Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails Purdue Edition…
I’ve noticed a lot of rotation throughout the last two games on the O line. While I’m certain this bodes well for next year as some young guys get playing time, do you feel it hurts developing adequate chemistry among the starters as the season gets to a critical stage? Steve
Great question. I am always weary of rotation on the OL. In this case, Coach Staten has done a super job and MSU is better for it. The chemistry on the OL is critical, but with how they are doing it, the chemistry is there. Again, I am not usually a fan of that style. In fact, never have been before this year, but Coach Staten has been amazing in how he has handled it. I can also tell you he wanted to do more of this in the past and it wasn’t looked upon with great favor. Coach Staten has truly come into his own this year and at this point has to be considered the MSU offensive MVP, and he’s a coach.
Can you do an update on defensive lines at this point in the season? Can you comment on who is getting backup reps, and how they are doing? I know you try to give these guys the attention they deserve. Maybe give us a feeling for how things are looking for the rest of the season, and for next year when we will miss our current seniors. Thanks once again, Tim in Baltimore
Sure can Tim, and a great question. Of the 11 MSU DL on the depth chart, ONLY three are seniors and only two are starters. Add to that Demetrius Cooper who is NOT on the chart (redshirt) who was once the nation’s #1 recruit for 2013, he is a STUD already on the line. He is adding weight, but he is all he was spoken of, and Evan Jones is not on the depth chart. He is a redshirt sophomore who reminds a lot of people of JJ Watt; just needs some reps and he ISN’T listed. David Fennell has a real chance to be very good, a red shirt freshman who isn’t listed. Noah Jones and Devyn Salmon are two stud freshman not listed. The DL may be the most loaded spot on the roster before 2014 class arrives. Good times on the DL.
What is your read on the QB situation? Who is the “real” #2? I assume that based on his experience AM would be the guy to play if Cook got hurt or needed to sit for a play/series, however from what I have heard TOC is getting a lot of reps at practice. Edward
If you go on reps in practice it would be Tyler O’Connor. Because of how game reps have evolved, I can’t say that Dantonio feels the same. I have asked and his answers tell me the same story. TOC is getting reps and I can tell you that internally he has a TON of support. He is the real deal as well.
Glad that Coach D is our Head Football Coach. We are in good hands and I wish our fan base would trust that. Steve
Dantonio is the victim of his own success and the University. They rode his success hard (and they should), but as prices and donation requests have skyrocketed, they are selling that people are investing in championships. Spartan Nation has stepped up and paid it. MSU fans are loyal and as they pay more they want more. I have no problems with that. I can also add that they should demand more. Coach D is well respected among the fans and it is fair to be critical, but at the same time he has earned the right to make some mistakes. Good take Steve.
Hondo, I love your site, the magazine, the radio show and TV show. My wife calls me a Hondo addict. I am writing because from time to time you mention faith or recently on Twitter asked us to pray for a coach who had a parent die. For those of us who are evolved enough to understand that there is no deity, it is offensive. Whether it is Coach Dantonio, Costello the basketball player, or even Izzo’s new guard Lou Rawls I get tired of hearing about God while looking for sports. I am asking you to follow the words of advice from the man you respect in Jesus and not offend. Please stop it. You do such great work; I hate it when you ruin it with foolishness. Patrick
Hi Patrick. Thanks for taking the time to email. I thought long and hard about answering this in an article or privately. Because I do receive emails like yours, I thought it best to just put it on the table per say. I find your email sad for many reasons. I find it incredibly sad that you would have the audacity to ask me to stop being who I am because you might be offended. I have many friends and colleagues or acquaintances that I would never think of asking to stop expressing their beliefs based on what I disagree with. How sad that an “Evolved” person like you would see that expressing our beliefs and opinion (just like you did) is healthy in a free society. How can I, who has experienced firsthand the power of prayer, not ask others to do so for people when they hurt? If I know it to be successful and real, to not do it would be akin to having no care or concern for others.
Since you seem to put no stock or credit in Jesus, I want to set you straight on something you said about Him. Certainly if someone was claiming that you said things that you had not you would want me to speak up and support you. You said, “I am asking you to follow the words of advice from the man you seem to respect in Jesus and not offend.” I would suggest you read the Bible to find out what he said. Being such an evolved man, I would hate for someone to see and or hear that and laugh that your premise because it disagrees with Christ’s actual comments. I am sure you would rather read what he said then take someone’s word for it. You will learn that he actually said the opposite.
