Michigan State already had secured the most wins in a single-season in school history entering the Rose Bowl.
With the first 12-win season at MSU, the legacy already was pretty set, but Pat Narduzzi wanted to make sure his team understood what more they could do.
“You come to Pasadena and win the Rose Bowl and you’re 13-1, I told our guys this is your legacy right now,” he said. “I think it will go down as the greatest team to ever play Michigan State football. To me, that’s what we preached. You win this game, you’re going to the best ever.”
With a 24-20 win against Stanford, the Spartans did just that locking up a 13-1 season and setting the mark even higher for single-season wins – and staking their claim as the best team in school history.
“I feel like it is a title we can claim,” linebacker Taiwan Jones said. “Michigan State hasn’t ever won 13 games in a season.”
Senior safety Isaiah Lewis, who graduates as part of the winningest class in MSU history, said he feels they have to be one of the best.
“I will rank us up No. 1,” he said. “This is the most fun team I’ve played on in my life. They said if we win this game, Michigan State had never won 13 games and if we win this game, we will be the best team to ever play here and that’s what we did tonight.”
Senior defensive tackle Tyler Hoover said he didn’t want to be disrespectful of past teams, but there is no denying what this team accomplished.
”I’m so proud of being a part of the team and the things that we accomplished,” he said. “I know there hasn’t been a team’s that one 13 games in our history. I think statwise, our defense has been around No. 1. It’s a lot of accomplishments by our team.”
Both Lewis and Hoover said the bar has been set to go to the Rose Bowl consistently now and nothing less. Being a part of the team that set that bar, cornerback Darqueze Dennard said he hopes that this 2013 team will be remembered as the best in Michigan State history.
“I hope so because I was a part of it,” he said, “but the team they are bringing back next year is going to be a great team as well and I see them competing for a national championship.”
It’s safe to say at the least the 2013 team upped the ante moving forward.
“Yeah, next year we are playing for a national championship,” Jones said.