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A 3rd-generation Spartan, LB Max Bullough embraces Michigan State's rivalry with Michigan

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    FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2013, file photo, Michigan State lineback Max Bullough protects during an extra point attempt during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in East Lansing, Mich. With a family history at Michigan State that stretches back decades, linebacker Max Bullough can provide a unique perspective on this week's showdown with rival Michigan. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)The Associated Press

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    FILE - In this Dec. 26, 1989, file photo, Michigan State's Charles Bullough (41) chases a play during the Aloha Bowl NCAA college football game against Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii. With a family history at Michigan State that stretches back decades, linebacker Max Bullough can provide a unique perspective on this week's showdown with rival Michigan. Max's grandfather, father and two uncles, including Charles, played for the Spartans. (AP Photo/Barry Sweet, File)The Associated Press

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    FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2013, file photo, Michigan State's Max Bullough watches from the sidelines during an NCAA college football game against South Florida in East Lansing, Mich. With a family history at Michigan State that stretches back decades, Bullough can provide a unique perspective on this week's showdown with rival Michigan. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)The Associated Press

Max Bullough isn't about to downplay Saturday's clash between No. 24 Michigan State and No. 23 Michigan.

In fact, wanting to beat the Wolverines is pretty much in his blood.

Bullough is a linebacker for Michigan State's top-ranked defense. His grandfather Hank played for the Spartans during the early 1950s, and his father Shane followed suit in the mid-80s. Two of Bullough's uncles also played for Michigan State.

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 the Big Ten defensive player of the week earlier this month.