No. 5 Michigan topped Michigan State 21-7 Saturday afternoon in East Lansing, and a war of words has ensued since then.
The Spartans locked arms during pregame warmups with coach Mark Dantonio walking behind, and they kept going through several Michigan players. Linebacker Devin Bush later scuffed up the Michigan State logo -- and the field itself -- at the 50-yard-line with his cleats. After the game, Harbaugh commented on the incident.
"Apparently they clotheslined two of our guys, came out in their helmets. Lawrence Marshall was put under clothesline, an old-fashioned clothesline. Ripped off, one of their guys ripped off Lavert Hill's headphones. Total bush league, and apparently coach (Mark) Dantonio was five yards behind it, all smiling. I think it's bush league, that's my impression of it."
Dantonio called Harbaugh's comments "BS" when asked to comment on Harbaugh's take during the postgame press conference. Apparently, Harbaugh wants the last word. The fourth-year coach of the Wolverines expanded on his version of events during his normal Monday press conference.
"When you host a team, each team shares the field," Harbaugh said, via 247Sports. "Each has a sideline, each has half of the field to warm up on. Michigan State locked arms and used every inch of the field in their walk in attempt of going through or over our guys in a physical manner. To call that unsportsmanlike or call that bush league is putting it mildly. That could've been a real unfortunate incident. As I said, it's the opposite of BS. Coach said that was BS, it's not. That's fact. I think it's something the two athletic directors should talk about."
Harbaugh also addressed his star linebacker tearing up the Spartans logo and the field prior to kickoff.
"I don't blame Devin," he said. "I like the way our guys handled it."
Michigan State issued a statement Monday afternoon about Harbaugh's comments from earlier in the day (via Matt Charboneau of The Detroit News),
Michigan State issues statement on pregame alteration with Michigan. pic.twitter.com/zPKbaZwaUX— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) October 22, 2018
Later Monday evening, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel sent out a statement on the subject.
Statement from UM AD Warde Manuel pic.twitter.com/PuA1Yuv09s— angelique (@chengelis) October 23, 2018
The pregame incident, postgame quotes and battle for the last word is something you'd see from siblings. Defensive end Chase Winovich covered that base on the field when asked about the win.
"We knew they couldn't hang with us... Sometimes your little brother starts acting up, and you just gotta put them in place."— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 20, 2018
- @Chase_Winovich was wildin' postgame after @UMichFootball beat Michigan State. 👀 pic.twitter.com/MGXX3V9UAp
Michigan will host Michigan State in Ann Arbor on Nov. 16, 2019. It's probably safe to assume that the next meeting between the rivals will have plenty of fireworks on and off the field.