Following a frustrating 28-24 loss to Nebraska on Saturday, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi found solace in declaring Cornhusker quarterback Taylor Martinez a faster runner than Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
Martinez ran for over 200 yards against Narduzzi's defense, getting loose for two long touchdown runs before delivering the game-winning touchdown pass with 17 seconds remaining in the game. The electric performance by Martinez forced Narduzzi to compare his play to that of Robinson, and the Michigan State coach couldn't help taking a shot at the quarterback from the Spartans' intra-state rival.
Narduzzi's comparison brought a response from Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. While Michigan lost to Nebraska the prior week, Mattison's defense was able to keep Martinez from running wild. As for Martinez's speed, Mattison thinks his quarterback in Ann Arbor wins running away.
Mattison was asked if Martinez is faster than Robinson.
"No," Mattison said, stopping to answer. "Not even close.
"If (the two) ran a race today, (Martinez) wouldn't even get in the medal round."
Nebraska does have the edge in the Legends Division race thanks to their win over Michigan. Both teams are 4-1 with three regular-season conference games to play.