MSU-UM rivalry changed for Narduzzi in 2007

Spartans defensive coordinator found the rivalry after his first game against the Wolverines, when the Spartans lost late in the fourth quarter and it became personal.

Despite growing up in Ohio, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was not exposed much to rivalries with Michigan.

He did not take much from the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry -- nor the Michigan State-Michigan rivalry -- as his father, Bill, was a coach at Youngstown State.

"I was a whoever my dad coached for fan," he said. "So I was a Penguin fan when we lived there.

His first exposure to the heated Spartans-Wolverines rivalry came in 2007, which is when he said it all changed. The Spartans took a 24-14 lead with 7:40 to play in the fourth quarter, but two Wolverines touchdowns in the final 6:47 gave them a 28-24 win.

The final score, a 31-yard pass from quarterback Chad Henne to Mario Manningham is when Narduzzi said it turned for him.

"It changed more in the first year, then after that it’s a rivalry," he said. "After the first year when we got beat here at Spartan Stadium on a Mario Manningham pass it changed after that one."

It was not just a change for Narduzzi, but also for his family, including his kids. He said his kids heard about the loss as the went to school the following week.

"When you ask what I think of after that game and what we felt like after that game, what my kids felt like going to Haslett public schools after that game," he said. "My kids got razzed by teachers, if you can imagine that, and kids as well. It was kind of like, ‘Your dad screwed it up.’

"That kind of thing. That hits right about there. That’ll get your heart pumping. That’ll get cranked up."


Spartan Digest Top Stories