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ROSE BOWL GAME: MICHIGAN STATE v STANFORD


December 27, 2013


Pat Narduzzi


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

PAT NARDUZZI:テつ No, it's not overstated how much he means.テつ Obviously he comes back and wins 12 games for us this year.テつ But so does ten other guys.
But he's the leader of our defense, and he has been.テつ But other guys step up.テつ And it's just time for Darien Harrison and Kyler Elsworth to step up and show they can lead too.テつ They just haven't had the opportunity.テつ It's all about the opportunity.
If you don't have an opportunity to write for the newspaper, then you don't get to put your name on that article and you knew you could write and you watched growing up these other people write, and it's the same for those other guys.
You can write too.テつ Is it are you going to be in the Detroit paper or the LA paper or are you going to move to the New York times.テつ So it's just having the opportunity to write and keep your name out there.

Q.テつ Are you anxious to see how the entire defense collectively responds?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ No, not really.テつ I know how they're going to respond.テつ I don't have any doubt.テつ You can watch that in practice yesterday.テつ I don't have to wait till January 1st to see how they're going to respond.テつ They're coming out to play a football game.テつ Everybody's got their job.テつ We got 11 guys out there that need to do their job, and I expect those other ten to do the job like they've done all year, and I expect the new guys to step up and do it without question.テつ Like I said, I'm anxious to watch those guys play, because I know they can do it.テつ They just haven't had the opportunity.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You know, I don't know.テつ I mean as a coach, when you're done playing a spread offense like on a hot day, you're like, God, I'm so glad we get to go play a power team.テつ And then when you're game playing for the power team, you're going, God, I wish we could go‑‑ to me every offense is good because it's what they do.テつ And Stanford is good because this is what they do, and when you look at all the problems it gives a defense, you want something different.テつ And as soon as you get something different, you're like, oh, this has got problems, too.
There's problems everywhere.テつ So it doesn't matter if you're spread or three‑back offense, there's issues, and Hogan is an athletic guy.テつ And don't underestimate.テつ That guy can move, just put on the third down and long roll or tape, the guy can move his feet and run.テつ He's a big athlete.テつ To me he's very similar to our Connor Cook, which that guy can make plays on his feet.テつ So he's a threat throwing it and running it.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Well, you know, is it an A legacy or is it a B legacy.テつ And I think, you know, they've got here, and it's the first time since 1988 they got here.テつ We didn't come here to just play in the game; we came here to win.テつ And to me, we told our guys in practice in East Lansing, you're going to be remembered for what you do in your last game.テつ Everybody's going to remember the last game.テつ They're not going to remember that Ohio State game.テつ They're going to remember what you did out in Pasadena, and it's probably going to bethe game you guys will remember the most, too.テつ So I think that's the thing we've looked at, we're going out to win.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ So where are they now?

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ So I know?

Q.テつ The last six years or so, was it a program?テつ What was kind of the reception of it?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You know, I'd be the wrong guy to ask about what the perception was, but you know, obviously they've been to the Rose Bowl the last four years.テつ Is that correct?

Q.テつ Yeah.
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ BCS game the last four years.テつ That's what I remember.テつ I don't go back and study where people have been and what they did and what their image is.テつ I worry about what our image is.テつ We don't have time to go back and evaluate everybody else.テつ We're just really worried about what we're doing.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Oh, no question about it.テつ It's an impressive football program, just like ours.テつ And I think they're built similarly to what Coach Dantonio has done at Michigan State.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You know what, I didn't even think about that until you just talked about it.テつ I guess I was worried about stopping that power play and worried if I could tell if that guard was pulling or not.
But you know, it makes sense, and I don't even‑‑ you know, I haven't even thought about the format.テつ I know it's a playoff, four‑team.テつ Is it the Rose Bowl, is it in one of the four teams.テつ You know, I have no idea.
I haven't even looked at it, but based on what you're saying, I guess it was pretty good to get back here before the format changed.

