December 20, 2012

Narduzzi on bowl practice

EAST LANSING - Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi does not expect to see anything from TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Dec. 29 that Michigan State has not already encountered in games against various spread offenses this season.

"You know, that prototypical spread offense with quarterback that runs and can break contain," said Narduzzi. "They're going to mostly be a four wide-out set."

Narduzzi expects TCU to run much of what his team sees each year against Northwestern.

"I think they're very (similar) not just because of the color purple that they wear," said Narduzzi. "They have similarities to a lot of different plays. You can say, oh, that's the same play Nebraska ran, that's the same play so you pick and choose, but if you had to say there's one team that they're very similar to is Northwestern Wildcats. That's what they do, a lot of the similar packages, alignments by the receivers. Without a doubt I think they're very similar to what they do there."

Familiarity with the TCU offense, however, does not guarantee Michigan State success against the Horned Frogs. Narduzzi expects his Top 10 defense to be tested by their bowl opponent.

Narduzzi respects TCU's wide receivers.

"Probably 50 percent of their offense is four skilled receivers," Narduzzi said. "(They are) as good as we've seen this year, I think."

The Spartan coordinator also respects red-shirt freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin, who showed substantial growth as a starter over the course of the year. Michigan State coaches expect Boykin to be even better coming out of December bowl practice.

"TCU has definitely gotten better, Boykin at quarterback, very athletic, can make things happen with his feet," said Narduzzi. "I think he's matured at that position as the year has gone on, and I'm sure this Bowl practice has been good for him, too, so I'm sure we'll see some things that we haven't really practiced for."

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