Michigan State is headed to a New Year's Six bowl!
On Sunday afternoon, it was revealed that the newly-annointed No. 10 Spartans will battle No. 12 Pittsburgh in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 30 in Atlanta, Georgia.
This is Michigan State's first New Year's Six bowl inviation since 2015, when they fell to Alabama in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl as a part of that season's College Football Playoff.
The Spartans opened 2021 with an eight game winning streak, including a 37-33 victory over eventual Big Ten champion Michigan. Michigan State lost to Purdue and Ohio State in tough road games down the stretch, but closed their regular season with a 27-24 victory over Penn State in East Lansing.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh opened this season with back-to-back wins before a surprising upset loss to Western Michigan in Week 3. The Panthers bounced back with four straight victories, including a 27-17 win over perennial ACC power Clemson on Oct. 23.
Following another upset loss, this time to Miami (FL), Pittsburgh closed their season with five consecutive victories, including yesterday's 45-21 win over Wake Forest in the ACC Championship game.
The showdown in the Peach Bowl will feature two Heisman Trophy contenders in Michigan State tailback Kenneth Walker III and Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.
The bowl game will also feature a familiar face on the opposing sideline, as former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi will lead the Panthers against the Spartans.
Narduzzi was hired by former MSU head coach Mark Dantonio in 2007, and the pair won two Big Ten Championships with each other. The former defensive coordinator led some of the best Spartan defenses in recent memory, which earned titles such as the "No Fly Zone" and "Spartan Dawgs". Narduzzi was hired at Pitt ahead of the 2015 season, and he has compiled a 53-36 record with the Panthers over the last seven seasons.
Meanwhile, Mel Tucker has led Michigan State to 10 wins in just his second season at the helm in East Lansing, the fastest head coach in Spartan history to accomplish the feat -- Dantonio first won 10 games in his fourth season at MSU.