Q.テつ What is it the matchup if there's one single thing or a couple of things that you have to win in this game that you look at?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Well, you've heard me say it plenty of times; we gotta stop the run.テつ That's the thing.テつ It's going to be won up front.テつ You win the game up front against a team like this.テつ And we've gotta be good up front.テつ Our two deep tackles that are in the game have gotta play strong; they've gotta play flat back, and if we don't win it in there, we won't win the game.テつ And we've gotta make it one dimensional.テつ You watch any of these bowl games or watch NFL games, which I had a chance to watch this past weekend, with Christmas break, and I see some teams go out there and give up runs.テつ They don't pass; they don't stop anything.テつ It just reaffirms what we do.テつ We've gotta be able to stop the runs.テつ So they can throw a fake up all they want, we're going to try and stop that run.テつ If we can't stop that, then we can't stop anything.

Q.テつ When you run the power play‑‑
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ We see it every day out of our offense, first thing.テつ So they run quite a bit of it.テつ If I had to go back to the schedule, Purdue runs quite a bit of it.テつ I'm trying to think of who else.テつ South Florida, who, you know, head coach there, Willie Taggart coached at Stanford.テつ So very similar offense there.
And there's one more.テつ I don't have the schedule sitting in front of me.テつ But similarities there.テつ Like I said over there just a few minutes ago, they're very similar to Wisconsin.テつ Wisconsin has got a bunch of offensive linemen in the NFL.テつ They're very similar to a Wisconsin team we played a year ago, and our defense held them to 19 yards rushing.テつ And I think they rushed for like 500 yards against Nebraska in the BIG TEN championship a year ago.テつ So they've showed the capabilities of running the ball against everybody, but we were able to shut the running game down.テつ So they were almost identical to Stanford.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Yeah.テつ It comes down to attitude more than it comes down to structure.テつ You know, you're playing football in a phone booth as opposed to playing it on a true football field.テつ And the spread offense is going to make you defend the 100 yards and 54 yards width, they're not making you defend as much of that.テつ They're putting you in a phone booth, and it comes down to toughness and attitude, and I feel like that's an advantage for us because I think we're built on toughness and attitude.テつ And I think that's an advantage for us.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Well, you know, I think they do a great job at play calling.テつ I think Coach does a great job play calling, running the offense.テつ And you know, I think that's most impressive thing.テつ It's almost like they script the whole game.
Some people come out and they have their first series is scripted.テつ They've already wrote it down like you're writing it down there, hey, first play is going to be this; boom, boom, boom, boom, they just keep going down the list, like this.テつ Really they did their‑‑ they've planned the game out like a video game and said I'm going to call this play; we're going to run X, O and then we're going to play action pass them.テつ Seems like they do that, they mix it up and keep you off guard as a defensive coordinator, so I think that's going to be the most interesting thing.
Someone asked me in there about the difference ‑‑ they asked Marcus and Shilique the difference between Stanford's offense and what we've seen in the past and all that.テつ But I think it comes down to all the game‑time adjustments we're going to have to make in this game.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Gosh, I don't know.テつ I mean we're No. 1 in the country in defense.テつ You know, I could say some games that we didn't.テつ You always look at the negative part of it than the positive.
But there was a lot of games.テつ I would say for three‑quarters of the Ohio State game, we put it together pretty good.テつ Third quarter wasn't very good.テつ I wasn't impressed with what we did in that quarter, but I'd have to have a schedule to look down and say which one was I most impressed with.
Let me see what you got there.テつ I don't even remember who we played.テつ As I look at that whole thing right there, I would say November 2nd, University of Michigan was a game that we were dominant.テつ We were ahead minus 48 yards.テつ Glad you brought that up.テつ I'm feeling pretty good about our defense right now.
But you know, they played their tails off that game; and they always do.テつ It's a big rival game.テつ And again, option played good in every game, but when you look at that, it's a blueprint for what we'd like to bring out here against this football team, it would be let's bring that attitude we had in that Michigan game and it would be hard to be beat.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You know, where are you from?

