Answering Your Michigan State Football Emails and Questions…
Hondo – according to some of the pre-season reports AJ Troup was one of our more reliable WRs. Has his loss to injury had a major impact on the passing game? Rick
By all accounts, he was clearly a starter. A major impact? Judging on how the WR group played, I would assume losing a starter hurt, but I have trouble calling it major. Also don’t forget Monty Madaris has been hurt.
Hondo, not seeing Evan Jones mentioned or in depth charts at TE. Is this just him being a freshman? Ray
He is a freshman and the Spartans are so young at that spot it is hard to get reps right now.
When is someone going to ask coach D when some of the DB’s are going to get a shot at WR on third down? Tom
I plan to if the WRs don’t perform better this week. If they don’t against lowly USF, he needs to see if you have any eligibility.
Hondo – one of the things I would really appreciate your insight on is the back injuries that MSU players seem to suffer. Are the amount of back and neck injuries our players experience normal in college football and we only see the specifics at MSU or is there something else occurring? Maybe an unfair question but thought this might be a topic you have heard discussed in the program. Thanks, Chris
I don’t have the actual numbers in front of me, but covering college football the way I do they are common and don’t seem out of commonality to me.
Hondo, I know you have always said that you like Shoelaces so what did you think of his arrogant “Little Brothers” comments about MSU recently? Tyler
I think that he was 1-3 against his Little Brothers. I don’t understand why so many people get worked up about a player calling them a name who they beat 75% of the time.
Hondo- It is very discouraging to me that after all of last year’s problems and then have exactly the same issue this year. There is something major wrong with the coaching to have this be a surprise. I cannot believe the offensive ones practice against the defensive ones would be significantly different than what is experienced in a game. I know WMU’s corners are not better than the MSU corners. Larry Grubka
Practice is very different than games, but I do get what you are saying. I am not ready to say we have the same issues as last year. That was game one. Email me after Notre Dame and then this is a fair conversation. I have no issues being critical, but being fair is paramount.
Hondo do you think we see R.J. Shelton this week at WR? Darren
Hondo-Aren’t 2 or 3 out of 4 of these things on Coach Samuel? Poor route running, mental breakdowns, missed blocks, and not getting separation against a WMU team for guys playing who aren’t in their first year inexcusable. Scott
Scott, I think we saw last year and one game this year. He is responsible for his players. That is a fact. As stated above I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after one game. Ask me after Notre Dame.
It should. This offense needs an enema and not the one Notre Dame will give them if they don’t get it together. ND has the best D the Spartans will face outside of their practices against their own. They better get it right.
Hondo, I know that you don’t have any idea who I am, but I wanted to write and thank you. Living in Midland I know the Maxwell family and read you rather religiously since he committed to MSU. You have always spoken so highly of Andrew and even when you have to point things out and be critical, it has never been personal and always earned my respect. Just wanted to say thank you. My husband and I left the stadium early last Friday and don’t think we will return until next season. I have no issues with any fan or media member being critical, that is what you sign up for. I do when people make it personal and I applaud you for doing it right. (Name withheld)
Fans have every right to be angry. They don’t have a right to get personal. Not just in football, I think anywhere. You are right; Andrew is a great person in an offensive system that doesn’t work when you don’t have the players around you to make it work. Put him on the 2011 Spartans and I believe the perception of him changes greatly.
Hondo-I hope that Coach D read your QB article and either benches Maxwell or least limits him and let us see O’Connor. To use a term I have heard you say on the radio show “From your lips to God’s ears.” Joseph
I will be stunned if we don’t see a lot of Tyler on Saturday Joseph.
Hi Hondo, with all 7 receivers playing poorly and the QB play showing zero improvement over last season, at what point do you clean house with several coaches? Does this 4 million dollar budget increase change the future for a few of them? Ryan
I certainly think that the entire WR group played poorly, but I don’t think they all did. That said, after one game (I know more of the same from the last 13) I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt. If things don’t get fixed the $4 million better have an impact on some futures.
Hondo-I see no reason to get excited about this Season as this Offense will again lose several games. So assuming Coach D does not have the “nerve” to sit Maxwell & Cook and go with O’Conner & Terry, we have no chance of having an explosive Offense. It makes me sick to think we will waste the 2013 Top Ten Defense on another 7-6 Season. Brian
1) How can you question his “nerve” when the easy thing to do was to have played the true freshman and get a pass from the fans? If you want to question him that is fair, to call out his nerve is narrow-minded and frankly silly. If he was looking for the easy road he starts Terry last week and then the team struggles and fans say, “Well, he played a freshman.” I may disagree with how he has handled this, but as his friend and someone who knows him, your questioning his nerve is incorrect. The easy road would have been to have started Terry last week.
