- Michigan–Michigan State started with a scuffle and ended with a war of words between two coaches that publicly aren't too fond of each other.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh called out Michigan State for their actions in a pre-game altercation on Saturday.
When asked about it after Michigan's 21-7 win over Michigan State, Harbaugh referred to the Spartans' moves as "total bush league."
"Apparently Coach Dantonio was five yards behind it all smiling," Harbaugh said. "Yeah, I think it's bush league. That's my impression of it. But our guys, they didn't blink. They [didn't] come here to back down or get intimidated by anybody. We never have in this game."
The two teams got into a scuffle prior to the game and exchanged in trash talk after Michigan State made their regular pregame march down the field 10 minutes late on Saturday morning. A handful of Michigan players were already on the field during the walk.
Michigan linebacker Devin Bush was involved in the pushing and shoving that ensued and had to be restrained by Wolverines personnel. After the altercation, Bush tried to ruin the turf by running his cleats over the Spartan logo at midfield.
According to Harbaugh, who said he was not on the field at the time, Michigan State clotheslined defensive lineman Lawrence Marshall.
When asked about Harbaugh's comments, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said "that's BS."
"You guys go get your cameras out," Dantonio said. "I'm not gonna go to that. Go ahead, next question."
Dantonio later said "Bush league? Mmmhmm," according to Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.
The war of words in the Michigan–Michigan State rivalry goes back years, highlighted by Wolverines running back Mike Hart famously calling Michigan State “little brother” in 2007. Harbaugh and Dantonio sparred last December when the Michigan State coach expressed his displeasure at the Spartans playing in the Holiday Bowl instead of the Outback Bowl, which invited Michigan.
Saw Coach D comments on continuing to "focus" on how "he" can beat Michigan. Congrats on turning around a 3-9 team, plagued with off field issues. Good for BIG to have him back.— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) December 4, 2017
Linebacker Chase Winovich added to the fire on the field after Saturday’s game, dredging up the “little brother” insult that had been turned on Michigan in recent years.