Q.テつ I cover Stanford.
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You cover Stanford.テつ Okay.テつ Being you cover Stanford, you probably don't know my quotes like the guys from Michigan know.テつ I would say stats for losing.テつ Really not impressed with stats.テつ Impressed with wins.テつ Most impressive one was those 12 wins.テつ I wanted 13. テつThat's the most unimpressive thing.
But you know, I guess when you look at what our philosophy is, our philosophy is to stop the run.テつ So if I had to pick a stat for you, it would be our ability to stop the run.テつ We're number one in rush defense.テつ I've seen teams that are No. 1 in pass defense probably number 120 in run defense, because they're good in pass defense because they don't have to throw the ball.テつ They're just running it down your throat.
There are some teams close by us that are similar to that.テつ The most impressive thing is we're going to force you to have to try to throw the ball a little bit more than maybe you'd like to.テつ And most impressive thing is our goal is to stop the run, and we've been the best team in the country to do that.テつ So I guess that would be to answer your question the most impressive stat.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Allen is a great football player.テつ He's athletic.テつ He's tough.テつ He's not the tallest guy in the world, but probably one of the tougher guys on our football team.テつ And you know, he made a big play against Ohio State, so that's the last play I remember that he made that was an impact play that put us in this game, for sure.テつ And he's been a solid force.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Darqueze is one of the best corners I've coached really in my 23 years of coaching.テつ Thorpe winner, I think that says enough.テつ He's a lock‑down corner that, I don't mind, people talk about how we put him on islands out there.テつ We've got him on safety watch, but we put him on islands out there, and they do a pretty good job of putting people in lockdown.

Q.テつ Shilique?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Shilique?テつ He's a freak.テつ He's over there.テつ Got a new nickname for you, Shilique.テつ Shilique the freak.テつ He's a freaky thing.テつ But Shilique is the first guy we've had in seven years at Michigan State that has the ability to beat a guy one on one all day.テつ He can beat a guy ‑‑ there's times we're blitzing and bringing six people, and man, everybody is one on one and nobody's getting off a block; even off a good defense.テつ And he's one of those guys that you kind of go, if there's one guy that can make a guy miss on a block, it's him.テつ And so he's a great pass rusher.テつ But we talk about the run game.テつ He's a guy that's not the biggest defensive end in the country, but he's a guy that uses his hands well and plays off block and makes plays.テつ I think to be able to do that he's just a fundamental guy.テつ He's got great hands.テつ And he did a year ago.テつ He's an explosive guy when he doesn't look like it either.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Well, you know, I recruited him out of North Middletown High School.テつ Saw athletic ability.テつ That's what we're looking for.テつ Not necessarily looking for the biggest, strongest guy, but we're looking for guys that have athletic ability.テつ I watched him on the basketball court slap his hand against the back board and be an athlete.テつ He's just a great athlete.テつ Just running routes as a tight end and showed athletic ability, but did you know he'd be this tough.テつ Did you know he'd be this athletic.テつ No.テつ You never know.テつ You never know when you bring these guys in.テつ You try to see it on the football field; you try to see it on the basketball court, and besides all that, you love his personality.テつ You can tell when you talk to him for five minutes that personality wise you fall in love with him on the phone.テつ You fall in love with him when you see him.テつ You're like, I want to coach that guy.テつ So when he's got all those other things and you like his personality, you know, you talk to some guys and they're dead, they're like, mmm.テつ He ain't one of those guys, and I guess he's got a personality maybe like me and that's what you want to coach.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ You'd have to ask Coach Dantonio that, Joe.テつ Someone mentioned earlier here about the new format next year.テつ They said it was important to get to the Rose Bowl this year, because next year is it the same format.テつ I don't even know.テつ I haven't looked that far ahead.
What's today?テつ Friday?テつ I haven't looked to Saturday yet.テつ But you know, it's hard to say what the next step is.テつ But if we get to the Rose Bowl every year, I think it's a pretty good step.テつ If you asked our kids that, let me tell you this, a couple of years ago whenever Coach said Rose Bowl, our kids are like, "Rose Bowl, we want to go to a National Championship game."テつ So they've been saying it for years on the side kind of, we want to see the National Championship, Coach.テつ Rose Bowl, that might be just third or fourth or fifth spot.
But Coach has been here before.テつ He's got more experience with Michigan State than anybody.テつ And he kept saying Rose Bowl, and ultimately that's where we are and was our next step, I guess.

