Todd Duckett: ‘Michigan State Opponents View Game As Their Super Bowl’

Cato June, who starred at Michigan, and Todd Duckett, who starred at Michigan State, dropped by CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show on Wednesday to discuss this weekend’s showdown between their alma maters, as well as the House Divided Challenge.

June and Duckett are having a friendly contest to see who can raise more money for their respective charities: Jaguar Football Club and New World Flood. The “loser” has to wear his rival’s school colors and post a picture of it on social media.

No. 12 Michigan (5-1, 2-0) hosts No. 7 Michigan State (6-0, 2-0) this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

June and Duckett both have full confidence in their alma maters, but perhaps only one should. Michigan has won five straight since its season-opening loss at Utah, while the Spartans won their last two games against Big Ten bottom feeders Purdue and Rutgers by a combined 10 points.

Duckett was asked if he was worried.

“Not at all, not at all,” he said. “Coach Dantonio has created a culture. We’re looking at what has happened this past couple weeks – we’re not playing well. We’re wearing this No. 2 (ranking) that we’ve never really worn before and we don’t understand that we don’t walk into these games as Michigan State; we walk in as the No. 2 team. So a lot of these games, the team (we’re playing), this is their Super Bowl. If they win this game, they might not win another game the rest of the year, so we’re getting teams’ best effort. I don’t think we understood that until we started to feel it and get into the fire. The reason why I say this culture is different is because all those games – the close games – Michigan State has lost those in the past. They always have lost those in the past. Whenever it came down to that last scenario, somehow they always lost by a point here, two points there, a touchdown. Now they’re winning those.”

June, meanwhile, isn’t at all surprised by how quickly Jim Harbaugh has turned Michigan around. The Wolverines have allowed just 14 points in their past five games combined and have posted three consecutive shutouts.

“I knew they had a great coaching staff and they’ve done a great job of turning things around every place that (Harbaugh has) been,” June said. “I thought we would have the same amount of success. They’re playing great defense right now – and anytime you can play great defense, it makes everything else easier. Typically when you have a great defensive team, that means your special teams are pretty solid, too. That’s two parts of the game. When two parts of the game are clicking and buying into the idea of playing tough – I think that’s what this football team has done. It’s why they’ve surprised people – because they’ve turned it on and they bought into his philosophy. You can see they’re playing with passion and playing the type of football that we’re used to seeing on Saturdays.”

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