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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


December 20, 2011


Pat Narduzzi


Q.テつ When you look at their offense what do you see?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You know, what sticks out most to me is obviously they're huge up front, pretty athletic, real good at the skill positions.テつ The thing that sticks out to me most is they really get the ball out quick.テつ First we thought it was three‑step.テつ It's a real quick five passing game, so they don't really give you a chance to get much pressure on them, so we're going to have to be very careful with pressure because they'll beat you with the ball.
Their tailback doesn't even stay in the protect.テつ He's going to free release all day long, so we're going to have to cover him up and get good four‑man pressure.テつ That will be critical.

Q.テつ Is your physicality an advantage for you?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ I think so.テつ We'll find out.テつ It should be.テつ Any time you're physical, it should be your advantage in any game really.テつ I think that's key.

Q.テつ With the linebackers when you look at the expectation, maybe just your expectations on the year and now looking at how they performed this year, would you say they far exceeded what you thought they were going to do this season?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You know, if I said far exceeded, if I said far exceeded, that means I had no confidence in what they could do.テつ As a matter of fact, Max Bullough after a press conference in the summer looked at me like I was crazy when I said I don't know, he's got big shoes to fill, we'll find out ‑‑ probably can't do it as well as Greg Jones did, and he looked at me like, are you nuts, I can do it better.
Our kids had confidence at linebacker, really at every position, but Max especially is one of those guys that looked at me like I can do this, Coach, don't worry about me.テつ Again, they've done what they're supposed to do, and I'm fired up for them.テつ They've done everything they needed to do.テつ They've met expectations, I think.

Q.テつ They have 12 different guys who have caught touchdown passes.テつ How difficult is it to defend a team that has so many‑‑ that spreads out the wealth so much?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Well, they're an 11 personnel lot, which means there's three receivers in the game.テつ His favorite target is his tight end, probably his roommate.テつ You'd have to ask them if they're roommates because they look like it and they went to high school together, so I'm assuming.テつ It's difficult, but you know what, it doesn't matter how slow that guy is out there or how big he is, if he's a 300‑pound wide receiver, you've go to cover them all, you can't say they're not going to throw to that guy because as soon as you don't cover them‑‑ so it's tough anytime they line up with four or five receivers and go run a route, that's what they're going to do; they're going to have five quick receivers.テつ They might as well line up on empty based on how much their tailback gets out on the route.

Q.テつ Does that mean that you're going to have to play more five and six defensive backs on a frequent basis?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ No, no, great question.テつ We won't have to do that.テつ We've got our outside linebacker on the field that's pretty athletic and he can play the run and the pass pretty well based on what he needs to do, so we feel pretty good with our base personnel.テつ They're a no‑huddle offense, so if we would have to go five or six D‑backs, you struggle getting those guys in, then they'll snap the ball quick and get you with too many ‑‑ illegal participation.テつ So that's one of our advantages to a no‑huddle is we don't have to switch our personnel.

Q.テつ If you can just touch on your defensive secondary and how much they've really come along this season and their ability to make plays back there and really intercept the pass, something you weren't able to do as much last year.
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Yeah, we've done a great job with turnovers, and obviously credit the pass rush with Coach Gill and Coach Tressel and Coach Barnett with the secondary.テつ He's done a great job with them.テつ Kids believe in what we're doing and they've made plays on the ball.テつ There was a couple times we didn't make plays.テつ I remember those more than ones we made.
They've done a great job.テつ Trenton was the only senior we have back there.テつ Isaiah Lewis has had a great year.テつ And of course Johnny Adams and Darqueze, who's back 100 percent right now, so ‑‑ and Mitchell White has really had a great‑‑ I don't want to call it camp, but Bowl practice, and he's stepped up and looked very, very good.

Q.テつ Mark talked about Denzel Drone moving inside playing some defensive tackle, said you'd have to take a look.テつ Obviously what's gone on?テつ Anybody else you expected to take some reps inside?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ The guy that's really looked good ‑‑ and Denzel will have a chance to do some of that, but the guy that's really looked good is Micajah Reynolds.テつ And again, like I've told you guys before, he's played a little bit of both.テつ Denzel has looked good and Micajah has looked really, really good.テつ He's looked the best he has playing inside.テつ So guys sometimes step up when they need to, and I think he's ready to go.

Q.テつ Last year even you talked about Denicos Allen and the plays he could make.テつ This year he had ten sacks, he talked about proving a lot of people wrong.テつ He's not a very big guy.テつ Do you think he's done more than even you expected this year?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You know what, again, we expect those guys to make plays, and we're trying not to put them on the field, but Denicos is an explosive kid and he's got an attitude to him and he's aggressive.テつ He's had opportunities to make plays, and whether it's been a three‑man rush or a four‑man rush, he's made those plays.テつ He's added in what he's supposed to add in; even if there's even coverage he'll add in.テつ So sometimes you're in a good spot and things happen, and sometimes he's been in the right spot at the right time.テつ But Denicos has done a tremendous job for us.

