Mazi Smith demonstrated how important this upcoming rivalry game with Michigan State is to the players. Angelique Chengelis from The Detroit News reported what he said.

Smith is now a senior on the team and has played in this type of game before. He compared the game to a state championship at the high school level. One of these teams will get bragging rights for a whole season.

“It’s a state championship,” said Smith. “It’s a championship game we get to play in the regular season.”

Smith was a freshman the last time that Michigan beat Michigan State in the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Michigan State has beaten Michigan in the last two meetings. Smith has played in 28 career games for Michigan, but this might be one of the more important ones since coming to Ann Arbor.

Michigan State-Michigan kicks off Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.