines have lost four games in a row to in-state rival Michigan State.

But he hasn't exactly forgotten about the Spartans.

Speaking to about 450 high school football players Wednesday afternoon during the Sound Mind, Sound Body camp at Southfield High School, Hoke didn't sugarcoat his team's recent performance against the Spartans.


Michigan State senior defensive lineman Kevin Pickelman celebrates with the Paul Bunyan Trophy after a 28-14 win against Michigan in October. It was the fourth straight time Pickleman and the Spartans beat the Wolverines.

Jeff Sainlar I

"We play an in-state rivalry game against Michigan State, and they have beat our ass for the last four years," Hoke told the players, most of whom hail from the state. "There's no other way to put that. It's been an ass-kicking. Just being honest with you. Pardon me about my language, but it's true."

Hoke rarely curses in public, so his passion for the Wolverines' losing streak in that game was evident.

Members of the Spartans' coaching staff, including defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, also attended the first day of the two-day event. Head coach Mark Dantonio will speak to the recruits Thursday.

Sound Mind, Sound Body is a non-profit camp that benefits charity, and was able to secure clearance from the NCAA for coaches to attend. That made for an interesting dynamic, with the Michigan and Michigan State (and, in some cases, Ohio State) coaches sometimes evaluating or leading the same player groupings.

The two schools already have butted heads on the recruiting trail this offseason, after Dantonio cut off a speech by Michigan recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski at a function in Kalamazoo.

There was no such drama in Southfield.

Hoke also commented on the rivalry against Ohio State -- just hours after he said "Ohio State" during an interview with the media. That's believed to be the first time he's used the Buckeyes' full name with reporters since he was named head coach 17 months ago.

"There's nothing like that football game, and there's nothing -- and I can tell you -- the respect that the guys who have worn that winged helmet, the guys who have played in that game, or coached in that game, understand about that game the respect the two schools have for each other," Hoke said.

"When you play in that kind of rivalry, the last Saturday in November, it's important. And for us, as it is at Ohio, it's important. To them, their alumni, their graduates, their coaches and their players, and it's important for us in those areas."

Hoke also characterized the Wolverines' annual game against Notre Dame as a "national rivalry." Michigan has won the past three games in that series, capturing each in dramatic fashion, and four of the past five.

It staged a 17-point fourth-quarter comeback last year during the first night game in Michigan Stadium history.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Perhaps Hoke should shed a few LBs before speaking at Sound Mind, Fat Body. Where will he speak next? This speech was a woeful attempt to promote the "Biggest Losers" aka the 0-4 Michigan football program! It doesn't take a Ball State education to know that there is NO THREAT! It doesn't take a Chico State education to gain 170 yards against Virginia Tech! It doesn't take a UW-LaCrosse education to see your defense butt kicked by the clearly superior MSU Spartans. In the case of TS21 it is clear that it doesn't even require a GED to become a self-proclaimed "Michigan Man"...they sell the tee shirts at Walmart! Where's the threat?


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Nothing like watching a fat man in dark blue shorts! No threat!


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

Hey Wolverine slappies, talk is cheap. We've walked the walk. Doesn't it sting losing to Little Brother? Talk recruiting all you want. I'll take scoreboard after 60 minutes anytime over four/five star 18 year old recruits who may or may not amount to a darn thing. But then again, the only defense you've got at this point is recruiting and telling Sparty Nation the party is over. Keep flapping those gums delusional Wolverine fans. Sparty is here to stay as long as Dantonio is in East Lansing.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

Hahaha! It's only talk, until you play the game. I hear a lot of talk. Lest we forget, that Michigan had a cupcake schedule last year.

Tom Woods

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

As a Michigan State Fan I am most interested and looking forward to the Michigan State - Wisconsin Games next year. Michigan is a respected rival, and I wish them luck against Ohio State, Go Green, Go Blue

Terry Star21

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

It is true, yes, that the sparty simpletons have a vocabulary that only goes as high as the word 'four' - thank goodness for that. The wall mart spartans, or little brothers as they would like to be known, can not continue to live in the past. Their past is in the rear view mirror and getting smaller, just like their arrogant coach, thug players, outrageous fans and feeble recruiting attempts. MgoBlueForTiM...'We're the Threat', sparty is snot.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

@ Go Blue 2009 - The Paul Bunyan Trophy has only been around since 1953, so my numbers are correct and Terry's are wrong. You can go back as far as you want, and blabber on about all-time records. Remember, there was a time when Dinosaurs ruled the Earth, for millions of years, but they eventually went extinct...


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

Terry is not "Michigan Man" enough to admit that he did not attend U of M - Ann Arbor. Terry is a wannabe. Nothing more. Man up Terry! 34 of the last 62...not exactly dominating other than in the minds of the "simple"


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

RocknRolla: Terry was accounting for the entire 104-game series, not just the games played since 1953. I know that record makes you feel better, but Michigan leads the all-time series 67-32-5. Before you complain, remember that you guys are always clamoring for respect. So here you go: whether you were MAC, MSC, MSU at the time, whatever, accept the fact that 104 games have been played between the two institutions.


