User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Golf
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Bullough embracing Michigan St-Michigan rivalry

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - When Max Bullough was growing up, he'd occasionally ask his grandfather about Michigan State's decades-old rivalry with Michigan.

Advertisement
Hank Bullough never seemed all that willing to play along.

''He's always said the same thing, and he's always been very calm about it,'' Max Bullough said. ''This is another game. We've got to go play and we want to win it, and it means the same thing as every other game does. And I always expected a different answer.''

Now, the younger Bullough can offer his own answer, and like the rest of the Spartans, he isn't about to downplay Saturday's clash between No. 24 Michigan State and No. 23 Michigan.

Perhaps times have changed a bit - it's easier for fans of both teams to antagonize each other than it was 60 years ago - and Max Bullough learned at an early age that this is no ordinary game.

''I'd go to school and other kids liked Michigan, and we'd start talking back and forth even when we were little,'' said Bullough, now a senior linebacker for Michigan State's top-ranked defense.

''When you're a kid in middle school, guys are rooting for each of their teams, and in elementary school, I think that's kind of where it starts to grow, at least it did for me.''

Hank Bullough played for Michigan State during the early 1950s, and Max's father Shane followed suit in the mid-80s. Two of Max Bullough's uncles also played for the Spartans.

The family legacy is ongoing. Max's younger brother Riley is a redshirt freshman this season.

Hank Bullough is well aware of how important this game has become for both Michigan State and Michigan, but there is an air of matter-of-factness in his voice when he talks about his own playing days.

''When I played here, we'd won 28 straight games, so we beat everybody,'' Hank Bullough said.

From 1950-67, Michigan State went 13-3-2 against Michigan, but the Wolverines had the upper hand for the next four decades.

In 2001, Michigan State pulled off a 26-24 win in East Lansing when Jeff Smoker threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Duckett on the final play.

Max Bullough was 9 years old at the time.

''I was right here, fifth or whatever row down on the 50-yard line watching,'' he said. ''That was one of the craziest things ever. I don't remember going to many games when I was that young, but I remember that one for sure.''

Michigan won the next six games in the series, and after the 2007 meeting, Wolverines running back Mike Hart referred to the Spartans as a little brother.

Spartans coach Mark Dantonio famously warned that ''pride comes before the fall'' - and Michigan State beat Michigan four straight times after that.

The Wolverines snapped that streak with a 12-10 victory in Ann Arbor last year, and both teams still have Rose Bowl aspirations heading into this weekend.

Michigan State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) leads the nation in total defense, while Michigan (6-1, 2-1) is averaging 42 points per game.

Bullough was selected Big Ten defensive player of the week earlier this month, after he had 10 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in a 14-0 win over Purdue.

''Bullough gets them lined up,'' Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. ''He's intelligent, a coach on the field.''

When Michigan State held a news conference Tuesday, each participant brought a slightly different approach when discussing this weekend's opponent.

Cornerback Darqueze Dennard didn't even want to say the word ''Michigan'' - he claimed he didn't want to ''give them acknowledgment.''

Dantonio said he likes Hoke, but added a qualifier: ''You guys can print all this: Just because you like somebody in the family doesn't mean you like the whole family.''

Bullough was last to speak, and he was asked about Dantonio's role in fanning the flames of this annual matchup.

''I think if you come to a school like Michigan State and you don't admit that Michigan is our rivalry, if you don't emphasize it or you don't point to it and obviously say we want to win that game maybe a little bit more than all the others, then you're lying to yourself and you're lying to your team,'' Bullough said. ''Everyone knows that we're excited to play this game, and so are they.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: Friday's Tip Sheet
ASA: Big Ten Report - Week 9
SportsBoss: SBPI Rankings - Week 9
Williams: ACC Report - Week 9
Williams: Pac-12 Report - Week 9
Rogers: Bad Company - Week 9
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 9
Miami manhandles Virginia Tech, 30-6
East Carolina wins, but UConn covers
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
11-5 L16 Picks, +1,758 This Year
6-2 Sat., 26-10 L36, +1,740 TY
15-6 L21, 23-7 L4 Sat., +1,528 TY
5-1 Saturday, 17-8 Totals TY
11-2 Record L2 Saturdays
18-10 Record L4 Saturdays
17-9 L26 Picks, 20-10 L8 Saturdays
6-1 L7, 9-3 Guarantees TY
35-21 L56 Picks, +1,086 TY
7-1 Guarantees This Year
9-4 Last 13 NCAA Guarantees
10-4 L3 Saturdays, 17-8 L25 Picks
5-2 Last 7 NCAA FB Totals
4-0 Last 2 Tuesdays
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 1758
Dave Cokin + 1630
Kevin Rogers + 1628
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 380
Kevin Rogers + 355
Pat Hawkins + 315
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 67 %
The SportsBoss 63 %
Kevin Rogers 63 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 590
Scott Pritchard + 460
Chip Chirimbes + 380
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 1077
Stephen Nover + 820
Tony Stoffo + 540
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1170
Kevin Rogers + 1010
The SportsBoss + 560
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest