The week before the annual rivalry game between Michigan and Michigan State is never anything short of interesting, to say in the least.
On Wednesday, University of Michigan running back Fitz Toussaint decided to throw a little gasoline on the fire by pulling out the "little brother" card again and slapping it across the face of Michigan State fans everywhere.
Toussaint, who grew up in Youngstown, Ohio in a world consumed by the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, was asked if he felt the MSU and U-M hatred was more nasty than that of U-M and Ohio State and he instantly agreed.
“I believe it,” Toussaint said. “We labeled them as a little brother. And, you know the little brother always want to prove themselves and try to beat up the big brother one day. I think they really take offense to that.”
The Wolverines' running back claims to have personal reasons for his logic behind his statements. Past spurns by Michigan State, including four-straight wins over Michigan from 2008-2011, http://www.examiner.com/article/michigan-state-lb-bullough-named-top-defensive-players-discusses-ap-top-25-snub?cid=db_articlesmade it personal for the young player.
“In 2011, I think we were there at Sparty,” Toussaint said. “After the game, they told us to get off the field. They told us to get off the field. I don’t know (who), they told us to get off the field. That’s all I remember and that’s very disrespectful. It’s kind of like you know it’s a business trip but, deep down, somewhere in my heart, it’s personal. That’s how I’m going to approach it.”
Still, many of the Michigan players, Toussaint included, are hoping to save the nastiest bits for the game itself this weekend in East Lansing at Spartan Stadium. Words are just words, and in the end, another notch in the win column is what it really comes down to for both teams.
“It’s mainly about on the field,” Toussaint added. “They can keep their trash they’ve already talked, they can keep all of that. We just want to keep calm, keep our composure and play the way we should play.”
Toussaint couldn't help but end the interview by boasting as to how good it was going to feel to win in Spartan Stadium again - something the Wolverines haven't done in over five years.
“It’s going to be better in their house,” the running back said. “I feel once we go over there and take care of business, it’ll feel a lot better than 2011. So last year, in the Big House, we went out there and played ball (winning 12-10). We expect to win the in the Big House. That’s what we do. But over there’s going to be a different ballgame.”
Of course, should they lose, it'll all just be more fuel for the fire next year.
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.