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 2:44 a.m.

My, aren't we cranky today. Seems like any time I comment here I receive a Star 30.7 history lesson. Your repetitive reference to 30.7 and "living in the past" comment is exactly what you accuse Spartan fans of doing when they mention the number "4". At least that's recent history. I don't recall hearing any Spartan respectfully calling himself a little brother. Your little running back came up with that quip. Speaking of little--I haven't heard such immature name calling since perhaps the fifth grade. Keep this up and you'll lose your credibility--or completely bore the readers here--both UM and MSU fans.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

wolverine fans giving lectures about living in the past... Hypocrisy at its finest.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

It's a good rivalry but as noted it is what it is. The nation aspires to Mich. - ohio game. Sorry mich. state but we all know that the Mich. vs mich state game has been good but it can't last simple math dictates that. Mich has a solid coach in Brady and is out recruiting mich state as if state is a high school. Hey mich. state people would you mind getting Paul ready to go home where he resides. His little vacation is about over, Sorry Folks !


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

Terry Star21, I have to correct you, because I have no idea where you get your "facts". Paul Bunyon is "captive in prison land" 40% of the time. 23 wins out of 57 games (2 ties). That is all

Terry Star21

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Seems they never want to show Paul's frown in the 30.7 % of the time he is captive in prison land....he is making one more trip south from East Losing to put that smile on his face and stay where he belongs.....Leaders and Best.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

OMG - I'm starting to like both Brady Hoke and John Beilein. They appear to be a couple of classy guys. I just hope they are pretty good coaches but not outstanding. Four more years!

Terry Star21

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

Although we're very appreciative that a majority of sparty fans can spell the word 'four', it's skimming pretty low - considering your team needed 'four' to make it's way all the way up to a 30.7 winning percentage against Michigan. Good job Bob !


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

I will hand it to Hoke. At least he was honest about losing to MSU the last four years, very unlike the Mich fans who deny losing to State even though the scoreboard says otherwise.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

Some Mich fans never admit defeat. The first three of the four losses to MSU was because of RichRod. Last year was because MSU played too rough. How many times has the weather or officiating been blamed? Last season, Mich leapfrogged MSU to play in weak BCS bowl against a weak opponent because the BCS thought Mich fans traveled well. Even though MSU dominated the game against Mich, some Mich fans used the BCS bid as proof Mich was the better team last season.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

I don't think you could actually find a Michigan fan who would deny we lost 4 straight. You could find fans who argue what it means in the big scheme.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

That state about Notre Dame should read that we've won 5 of the past 6. I love Brady's passion; I'm tired of hearing MSU talk, time to shut them up in October.

Blue Marker

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

Hoke didn't makes these rivalries, he just recognizes what's been there for a long time, unlike the former coaching staff.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

Refreshing is word from Bardy Hoke. My guess is that there is a lot of bulletin board material in the Maize and Blue locker room on the MSU on-field behavior last year as well as the "60 minutes of uneccessary roughness" comment and the latest.."where's the threat; ..we're just ly'in the weeds..." All of this should motivate the Wolverines to play really inspired football when MSU come calling at the Big House in 2012... GO BLUE!!

Terry Star21

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

I agree somewhat MRunner...but I can't help but think Coach Hoke may not be a 'bulletin board material' guy, maybe it' me though. I agree that the 'thug' behavior' by players and denied by their coach will be the biggest remembrance. But that 'Threat' comment by their coach is going to come back and bite him in the rear, year after year (lol).


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

How come they haven't played "really inspired football" the past four years? It takes "bulletin board material" to fire them up?


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 11:30 a.m.

My bad...Brady Hoke; sorry.

Howard the Duck

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 10:29 a.m.

One thing you have to admire about Hoke. He recognizes where the power resides in the state of Michigan. There will be more butt kickings yet to come!


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

Unless he loses weight soon that "bulletin board material" could turn into a game of pin the tail on the donkey.... HEE HAW! HEE HAW! No threat. The biggest "ass kicking" of them all came in 2011. Hoke and his staff had NO ANSWERS for the Spartans! 60 minutes of unnecessary roughness! Kovacs "We got our butts kicked". The coach knows it. The players know it. "Fans" here simply don't get it! There is no threat!


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Terry - Michigan has won 34 of the past 62 contests between the 2 teams. Michigan has won ZERO of the past 4 contests between the 2 teams. No threat!

Terry Star21

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

I love sparty humor, four games has brought them all the way up to a 30.7 winning percentage and increased their vocabulary 4x.....too funny !


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

You just keep telling yourself that little brother!


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

What's even more great is that MSU fans actually believe they're going to continue beating us consistently.