Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

Hondo, I really appreciated your candor and straight forward reporting.  As I watched your video of the entire two hours Mark Dantonio spent at a round table I was intrigued by a question you had for Dantonio and his answer.  No one else seemed to pick up on it and I would appreciate it if you would clarify.  You asked coach if the biggest thing for Macgarrett Kings was that he needed to grow up and coach said, “I would say yes.”  Can you elaborate?  Quinn

Sure.  Kings has NFL talent and God given skills.  Kings needs to understand that, grow up and appreciate it, and take advantage of those gifts before his chances run out.  Coach agrees with me as you can see.

Hondo, on the video you posted of Mark Dantonio at a round table you asked him if he would be shocked if Darien Harris ended up the #1 middle linebacker and he said no.  As a student, I heard Taiwan Jones this summer talking and it sounded like he wanted to stay outside.  Have you heard that?  MJ

M.J., Taiwan did NOT tell me that, but I have also heard that from multiple people.  I can’t confirm he feels that way, but with multiple people telling me they had heard the same, I find that interesting.  I am going to ask him Monday.

Hondo, I was not a fan of your work because I am a fan of another school, but I am now.  As I watched you grill the Penn State coach on ESPN I was so glad someone at least attempted to hold him accountable.  His skirting your question showed me all I needed to know about him.  Keep up the great work; you have a fan in me now.  Glenn in Pennsylvania

Thanks Glenn.  I don’t think I grilled him.  I did my job as a media person and asked a tough question.  Crying and telling your players you are staying when you aren’t and telling the fine people at Penn State their facilities are worse than Vanderbilt when they clearly aren’t is either two gross examples of being misquoted or being disingenuous.  Coach Franklin’s answer I think spelled out clearly which one they were.  On a side note, the media who cover anything from sports to politics are NOT cheerleaders.  We have an obligation to tell the good and the bad.  If we do our job right, we will hopefully have a lot more good news to report than bad, but it is our job to be your eyes and ears.

Hondo, you are a fat piece of crap that doesn’t deserve to breath the same oxygen as the rest of the planet.  Your question to coach Franklin was unacceptable and you should lose all credentials from the Big Ten.  If you worked at Vanderbilt you would want out as well.  Everyone wanted the Penn State job and telling those players he was staying was part of the business you fat pig.  Todd D.  P.S. We Are Penn State and Sparty sucks you disgusting pig.

Thanks for those kind words Todd…Can’t wait for the Christmas card. 

Hondo, since last year early you have been a strong supporter of Connor Cook.  I am just curious as to why you are not as concerned about all the dropped interceptions last year as others seem to be?  What am I missing?  Karen

Not missing anything.  I have mentioned the dropped interceptions, but I am not as concerned as others.  Connor has grown a lot as a young man as most do in college.  He is getting better and as part of the maturation process I am not worried about that.  I expect his interceptions to go up this year, because I think he will throw more passes. Connor is fine.

Hondo, I think Dantonio should bench Cook now.  Terry is the future and let’s ride that train while we can.  He is the next Fran Tarkington and we need to take advantage.  Do you see that?  Frank Davis

What do I see?  You are delusional and sadly like many in our society today are never happy and always looking at tomorrow because you are so miserable in your life today.  I think you play the best player at any position.  I know in today’s America this isn’t popular, but I am still a Free Market Capitalist that believes in competition being healthy and good.  I think every position should always be up for grabs.  If Terry beats out Connor, he should get it, BUT he hasn’t.  Terry still hasn’t beat O’Connor who is a super QB as well.  What more does Cook have to do?  The MVP and championship trophies from the Big Ten and Rose Bowl are blinding me from “seeing that.”

Hondo, I loved Coach D’s comments in Chicago about the Spartans would have won the national title if there had been a playoff last year.  I also was stunned to hear him say at ESPN that those comments were taken out of context.  How did you miss that?  Brian

I didn’t.  Coach may not have meant them the way he said them, but that was CLEARLY what he said.  I suggest you CLICK RIGHT HERE watch the video for yourself and watch and see what was said and you be the judge.

