Narduzzi: 'We aren't going to slow down'

Michigan State defensive coordinator says Spartans will try to tackle lower, but can't really change the way they play.

With the NCAA putting a focus on targeting hits this season, college football teams are facing potential challenges with tackling this season.

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said the Spartans won't change how they play, but might try to tackle opponents lower.

"We're not going to change anything," Narduzzi said, "but we may just tackle you a little bit lower because we don't want to deal with if in doubt, whatever. We don't want to get into that if in doubt, throw the flag.

"So, I can't guarantee that is going to happen all the time but we are going to try to tackle the same. We aren't going to slow down, but we are going to try and tackle a little lower."

Narduzzi explained the Spartans do some drills in practice for tackling, but the focus already was to stay low when bringing down opponents.

"We try not to target, but it's not going to change the way we play," he said. "We don't want our kids thinking about it. We do a thing called swing tackle, one emphasis we have made is we like to tackle people low. We call it a swing tackle, where aiming for the thigh and once in a while we are out there for a tackle circuit, and guys are taking out with pads low. …

"If a guy puts his head down, who knows what is going to happen, so there is all that judgment there but we are going to try to take people out lower, so we will try to stay out of that if we can. We would rather sweep their legs out than sweep their head out."

Narduzzi said the Spartans have talked about playing smart football early this fall, which included tackling.

"We talked about it the first day," he said. "We talked about playing smart football. Quarterbacks dance down the sideline. More and more, I think, quarterbacks dance down the sideline. They don't want to run out of bounds, they want to take as many yards as long as you don't hit them. … You have to be smart when the quarterback is out of bounds and we also have to be smart with the new targeting rule, which will be an emphasis for everybody.

"I don't think we will have a problem with it."

Read what Mark Dantonio, Max Bullough and Darqueze Dennard said about the targeting rule at Big Ten Media Days.


Spartan Digest Top Stories