Hear the Conversation 54:06 – 30.9 mb mp3
Spartan Dawgs Andre Hutson, Todd Duckett and Tim Bograkos share their memories from the MSU/Michigan rivalry. And they invite fellow Spartan Dawgs Jehuu Caulcrick, Dan Conroy, Craig Thomas, Aric Morris, and Todd’s brother Tico to share theirs, too.
“Something that fuels the hatred is that those guys feel like they invented the game of football,” cracks Caulcrick.
All the Dawgs agree that the intensity gets ratcheted up several notches in practice the week before the game.
“The coaches’ intensity picks up, the game planning picks up, the players practice harder – guys go after each other and fights break out in practice because guys are just working so hard. That intensity is why you go to Michigan State or Michigan – to play in a game like this,” says Caulcrick.
Bograkos recalls how the outcome of the game would determine Coach Izzo’s mood and, thus, the intensity of basketball practice that day.
“My dad graduated from Michigan State, so growing up in Chicago I always knew what the rivalry was about,” says Conroy. “But I never really felt the emotion until I got on campus and got around my teammates who grew up in Michigan.”
“If we play them in bowling, the intensity will be high,” adds Thomas. “It doesn’t matter what sport we play them in. You’ll always see the best punches thrown by each team in this game.”
Duckett shares his memories of the wild final minutes of the Spartans win over the Wolverines in 2001 when he caught the winning touchdown with time expired.
“I didn’t know if I was open, and it seemed like the ball hung in the air for twenty minutes,” says Duckett. But I was going to do whatever I had to do to catch that ball!
“I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to leave that mark on this rivalry.”
Todd’s brother Tico says Coach Perles always told the team that the X’s and O’s went out the window once this game started and “it was all about beating up the guy across from you on the field.”
Morris recalls the ’99 game when the Spartans built up a big lead and then held off a furious Wolverine comeback lead by a young Tom Brady.