Hondo, I am curious about Damon Knox.  What do you think of Damon?  Carrie Ann

Hi Carrie.  I really like Damon.  He is not flashy, he doesn’t seek out the limelight, and in fact, I would say he almost has a surly look at life, but he is a good young man.  He works hard and frankly, I do like him a lot and think he is going to have a very good year.  He isn’t Shilique and he won’t win a lot of personality competitions and that is OK.  It takes all kinds.  What he is is genuine, a hard worker, a nice person, and a very good player.

Hondo, this will seem dumb I guess, but I first learned about MSU having a “Viper” package when you reported about it when we were recruiting William Gholston and you said that MSU wanted him at DE, but would also attempt to stand him up as the outside backer in the “Viper.”  We didn’t see that much and then I read recently that you said they were going to do that with Shilique.  Did they learn their lesson by not using Gholston or is Shilique better?  Phillip in Wyandotte

Hi Phillip.  I would say that Shilique and William are different.  Once Gholston arrived and even as time went on his skill set at MSU would be best served with his hand on the ground.  Shilique has a different skill set that can handle both equally well and getting him standing up in Viper situations allows him to be a free flowing conduit of sheer violence and wreckage heading to the quarterback or as he calls it:  “AWOL:  Animals With Out a Leash.”

Hondo, you explained MSU having a 3-4 Viper package with Shilique and then you also talked about them stunting the defensive tackles to the wide nine and I was lost.  What is stunting, what is the wide nine?  Sorry I am trying to learn.  Robin from Traverse City

Hi Robin.  No problem.  I need to remember that I should clarify and always reduce to the lowest common denominator.  My 9th grade Algebra teacher Ms. Drach would appreciate that. 

Stunting is when you get players to move laterally before attacking vertically up the field whereas they would normally go straight ahead.  For example if this is how the offensive line was set: 

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

E    T    G    C    G    T    E



Each number represents how the defense marks the spots along the line.  For example if you hear a coach call a player a “2 technique” it simply means they align themselves directly OVER the guard.  A “5 technique” simply aligns to the outside shoulder of the tackle.

Going wide nine on a stunt is simple.  It means the DT would stunt (go down the line of scrimmage) until he got to the outside of the end of the line and then proceed up on the line.   In this case it would be the E (TIGHT END). 

Now as you can see in our scenario, the outside of the TE is the “7” hole.  The reason it is called the WIDE 9 is because occasionally teams have TWO TE’s and consequently that would make “9” the outside.  Because the defense doesn’t know the offensive play call when you call it, going “WIDE 9” it simply means get your butt to the outside on the line and get up field and go hunting.

By the way, as I previously explained when MSU goes to a “Viper” formation it means they would line up like this instead of their usual 4-3 formation and into a 3-4 formation.

Here is the usual Spartan formation 4-3:  four defensive lineman and three linebackers



    DE       DT DT    DE

OLB           MLB          OLB


Here is the usual Spartan VIPER formation 3-4:  three defensive lineman and four linebackers



   DE          DT       DE

     OLB     LB       LB     OLB


Lastly Robin, when MSU does the stunting of the tackles to the wide 9 that is called TACO scheme, because they are going outside and up essentially wrapping the QB pocket like a TACO.  I hope this helps you out.

There you go everyone.  That is this week’s question and answer article.  If you have a question never hesitate to email at and put in the subject line FB Q/A

About Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.

View all posts by Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is the founder and publisher of and all of the family of services. The idea was birthed when overseas he ran into a Spartan not native to the United States who was wearing his Green and White proudly. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest information about Michigan State and Detroit Sports News every day. He resides in the Mid Michigan area. Follow Hondo on twitter here: @hondocarpenter.

2 Responses to “Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…” Subscribe

  1. Jason August 1, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Sounds like Todd from Penn State is going through little boy withdrawal. Keep up the great work Hondo!

  2. Yori J. Horan August 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    This actually a comment got Todd D., which must stand for derelict. I see Todd u are not a Penn State Alum or Student as their vocabulary is more polished. But, don’t give up there still hope you can get your GED.