No surprise, rivalry game gets physical
Perhaps the biggest complaint coming out of Saturday’s matchup between then-No. 23 MSU and then-No. 11 Michigan was the amount of personal fouls on Spartans.
A lot of fans — both Wolverines and Spartans — called the Spartans’ play dirty, at least at times.
Most notable were two calls on sophomore defensive end William Gholston. He was flagged for a punch at a Michigan offensive lineman and called again for twisting Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson’s helmet.
Gholston, who spoke with the media about the subject Saturday after the game, said he got over-emotional.
“You got to be able to control your emotions,” Gholston said. “You can’t let it take you over the edge. I had too many personal fouls, and I guess I went a little too far. But you can’t play this game without emotion and love and passion. So the more passionate you are the better you’ll play.”
Gholston could certainly be in for a suspension when No. 4 Wisconsin comes to town this weekend. With the game being such a huge Big Ten battle, Gholston’s potential absence could prove costly for the Spartan defense.
Junior tackle Jerel Worthy noted the penalties (13 for 124 yards) also. He believed they were a result of just playing hard.
“We had a lot of personal fouls today, but at the same time, that’s just playing football,” Worthy said. “That’s just us hustling to the ball. That’s just us being relentless and everything like that.”
Michigan’s player chimed in as well, calling it the nature of such an intense in-state rivalry game.
“We knew what type of game this was going to be,” defensive tackle Mike Martin said. “It was going to be a tough, physical game. Coach (Brady Hoke) kept talking about keeping our poise and composure as a football team. I think we did a good job on that side of it; we just have to do a better job of listening to the coaches and executing what they tell us to do.”
Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs added the following:
“No I don’t (think they played dirty),” he said. “I’ve played in this game before, so I know how it goes.”