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University of Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke Talks Michigan State Football

UM Head Football Coach Brady Hoke Talks MSU vs. UM this Week!

One thing for sure is how good the UM defense has been in the second half this season. Coach Hoke talked about that. “From the offensive standpoint, I think we see something different pretty much all the time and how people want to defend us offensively and really defend Denard. So I think Al does a tremendous job and his staff, Darrell Funk and Heck and Fred and Dan. I think they all do a tremendous job of getting together and talking during the course of the game, or the first half, and you know, putting their ideas down and making the appropriate adjustments and changes.
I think the same thing, defensively. I think Greg and Curt and Mark and Jerry do a tremendous job defensively. And the kids have been willing and they are listening, and I think they are learning.”


Hoke know defense and MSU has a good one. He talked about that Spartan D. “Well, I think you answered that question. They are extremely talented, aggressive, well coached. Coach Gill was one of my coaches in college. Their defensive line coach, he is a tremendous motivator. He knows the game, does a great job coaching them. Those kids play with a fire to them.

You know, you look at their defense as a whole, and you know, I think the whole team is very well coached, because I have a lot of respect for Mark D'Antonio. He's a defensive coach, and his mindset and vision of how they are going to play defense; I think they are athletic. I think they play with good team speed, and they are going to be a physical presence out on the field.”

Any memories Coach Hoke from the 2011 MSU vs. UM game? “Well, we lost the football game. Somebody was in charge of substitutions on defense and we had a penalty that helped them get down the field and that was me. We had too many guys on the field. So I remember it.”


UM has lost three in a row to the Spartans. What is the state of the rivalry from the UM perspective? “Well, I mean, obviously the guys know what the history has been. The rivalry is a tremendous rivalry because of the passion for both schools that people have. The alums, people within the state, you kind of draw the line that you're a Spartan fan or you're a Wolverine fan and that's what makes college football and that's what makes it so exciting.

You know, it's an important part of recruiting. It's an important part in -- because it's a Big Ten game and how that all goes for you, you know, during the course of the year.”

Coach Hoke has been at MSU and coached many times. What memories does he have and what is it like to coach at Spartan Stadium? “It will be fun. It's a fun place to be because of the passion and the fans, on both sides. Obviously there will be some Michigan people there.
I mean, that's why you go to places like Michigan and Michigan State; to play in those games and represent your school. It will be fun. It will be fun. It's a fun place to be because of the passion and the fans, on both sides. Obviously there will be some Michigan people there.
I mean, that's why you go to places like Michigan and Michigan State; to play in those games and represent your school. It will be fun.”


Is this the most physical game on the schedule? Coach Carr always said it was. “Oh, yeah, I mean, it was always going to be a dogfight and every year, it was always going to be two teams that were going to be physical at the line of scrimmage on both side of the ball. It was always going to be guys playing their best football and playing as tough and physical as they could.

So I agree with Lloyd. I always thought this game was. And we'll find out where we're at on Saturday.”

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What do you think and see from the MSU offense and Kirk Cousins. “I think he's as good a quarterback you'll find in this league. I think he runs the offense, manages the offense, gets them in the right things as far as play-wise, and I think he's very accurate with the football. Their runs backs, they have three backs who are all very capable, very good.

I love the fullback, Anderson, because he's a prototypical, not hit-you-in-the-face guy, who is going to lead block well, he's going to protect well. Cunningham out at the wide receiver. And I think the tight ends and the use of the tight ends are a big part of it and that presents challenges from a defensive standpoint.”

With the DL the MSU strength, is the biggest test this weekend on your OL? “I think so. There's not any doubt that their physicalness at the line of scrimmage and their ability to penetrate and all those things and be disruptive are a big part of what they do defensively. Pressure on the quarterback. For us, we have got to play our best game to this point in all areas, but specifically up front.”


On Jerel Worthy and the tattoo:  “Yeah. It's a tattoo. As a player, I think he's physical. He's a very good athlete. It's funny, because I was watching tape of Northwestern against Michigan State from last year last week and then watching their defense, studying Northwestern's offense, and he's got a great sense in timing from a fundamental side on movements and those things and plays with great leverage.”


Is Coach Hoke in agreement on his teams top ten ranking? “We are not a Top-10 team. …Well, you take care of the football, and you -- defensively, you don't give up 300 and whatever it was yards throwing the football.”


So for Brady Hoke, what does this rivalry mean? “It means an awful lot. I mean, and it means a lot because we represent a great university. We have got great alums out there. And it's a Big Ten game. It's an important game.

So you know, it's a tremendous rivalry in college football, and you can say all of the local, state, regional standpoint, but also a national standpoint. It's Michigan, Michigan State. You know, I kind of get geared up when Oregon is playing Oregon State, because that's a great rivalry. Those are fun.”

Hoke also spoke about the MSU OL. “They are big, which is the normal case. They are good-sized. I think they have had some guys get nicked up a little bit from the start of the year. But I think they are physical. They are well coached. When you look at zone stops and combination blocks and doubles, those things, where the shoulder tip is, all of those things; as a defensive line coach, I think they are really well coached and I think they are physical.”


Is Coach Hoke concerned about the MSU power running game and packages? “I am. And their tight ends, they are big tight ends and they are big, physical guys. So if they get in 22 personnel or those powers that they run or power pass, I think they do a great job with. Their tail blocks, blocking the edge, fullback in the flap, I think they have got -- they do a lot of stuff that we do, which is kind of nice. But they do it very well and they are physical as they do it.”