Right before No. 24 Michigan State and No. 6 University of Michigan kicked off their contentious rivalry game Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium, U-M junior linebacker Devin Bush Jr. started stomping on the Spartan head logo in the middle of the field after an altercation with MSU players during the Spartans' pregame routine.
This all began after MSU players began to do their usual pregame march across the field where they walk arm in arm. Junior quarterback Brian Lewerke stated he was informed one of MSU's coaches warned U-M players that the Spartans were walking, but some Wolverines, including Bush, did not move.
“We were doing our normal pregame walk,” Lewerke said. “I guess maybe we might have been a little late, but we always link arms, walk down the field. ... They didn’t (move to the side) so we just kept walking.”
The Wolverines would go on to beat the Spartans 21-7 and after the game U-M coach Jim Harbaugh described the pregame altercation — in which he said he was informed MSU players "clotheslined" U-M players and ripped junior defensive back Lavert Hill's headphones off while doing their pregame walk — as “total bush league”, and said coach Mark Dantonio was aware of it. “(He) was standing behind it all with a smile.”
"Apparently coach Dantonio was five yards behind it all smiling," Harbaugh said.
When Dantonio was asked about the situation, he denied it.
“That’s B.S.,” Dantonio said.
Senior safety Khari Willis stated that the two teams went back and forth with some “chirping” before and during the game like any normal rivalry game.
“We asked some people to move, they moved,” Willis said. “Some people didn’t move and a little bit of chirping started happening.”
Harbaugh is currently 2-2 against Michigan State as head coach of the Wolverines. Dantonio is 8-4 against U-M.
Junior linebacker Joe Bachie mentioned that his team has never had a problem like this before during their pregame walk, and Harbaugh's comment has no affect on him or the Spartan's program.
“I don’t control how their brain works and how they think,” Bachie said. “That’s how they think over there and that's fine. Coach D. has been doing a great job, he's won 8 out of 12 against those guys. ... We’re just going to push forward and ignore whatever they say.”
As for right now, the Spartan players want to move forward from this game as they get ready to take on Purdue next weekend and continue to fight to stay in the top 25.
Bachie said Harbaugh and the Wolverines’ comments will not affect him or his teammates.
“I don’t really care what he (Harbaugh) does or what he says about this program or this rivalry,” Bachie said. “We know what this games means over here … we gotta bite our tongues and move forward.”