Q.テつ When you guys are all in the room, the coaching staff, is there a calming force among the four of you?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Defensively?テつ We're all different, you know.テつ Harlon is laid back a little bit in the meeting rooms.テつ Ron's loud in the meeting rooms.テつ Tress is right in the middle.テつ So there's all levels.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ It depends on what hour.テつ I probably talk more than anybody.テつ They're probably like "shut up over there."テつ But we're all about the same.
I think, you know, we've all got what we need together as a staff.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Ron's got an enthusiasm.テつ He's brought something to the sideline that maybe I give when I come down there in the fourth quarter, or whenever I decide to come down, if I come down at all.テつ But Ron just brings a little bit more energy, I guess, to our defensive line, and I think our guys are excited about what he's brought this year.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ Yeah.テつ We are related.テつ We're all brothers.テつ But there's no question about it.テつ Being together as long as we've been, you know, we could finish each other's sentences, but more importantly, at meetings or on the field, I look at Harlon and he's like, "I got ya."テつ I don't have to tell him.テつ I'm like, "Harlon, did you see that?"テつ "I got ya."
It's things like that where we can adjust on the run faster than anybody.テつ Because we've seen it for ten years.テつ We don't know what Stanford's going to do to us.テつ You got any ideas?

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ But you know, we've seen every different style. テつWe've seen‑‑ I'm sure there's going to be 30 percent of their offense, even though they do what they do, there's going to be about 30 percent where they tweaked it and changed it just a little bit.テつ Might be the same formation but a different run play, different blocking team.テつ And you might not even see it.テつ You guys won't be able to see it for sure.テつ I might not see it the first time they do it, but the second time they do it up in the booth, that wasn't that.テつ It was this, they did this.
There's going to be different adjustments we're going to have to make on the run, and it's easier because of the ten years to make those adjustments and all be on the same page.
It's hard when I'm up there, me and Harlon are upstairs, two guys are downstairs, it's hard to communicate.テつ But communication makes it a lot easier.
When you talk about what Ron Burton has done, there's things that he sees on the sidelines and I'm writing them down up there and then we'll go through it at the end of a series, and I'm saying, "hey, Ron, da, da, da."テつ "Already covered, Coach."テつ That never happened before.テつ So he's covering things before I even say it because he knows what we need and he's also watching his four guys, and I'm trying to make adjustments with the secondary, boom, boom, boom and the front seven.テつ And when I mention it, he's like, "I got it already, Coach."テつ So that's been great for us.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ We never know what's coming.テつ Could have another seven wins or six or five coming.テつ You never know.テつ You say you win championships with defense.テつ I knew we'd be good defensively, but I didn't know we'd win more than seven games like we did a year ago because it doesn't matter because it's a team thing, you know.テつ I just coach a third of the team, try to coach a third of the team, but you know, offense and special times are two critical units, I guess, and all three of those gotta come together at the same time.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ We like to blitz a little bit.テつ Ask Stanford that question.テつ I don't know.テつ I feel like we do more than most.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ There is and there isn't.テつ I mean you pick and choose and pull stuff from all different areas.テつ Our pressure pack is something that I just developed probably back in the early 90s with a guy named John Peterson, who was the old head coach at Minnesota.テつ He kind of put it together, so I gotta give him credit because it's off the wall what we do, I think.テつ So we do some things that I don't think Stanford has seen before, but they've seen similar stuff, and a great coach is able to adapt to it, I'm sure.
But you know, I coached back as a GA at my years at Ohio back in, what, 1989, I believe, was my first year of coaching as a GA.テつ And that defense we ran back then was very similar to what we're doing now, but again, every year you're tweaking it and pulling and finding new stuff to do.テつ We didn't run blitzes much.テつ We played a lot of base defense.テつ But we're very similar to what we were back then, and that defense came from really Miami, Florida, back when Tommy Tuberville was the head coach there, and I think Dave Wannstedt was maybe his coordinator and all that four‑and‑three‑quarters coverage stuff.

Q.テつ Do you want to be a head coach?
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ At the right spot.テつ Stanford, yeah, heck yeah.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ It's the adversity.テつ You win seven games and guys don't want to face that seven‑win season again.テつ So I think that helps any team.テつ It's like how do you prepare for next year when you win 11, 12, 13, 14 games.テつ It's a lot harder keeping your guys, hey, this didn't happen by mistake.テつ I think after you win seven games, it's easier to win more the next year because kids don't want to do that again.テつ They don't want to go through it.テつ Coaches don't want to go through it, they coach harder.テつ Players don't want to go through it, so they play harder.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PAT NARDUZZI:テつ I don't know if you see it, but you know, they all got hearts.テつ That's what makes you tick, and I think that's all part of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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