2) The thought of wasting this defense should really bother you and make you sick. It would be one of the greatest failures in MSU history if that were to happen.
Hondo-How will Terry get the opportunity to compete to be the 2014 starter when basically won’t he be the scout qb for this season? Actual playing time seemed to be the tie breaker for Maxwell to be the starter. Dave Emery
I do not think he plays this year. This is not a secret. I have said that for sometime. I wrote this summer that if Terry doesn’t play this year, Dantonio is making it clear he won’t be the starter next year to start the season because he WILL NOT start a QB with no experience. I asked Dantonio that and he agreed. Fair question.
Hondo-Was Kirk Cousins that good? Was Don Treadwell that important? Since those two individuals left, our program has not been the same. Is our coaching staff’s ability that inferior? I don’t believe U of M has kids far more talented than we do, but I do believe their assistant coaches are far superior to ours, why is that? Jay
Well, the 2011 Spartans were awful special and Treadwell wasn’t here. That was Roushar. To have for the last 14 games such a lopsided difference between the offense and defense both in play and development, your question is germane. They have two scrimmages (USF & Youngstown) to fix this.
Hondo-Andrew Maxwell leaves after the season and all others have multiple years of eligibility. If he were only 1 win better than the others (i.e. 10-2 Maxwell vs. 9-3 for the odd men out? 9-3 vs. 8-4? 8-4 vs. 7-6?), then why wouldn’t they move on and start getting the others experience? My point is 10-2 is a BCS bowl, so I would say that would make sense, but the difference between 8-4 and 7-5 is minimal, especially when considering the future and how many more game starts either of the three would have going into next season. My frustration is at an all-time high…and that includes some of the STUPID mistakes by JLS offenses. Thanks, Todd Burkhardt
I hear you and I can tell you that your email is the overwhelming sentiment that I am hearing. If your assessment on wins is accurate I agree with you 100%. The question is IF.
Hondo-I remember watching Mark Dantonio’s interview from Chicago with all the reporters. It was like 2 hours and you asked about Darien Harris returning kicks and the other media laughed at you. I thought it was strange also. When I saw them trot him out last Friday I just thought I would email and say good reporting. Benjamin
Thanks for remembering Benjamin. Not many do. I can’t take the credit; it is good sources who inform me of the inner workings and not my talent evaluation skills. We also talked about it back on May 2.
Hondo-I love the new show on WXYZ ABC 7 in Detroit. Great having some super MSU information coming under the BLUE WALL. Curtis
Thanks Curtis. Brad Galli and Tom Leyden are the dynamic duo of sports TV in the D and it is my honor. If you missed episode #1 you can CLICK HERE TO WATCH.
Hondo-I give you credit. You are critical but fair and since day one the eternal optimist when it comes to Coach D and his biggest supporter. I had my doubts when he came, but you were right. I trust you that he will fix it. Matt
Thanks Matt. I do trust Coach D. If they are unable to fix it this season he will replace those who are unable to get it done. I do trust him.
Hondo-was listening to the radio show and just about drove my car off the road as you told a story about a recruit getting a text about our offense. I couldn’t have heard it right. Can you please retell that story so I can recover because my hearing is bad? Christopher
Sure. MSU is going after a big time offensive player who I have had on the show before. He got a text from another BCS head coach after the MSU game who asked him, “You sure you can see yourself playing in that MSU offense? Better think hard.” OUCH won’t say the player’s name, but he told me that story personally.
Hondo-Keith Mumphery didn’t play well last Friday and I thought he was a better player. Any reason why he went bad? Carl
He was injured and I expect him better this week.
Hondo-how disappointed were you about Riley’s performance last Friday. Time to move him back to RB? Erica
Wasn’t disappointed at all. He was not 100% so you can’t judge him yet. Plus, it was his first game. Even Max wasn’t Max in his first season. Come on Erica.
Hondo-I was stunned that Jon Reschke didn’t play on Friday. How can he leave the MLB spot so empty Elsworth is a senior as well? Dantonio’s stubbornness against freshman will be his undoing here. Phil
Well, you are assuming. Did you ever stop to think maybe Reschke couldn’t have played? Coming into camp I expected him to play as well. I also know that they expected him to play and he did. Now I am expecting a redshirt. He is going to be a GREAT MLB at MSU. Great. Unfortunately for him, he probably won’t start that journey this year. He is a great kid, a model student and will be a super Spartan. I wish him well. I would back off on always assuming the worst in people. I bet other than Reschke, no one was more disappointed that the young man didn’t play than Dantonio. You also are forgetting that Darien Harris also plays the MLB, is a great player, and ONLY a sophomore. So your assumption that it was only Elsworth is also flawed.
There you go everyone that is your weekly MSU football questions and emails article. Keep them coming in. Send me yours SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com Please put Football Q/A in the subject line.