ann arbor – Not long after Michigan crushed Penn State, the Wolverines’ focus turned to Michigan State.
Both teams have next weekend off before meeting at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29 for the annual grudge game. Michigan State has won twice in a row — 27-24 in 2020 as a tremendous underdog at Ann Arbor and 37-33 last season at Spartan Stadium, the only Big Ten error for the Wolverines during the Big Ten championship season.
The Wolverines (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) certainly enjoyed staying unbeaten behind 418 rushing yards in Saturday’s 41-17 win over Penn State, but their focus had already turned to Michigan State.
“He comes up the tunnel and tells the boys they had a great game, Blake (says Corum): ‘Off to Michigan State, coach,'” said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. “Offensive line, a damn good performance. I mean, (418) yards, folks. That’s great. “Coach, on to Michigan State.” OK. i like where your head is Let’s just keep going.”
Michigan edge rusher Mike Morris, with center Olu Oluwatimi at his right, said he welcomed the opportunity to rest his body without a game to prepare for this week and the Wolverines would use the time wisely. Oluwatimi nodded in agreement.
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“We can relax our bodies a little bit and then boot back up, have more time to prepare, more time for game plans and plans against the team,” Morris said. “But the urge to hit her won’t stop this bye week. I feel like I’m not going to rest mentally and take my mind off what we need to achieve. So I’m going to prepare mentally, but physically I’m going to rest my body.
Michigan last had the Paul Bunyan Trophy, which goes to the winner of the in-state rivalry game after winning in 2019.
“We want Paul back. We want him back,” said second quarterback JJ McCarthy. “They come to our house. I don’t know if it’ll be under the lights, but it might be, (and) we’re ready for it. We’re going to turn the page (after the Penn State win) very quickly.”
Mix it up with Penn State
at halftime, videos surfaced of the Michigan and Penn State players barking at each other in the tunnel on their way to their locker rooms.
Morris said the Nittany Lions had been poking around Michigan social media for how they were going to win that game.
“Man, they started talking. All week they have been Twitter fingers and speaking to us on social media,” Morris said. “We all said to each other, they want their Twitter fingers, they want to talk on social media, OK. And then they didn’t talk on the field. So they want to talk at halftime because they got lucky. But yes, it is.”
McCarthy said he did not see the incident in the tunnel.
“I was late,” McCarthy said. “I didn’t really see what was going on but just from how they were emotionally out there in the half and how emotional they were the whole game I wouldn’t be surprised if they started and we just finished it would have.”
Michigan had led 13-0, fell back a bit and went into halftime with a 16-14 lead.
Post-game, Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart appeared to take a subtle jab at Penn State coach James Franklin on Twitter. Franklin tweeted on Friday after arriving in Ann Arbor: “Michigan, Michigan, Michigan!!! #We are.” He did this for street games.
After Michigan’s win over the Nittany Lions Hart posted on Twitter: “Penn State, Penn State, Penn State!!! #GoBLUE.”