Q.テつ Does Georgia run a lot of trick plays?テつ Is that something you have to prepare for?テつ Did they run a lot of trick plays during the year?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Yeah, they've got quite a few trick plays with reverses and that kind of thing.テつ We've got a whole reel up there on what their trick plays have been the whole year and even all their trick plays from 2008 and a couple from 2010, as well.テつ We'll be prepared from all‑‑ you can't practice them all.テつ We'd exceed the 20 hours per week if we wanted to try to get that done.テつ We know what their favorites are; we know who some of their trick guys are, who the reverse guys are, and we'll prepare that way.

Q.テつ Following up on Reynolds, do you think that's ultimately where he's going to end up next season?テつ And then also, just wanted to know if you've seen any other young guys, any spots yet or anyone that you're looking forward to seeing looking toward next year?
PAT NARDUZZI: テつWell, Micajah's fate will be sealed.テつ As a matter of fact, it's funny you ask that.テつ Yesterday we just went into unit meeting, then we're breaking individually, going in with Coach Gill, and I grabbed him by the shoulder and said, you know what, if you keep playing like that you'll never see the O‑line again, okay.テつ So he's played exceptionally well, and really surprised us defensively because he's back and forth, and he's had great recall.テつ So if he plays really, really good, the offense may not see him.
The day after he has a real good day, Coach Staten is like, man, we could really use him to get a few reps on offense.テつ I said, sorry, you ain't getting him.テつ So he's‑‑ not today or tomorrow, but he's really played well.
And then some of the young guys, again, there's been a bunch of them.テつ We haven't had as many of those young day practices as we have in the past because of that championship week.テつ But Lawrence Thomas stands out to me.テつ He's a big, physical guy that had a chance for at least two days this week to step up and play.テつ He's physical, gets the defense lined up, tough.テつ He's done a nice job.
We're going to be‑‑ Ed Davis and Darien Harris are going to be three excellent linebackers for us, all three of those guys with LT.テつ That is a good linebacking corps.テつ I think I may have told you back in the fall, I don't think we missed on one kid on defense last year, so every freshman that came in I could say some about, whether it's Trae Waynes or R.J. Williamson, is going to be a great safety for us, and both those guys will play a lot for us next year, I can tell you right now.
And then on the defensive line, Damon Knox, every one of them, James Kittredge, Brandon Clemons, Shilique Calhoun, he gets in the other day against the one offense, and he's in two plays, he gets a sack.テつ He's going to be a great player for us.テつ So we've got a lot of guys here that have showed up, and they show up every day on the scout team.テつ Our offense tells us about it.テつ So we don't need a Bowl practice to find out if those guys are players are not.テつ They do it every day I hope.

Q.テつ Your thoughts on their freshman running back Crowell.
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ I think he's a very good football player.テつ I think‑‑ I've heard they've said it's open for competition.テつ They've gone times during the year where they've put a DB back there, a tailback and receiver, but I think that guy is the guy.テつ I'll be shocked if I don't see him in the starting lineup.テつ He's fast, he's explosive, and I think he's a great football player.

Q.テつ I know a lot of Georgia's receivers are young, and that was the case three years ago when you saw them, also.テつ Can you compare the receivers this time to what you saw three years ago?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Well, they had one young guy three years ago, and that was A.J. Green.テつ He was the baby.テつ But Massaquoi if I recall was a senior, I think.テつ So they had one older one and I think they both had just under 1,000 yards receiving.テつ Those were their two go‑to guys.テつ This year they've got more guys, they've got more depth there, but I don't know if they've got the talent of those two guys.テつ Don't get me wrong, I don't know if they're first round, second round, but those were two excellent players.テつ You don't see them being featured like A.J. Green and Massaquoi, but they're great players, and I'm sure they'll play at the next level, too.

Q.テつ They've got a couple of NFL‑quality linemen out there.テつ Is there anybody in the Big Ten that their offensive line reminds you of that maybe you've practiced kind of in that vein?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You know what, every offensive line is a little bit different.テつ As we talked, when someone said they're considered the biggest offensive line in the country, I was like, they're bigger than Wisconsin?テつ Are you kidding me?テつ They're probably like a Wisconsin I would say, obviously size wise.テつ They're strong; if they get their hands on you, they can put you on your back if you don't play with good leverage and good technique, so I would say probably like a Wisconsin.
I don't know if in the run game‑‑ they don't run the ball like Wisconsin so you don't see them trying to pound it at you like that.テつ They run a lot more one‑back sets so their offense is not built like Wisconsin but they're big and strong like Wisconsin.

Q.テつ Have you taken Isaiah aside since the game and talked to him a little bit?テつ Also about the late play down the field, have you had any extra conversation with him to kind of get him over that game?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ No.テつ Coaches have a lot longer memories than the kids.テつ He probably forgot it that night.テつ His dad probably talked to him in the hotel and said‑‑ but Isaiah, he's 100 percent in, and Isaiah is doing whatever he can do to win, and that play was not his fault, period.テつ And that's how it is.テつ There's 11 guys on the field and I can point out two other guys that did the wrong thing on that play and Coach Tressel could tell you that, as well, that could have helped Isaiah.テつ But it was a crazy call if I'm allowed to say that.テつ It was incidental contact, and I thought they threw that flag out of there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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