I am thankful for your email. I am sure others who support your position are thankful. I will not ask anyone to be someone they are not. I can also assure you that I will be praying for you and asking others to do the same. I am sure you are a fine man and I wish you well. Thanks for caring.
The game day experience at MSU sucks and is getting worse. I pay $600 dollars a ticket, just to buy a ticket. Do the math; I spend a hell of a lot of money to go to games. I then pay to park in a lot (P) with no restroom facilities. No, porta potties and long lines in the International Center do not cut it.
When we first started donating we were able to use the Engineering Building for restrooms. Several years ago the university stopped letting us use the building forcing my 80 year old mother (who has spent more money on MSU tickets than myself) to stop attending games. This weekend we were unable to use the restrooms in Wells hall as well. I have been to games at most Big Ten schools, Notre Dame, Rice, Texas, Colorado, Syracuse, Florida State, Arizona State, CMU, and Kalamazoo. No one treats their fans as poorly as MSU. Why? There it seems to me that for the money I spend on football tickets, hockey tickets, and tuition for my three children, and the money my father spends on football and basketball tickets, and the money the rest of my family spends on tickets we could be treated with a little respect. It’s no wonder students are not showing up or staying. I have been sent several surveys over the years. Each time I have brought these issues up. Things are getting worse not better. When will someone at MSU address these issues? Max
Hi Max. Sadly, I get so many MORE emails like yours about the MSU game day experience than I do praising it. I am working on some articles about tailgating, game day, and more. In there I will shed some lights on the politics that has hurt this experience. I assure you that Mark Hollis valiantly is doing all he can to make it a better time for you. Keep your eyes open for the coming articles.
Concerning the Spartan gameday experience and the need for its improvement, I have always felt the best way to create an electric atmosphere is to simply fill all the seats, which is usually on the fans and the quality of the football team. What exactly do you feel should be improved and what can be done to improve it? Thanks Hondo. Rob Lee
Hi Rob. There is so much that can be done. Starting with the fact that just like in Washington, there are some in the ruling class who forget they work as servants to the people. They are up in the ivory covered towers and not engaged with the everyday tax payer who is the boss.
Mark Hollis is a servant, Coach D is a servant. They care about the fan. You matter to them. There are others at MSU that do not share those beliefs despite professing that they do. They think that working for MSU gives them ownership. Some I fear forget that MSU is owned by the taxpayers of Michigan. I am working on a series of articles about tailgating and other issues and hope to address many things. Thanks for asking. I think the administration (non sports) is clearly part of the problem with the MSU game day and tailgating experience, but there is a ton of responsibility on the fans. I will attempt to fairly paint the picture soon.
Hondo, we did not see Nick Hill or TOC at all Saturday. Does this mean 1? That Hill is RB3 now? 2. That we will not be seeing our QB2 get reps simply for experience sake? Scott
#1 safe assumption, #2 please see a previous answer to a Tyler O’Connor question. This weekend will tell us all we need to know. I expect TOC to get significant reps.
Our consistency with unforced penalties continues. It seems better coaching for more discipline and concentration should clean most of that up. Is that the reason this has continued for so long? Thanks big guy. Tim California
Tim, I would ask this. Do you think they aren’t coaching to stop it? I would agree that they need to end, but to think that they aren’t addressing it would be unwise. They are. Sitting guys goes a long ways in fixing it and for some players it has come to that. Football is so emotionally driven that you can’t take that completely away. Great question that requires some tough answers.
Hondo, I just wanted to say thank you for the very kind words you had for Coach Warner this week on the radio show. You have been very critical of him in the past and despite your repeated comments about liking him, I wondered if it was personal. Your praise for him the last two weeks has proven my thoughts about you correct and that is refreshing. Jeremy
Thanks Jeremy. Coach is a great husband and father and performing at a high level with the MSU offense right now. He has earned that praise.
Hondo, we are halfway through the season, can I have your MVP of the staff, offense, defense and special teams? Kurt
Sure. Coach is easy with Narduzzi or anyone on D, but if you take away the obvious, Coach Staten has done a great job on the OL. He has been outstanding. Offense: Blake Treadwell. Defense: Max Bullough and Darqueze Dennard. Special teams: Mike Sadler.
Hondo, do you expect MSU to pick up some better type recruits on offense now that they are playing better? Keith
Well, they never lowered their standards, even when they were struggling. Some of those that they were going after had serious issues and talked to them, now that the performance is better they have no reservations.
There you go everyone, another week of your questions and emails. You can have your question or email used when you send me a note at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and put in the subject line Football Q/A