Michigan State players, coaches being careful not to trash talk Michigan

The No. 4 Michigan Wolverines (7-0) will host the unranked Michigan State Spartans (3-4) at the Big House in Ann Arbor this coming Saturday night,

The Michigan Wolverines (7-0) will host the unranked Michigan State Spartans (3-4) at the Big House in Ann Arbor this coming Saturday night, and the Spartans are being very careful not to give the Wolverines any bulletin board material in the week heading up to the game. Heading into the season, many believed the Wolverines would take a bit of a step back after losing so many players from their Big Ten Championship team in 2021 but that has not been the case. At the same time, many believed the Spartans would have another solid season under head coach Mel Tucker but that also has not been the case.

What are Michigan State players and coaches NOT saying?

In general, when there is a big rivalry game such as this Saturday's game between the Wolverines and Spartans, there is a solid amount of trash-talking that takes place.

This year, the Spartans are a massive underdog, as they should be, and they are being very careful not to say anything that could give the Wolverines any extra firepower on Saturday night.

During Tuesday's press conference, MSU players and coaches, as ordered by head coach Mel Tucker, were very careful not to provide the Wolverines with any “motivational fodder.”

“I said no billboard material. I almost said something, too,” Spartans assistant coach Harlon Barnett said, finally bellowing a laugh. “Why is it personal to me? It's just a good, friendly rivalry, man.”

Via Detroit Free Press

Spartans QB Payton Thorne was also careful to temper his comments.

“You don't truly know what it's like until you are out there,” quarterback Payton Thorne said. “You hear from the former players, most importantly, you hear from the fans, you hear from your former coaches. But most important guys are the former players, what it means to them and what they think about the school down the road and what they think about the game. You really get to understand, and it kind of fuels you.”

Michigan State is prepared to let their pads do the talking

MSU transfer linebacker/defensive end Jacoby Windmon may be new to the rivalry but he has been given a history lesson and knowing that the Wolverines tried to keep the Spartans out of the Big Ten back in 1953 offends him.

“I take that as something as offensive, because they probably think we're not good enough,” Windmon said. “But at the end of the day, it's still not about them or what they think. It's still about us, so that's what we've really just been focusing on, is us.”

But despite feeling offended, Windmon says he and his teammates are going to let their pads to the talking.

“We don't do too much talking. But when we get on the field, we'll let our pads talk,” Windmon said. “Going to an environment like that, man, you gotta love to be uncomfortable, because that's when you grow the most. It's something I'm looking forward to, and we look forward to quieting the crowd down.”

Nation, do you think Michigan State can upset Michigan at the Big House?