Ex-Wolverine coach makes pick for Michigan-Michigan State game
The Brady Hoke era already feels like a lifetime ago.
With all that Jim Harbaugh has done to wash away the stench Hoke left in Ann Arbor, any bitterness from Wolverine fans appears to have subsided. At least for now.
And any bitterness Hoke might’ve had toward Michigan appears to have subsided, as well. If there is any, he didn’t let it cloud his judgment when picking this week’s Michigan-Michigan State showdown.
Hoke, who now has a twice-weekly job on SiriusXM College Sports with host Mark Packer, picked his former team to take care of business this weekend.
“Now, that (Michigan) pass rush and the way the front four is playing and the front seven, they’re playing awfully hard. I think this is going to be a great game,” Hoke said on his show Tuesday. “I think Michigan is going to win the game, but I also think this is exactly what Mark Dantonio and Michigan State (like). They feed off everyone talking about Michigan, and that’s just the way their makeup is.”
Hoke beat Michigan State in 2012 but stumbled in his other three meetings against the intrastate rival. In their last two meetings — both of which were in East Lansing — Hoke’s team fell by a combined total of 64-17. Michigan’s only win against Michigan State in the Hoke era came in their lone meeting in Ann Arbor.
Home-field advantage, Hoke said, is important in this matchup.
“We played Michigan State in four years, three years at their place, and I think that does make a difference,” Hoke said.
Hoke’s keys for Michigan State were making quarterback Jake Rudock beat them. Forcing him into mistakes, Hoke said, would be huge for the Spartans on the road.
Picking the Michigan to knock off unbeaten MSU has become more than the trendy pick. The spread opened at four points and has already swung to 8.5 without any major injury developments.
The game will play host to College GameDay and will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET.