Michigan State

1983 - 94 Spartans
(Authentic Reproduction)

George Perles had been one of Duffy Daugherty's players in 1958 and had become a GA after a knee injury cut short his collegiate career. He had the pedigree of being a former Spartan player and coach and having the singular distinction of a pro coaching career that included being the defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steeler teams of their Super Bowl dynasty years. He was widely given credit for developing the Steel Curtain line and defense and expected the same level of performance from his Spartans. He changed the uniforms in a manner that would reflect a tough, new attitude. The Kelly green shell was simplified and adorned with a one-inch white center stripe. A four-inch full block white "S" logo was placed upon the right side of the helmet only, perhaps mimicking the Steeler logo that was famously worn only on the right side of their helmets. White one-and-one-half inch full block "vista craft" type numerals were placed on both the front and rear of the helmet and the entire piece was set off with a white mask. As the suspension helmet era was ending, the ascension of Michigan State football was beginning as Perles steadily built the record from 4-6-1 to a 6-6 bowl season to 7-5 and another bowl. By 1987, the Spartans had returned to the Rose Bowl

On January 1, 1988 It would be number eight Michigan State versus number sixteen USC as the Spartans traveled to Pasadena for the first time in twenty-two seasons. With the Big Ten carrying a six game losing streak into this Rose Bowl game, all eyes were on the Spartans as they at first fell behind USC 3-0 on the Trojans' second possession and then answered with a seventy-six yard drive that culminated in Lorenzo White's five-yard sweep around left end. A Bobby McAllister-to-Andre Rison bomb of fifty-five yards gave the Spartans a 14-3 second quarter lead but as the second half rolled by, Rodney Peete rallied the Men Of Troy with a thirty-three yard touchdown pass to close the gap at 14-10. MSU tallied a three-pointer from forty yards out, then watched Peete finish an eighty-yard Trojan drive with a twenty-two yard TD throw to Kevin Henry, his second touchdown reception, with only 8:33 left in the game. McAllister took charge and on a third-and-eight play from his own thirty, beat a frenzied USC pass rush and found Rison on the Southern Cal thirty-four. Blake Ezor took over, rushing six consecutive times to set up John Langeloh's go-ahead field goal. The Spartan defense rose up to stifle the Trojans last-gasp drive, intercepting a desperate Peete pass on their own thirteen with but three seconds left in the game! USC had dominated the statistics but the Spartans of Michigan State had won the Rose Bowl, 20-17.

Perles recruited players who wanted to see MSU back on top, tough, hard-nosed players like FB Bobby Morse, TB Lorenzo White, Big Ten sack leader Travis Davis, versatile Todd Krumm, and receiver Andre "Bad Moon" Rison. Perles made Michigan State football relevant again and the tradition continued under Nick Saban  and will continue under 2007's new coach Mark D'Antonio. 

If interested in any of these MSU helmets please click on the photos below.