ATLAS TWP. — A renewed interest to get the Michigan State University Alumni Club (MSU GCAC) back to its days of glory was kick started wtih a spring tailgate event that featured guest speaker and MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi last Friday at the Atlas Valley County Club.
Sparty was in the house along with the MSU cheerleaders and members of the MSU GCAC, who gave annual recipients of the 2012 MSU scholarship awards a larger-than-life experience. The event ran 6-8 p.m. and cost $20 per person that included dinner, the honors program and non-alcoholic beverages.
Narduzzi, in his sixth season as defensive coordinator, has Goodrich grad Kyler Elsworth as part of his special teams’ stable. Narduzzi has done what MSU best defined as “developed the Spartans into one of the top defensive teams in the nation.”
In 2011, Narduzzi’s defense had its best showing since his arrival in East Lansing. Michigan State led the Big Ten in rushing defense (100.5 yards per game), total defense (277.4 ypg.), interceptions (18) and third-down defense (.337). The Spartans ranked among the Big 10 leaders in passing efficiency defense (second with a 113.3 rating), sacks (second with 45), tackles for loss (second with 105), turnover margin (third at +0.50 per game), red-zone defense (third at .763), passing defense (third at 176.9 ypg.), scoring defense (third at 18.4 points per game) and takeaways (fourth with 25).
MSU also ranked among the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Top 20 in seven statistical categories: sixth in total defense, seventh in sacks, ninth in rushing defense, 10th in scoring defense, 11th in pass defense, 14th in tackles for loss and 18th in pass efficiency defense. The Spartans held five teams to their season lows in total offense (Florida Atlantic, Central Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana) during the regular season and on five occasions, MSU limited their opponent to seven points or less.
The foundation of Michigan State’s defense is stopping the run, and Narduzzi’s unit once again proved it could stop the rush in 2011, ranking first in the Big Ten and ninth in the nation, allowing just 100.5 yards per game. Four teams–FAU, CMU, Ohio State, Georgia–posted their season lows in rushing against the Spartans, and MSU held seven opponents to under-100 yards rushing. MSU has finished in the top 30 nationally in rushing defense three of the past five seasons, 30th in 2007; 24th in 2009.
For the second year in a row, Narduzzi was named the National Coordinator of the Week by Rivals.com following Michigan State’s victory over Michigan. The Spartans held Michigan to regularseason lows in total offense with 250 yards, 82 rushing and 14 points in 2011.
To get back on track with the local chapter, log on to www.MSU-GCAC.com