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Daily Brews: Mark Dantonio playing nice with Jim Harbaugh ahead of rivalry renewal

Neither head coach is going to submit to becoming a soundbite this week.

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Rey Del Rio

Mark Dantonio and Jim Harbaugh have thrown verbal jabs at one another in the past and many were hoping for more of the same entering rivalry week for the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans, but both coaches are playing nice this week in their media availabilities.

Dantonio spoke during his Tuesday press conference about the matchup and called Harbaugh “a hall of fame” football coach and each level of the game.

“I think they are doing a great job defensively, offensively, and he’s a good football coach,” Dantonio told told the media on Tuesday. “The guy’s a hall of fame football coach, whether it’s the NFL or whether it’s in college, so you can expect them to play well.”

He expanded on those comments and complimented Harbaugh for “outside the box” thinking and his competitive nature.

“I think he does a great job,” Dantonio said. “I think he’s truly committed to every single play on the football field. He’s going to think outside the box. You have seen him do different things in the past that create adjustments for you, and then you’re going to have to adjust within that football game. Is extremely competitive, intense. But you know, I think most coaches are.”

Asked for two words to describe Harbaugh, Dantonio used one twice.

“Two words?” Dantonio said. “Intense, and I would say intense.”

I don’t buy that either guy feels the way they do about each other, but kudos to them for being adults publicly, especially after how last year’s game went in East Lansing. One would suspect that this may change come Saturday.

Michigan-MSU ‘doesn’t have to be’ a dogfight

Michigan and Michigan State have met in what has become one of the better rivalries in the Big Ten over the last number of years with most games being competitive. However, if offensive lineman Michael Onwenu had his way, that would not be the case on Saturday.

Onwenu spoke to the media on Tuesday night and spoke about some of the players he knows from the rivalry and why Michigan can end this game on its own terms by not having it be that close.

“I think I know two of the D-linemen, and a few through the secondary,” Onwenu said. “Last year, it was a dogfight. And it doesn’t have to be that way.”

“It don’t have to be a close game (if) we come out and play like we did the last few weeks.”

Onwenu and the Wolverines are hoping that the bye week has helped them rest up while also preparing more for the task at hand.

“I think the bye week did fall on a good week for us. We’ve been playing well these last few weeks, and now we can play even better with a few days of rest.”

Isaiah Livers recaps win over Creighton

Here’s a quick video from Michigan forward Isaiah Livers after the 79-69 win over Creighton on Tuesday night. He spilled the beans on some of the team’s first half struggles, including why Eli Brooks got angry at him for suggesting the cause of the offensive rebounding woes.

Full takeaways from the game can be found here.

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