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Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne facing off against his dad's Western Michigan team Friday night

Posted at 6:34 PM, Sep 01, 2022

EAST LANSING, Mich. — It will be a family affair inside of Spartan Stadium Friday night. Michigan State starting quarterback Payton Thorne's dad, Jeff Thorne, is the offensive coordinator at Western Michigan.

"You know I'm not paying too much attention to it. My family and all of my friends are excited," Payton said. "For me, it's I'm playing Western Michigan. It's not a big deal to me."

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker said he will talk with his QB about knowing what to expect to allow him to prepare for the moment.

"I don't think he's been in this situation before. He says that it's not a distraction for him. It's a human performance business, and that's his dad. So we have to address it and talk about it," Tucker said.

After Jeff accepted the job, the two realized quickly they would be on the field against one another.

"After he took the job, I think we kind of realized, 'Oh shoot, we play week one,'" Thorne said.

Payton said it was a competitive household growing up, and family game wins were always earned.

"We used to play ping-pong in the basement all of the time, and he's pretty good. He played when he was younger, and he would smoke me when I was first starting to learn," Payton said. "I got better, and the first time I beat him, I went up and was yelling at my mom all excited."

Payton said his mom will be wearing green and white but have a Western hat for when the Broncos are on offense.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday at Michigan State. The game will be on ESPN.

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