Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…
Hondo, I was fascinated to hear your explanation of “THE PLAY” from the Rose Bowl that Kyler Elsworth made. I have not heard that broke down like you did and I only caught the last 30 seconds. Could you explain it again in your Q/A article and by the way I love to hear you on national radio shows? Keep up the great work. Craig in Phoenix
Hi Craig, thanks for the kind words. Like I always say on Twitter #AmericaLovesTheSpartans. Very simple, everyone knows about Kyler Elsworth’s great play to seal the victory against Stanford in the Rose Bowl. But what a lot of people miss is while he went high Darien Harris from the left and Shilique Calhoun from the right pinched low. Elsworth should get a lot of credit for a great play, but what made the play work was the entirety of the team. Had Shilique not made an amazing move from the outside and Harris not had the speed to get low as quick as he did, the running back would have simply gone to the hole vacated by their failure. It was a great play by all.
Hondo, what is the best and worst news so far coming out of camp? Trent
Best news is Michael Geiger. He is money from 55 yards in and let me put that into perspective. Now Michigan State has to get to the 38 of their opponent to know points are going on the board. That is a very big deal. The worst would simply be the failure of Taiwan to solidify the middle. He’s a great kid and a very good football player, but that is very concerning.
Hondo, who will win the MLB position? Do you think it is still up for grabs? Wesley H.
It is 100% up for grabs; however Mark Dantonio will certainly get a chance to put it to rest on Monday. Jon Reschke got a lot of reps in the scrimmage and is pushing hard for the job.
Hondo, do you sense that the team is overlooking Jacksonville State for the Oregon game? Dan in Chicago
Not at all! Mark Dantonio has done a terrific job of reminding his players that Jacksonville State has several players highly recruited by SEC teams and with all the success of 1AA teams against Power 5 conference programs, one loss can derail the dream. I would say the opposite. I suspect a lot of people will feel sympathy for Jacksonville State.
Hondo, can you tell me how Darien Harris did at the MIKE linebacker on Friday in the scrimmage? Jordan
He didn’t do well at all. He got zero reps at the MIKE. He looked VERY good at the STAR.
Hondo, last I heard from you on recruiting you had quoted Dantonio on him sticking to 14 commits on the year. Is this still the case and we only have 1 spot left, or do you think he’ll open that number up further? Loving the recruiting success as of late! Thanks. Josh Wahlstrom
Josh, I have stated numerous times the 14 number I expect to go as high as 17 to 20 depending on if any players leave early for the NFL. However, Michigan State is being picky and extremely choosy on how they fill the final slots of what has turned out to be so far an amazing 2015 class.
I’ve read that about 300 coaches from other schools have come to MSU for defense clinics this year. I wonder how long this kind of thing has been going on? And what can the Spartan staff possibly disclose? I assume the other coaches know the basics and Narduzzi’s group is not likely to give away any real secrets. So as an outsider I’m a bit surprised by all this. Tim Price
Thanks Tim. With every game being on TV and all programs sharing film resources on HUDL the old saying the tape doesn’t lie is true. Because the defensive scheme at Michigan State is constantly evolving, sharing and helping coaches to where you were last year doesn’t necessarily give them advantage because of where you are going this year. As far as how long this has been going on, the great amazing and wonderful Duffy Daugherty used to travel around the country and teach clinics like this and he hired some of the best head coaches in the nation to go with him. This is standard operating procedure in the coaching world.
Hi Hondo, Despite losing our big TE in Michael Dennis this year, do you think we will still see that 6 linemen package on the field regularly? And who might fill that role? Thanks, Nathan Husted
Great question and as long as Mark Dantonio is the head coach at Michigan State the loss of one player will never take away that package. Let me go as far as saying, I think we could see 7 man fronts. I am referring of course to Matt Sokol, Josiah Price, Andrew Gleichert, and Jamal Lyles.
Hondo, I know you’ve explained the position designations before, cornerback positions, how do the X, Y, and Z wideouts relate to each other and where the players line up? Bill Kerans
Great question. The X is the name for the old split end. X WR lines up on the line of scrimmage, usually your bigger or at least strongest receiver. They can push through tight man on man coverage. The Y is your slot guy. Strong and can handle the threats as well as the middle. In a two WR set when a TE moves to the slot he takes the Y position. The Z is your old flanker. Lines up occasionally off the line of scrimmage and they are helped by that getting quick separation so they can burn down the field. Here is a diagram:
X T G C G T Y
Hey Hondo, what ever happened to the old four, three stunt defense from the Perles age. Seemed to raise havoc with everybody, ever see Duzz using it for a few plays? Thanks Ed Buysse
We do see that occasionally, but with the evolution of the passing game and the zone read rushing attack used on a consistent scale like Coach Perles did would not be wise now.
Hondo, with Dantonio being so tight lipped on injuries do you know of any from the scrimmage? I would assume there were some with Dantonio calling it, “Hard hitting.” Thanks Sergio.
There were several guys nicked up and one starter who will miss 6-8 weeks. Thankfully, his position is one of depth and strength so although you never want to lose anyone, I believe the loss can be mitigated. I am sure as you read this, you are wondering who that player is. I will let Coach Dantonio tell you that on Monday, but again although disappointing it is not disastrous nor will it change my expectations for the season.
There you go everyone. That is this week’s question and answer article. If you have a question never hesitate to email at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and put in the subject line FB Q/A