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Answering Your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails...

Answering your Michigan State Football Questions…


Hi Hondo, Why don't the Spartans really use any counter plays in their backfield? I'm not talking WR reverses but like old Redskin counter-trey for example. I think this might help the running game considering man on man zone blocking isn't cutting it right now and LB's are just flying downhill to get to L. Bell. Derek

Obviously I am not Dan Roushar, but I can tell you that with all the flux on offense the issues have not been schematic. They have been execution. I agree that some variety would be nice, but a coach can’t add while execution is the problem. I am not afraid to be critical of the staff, but I also know they don’t make plays. They would like to add and make adjustments, but just like in school you can’t move on from addition and subtraction to division and multiplication until the first is mastered. Now that is an over simplification and certainly the playbook is more advanced, but I do think you get my point.


Hondo, can you give me any good news with the offensive line? I am seeing a lot of movement and changes with injury, but they aren’t getting better. I know all the stats, but last week we played a defense that gave up 700 yards of offense the week before. Cathy

Cathy, I would disagree on one point. They are struggling, but to say there is no improvement is not fair. MSU doesn’t run a system like NW that is predicated on fast snaps and high scoring. They like to dominate the time of possession and move the ball by the ground. That keeps the clock moving. I think you can compare both and certainly be disappointed in the MSU performance, but to throw out the entire group is too harsh. If the OL struggles against Iowa then it is time to quickly reevaluate the season’s goals. Even if they win, but struggle, the remaining schedule is MUCH more difficult. The season is half over. If we don’t see their best performance this week, then I think we won’t see much the rest of the year.


Hondo, I am glad you called out the third down play calling. I hate the fact we don’t throw past the first down yard marker. Roushar deserved being called out. Ronald

Ronald, I didn’t call out Roushar, I asked about it. Yes, it is frustrating, but there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, on two of those third downs last week, Andrew Maxwell had men open down the field past the marker and missed the read. Now Roushar isn’t going to say that from the podium, he wouldn’t do that to his guy, but it is accurate. Sometimes you want the “under” guy to draw linebackers up and open some space. I am critical of the execution and he is the OC so you ask. Just because you ask doesn’t mean you are calling people out.

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Hondo, do we have any chance of Mark Dantonio firing Dan Roushar after the year? He is not Don Treadwell. I am disgusted. Mike

No chance at all and I certainly would say that I don’t think Dan is the issue. I remember people saying the same about Treadwell. I think he has two assistants who are good guys, but are struggling, but the issues aren’t Roushar. Of course, you can look at certain play calling mistakes. I am thinking about the 1st and ten running play on the last drive against Ohio State for one. I asked him about it and he agreed he wanted it back, but I ask you this. If MSU has the ball 60 snaps a game. He has 45 seconds between snaps. He is bound in making those calls to make mistakes. He is human. I wonder at times if the people that demand perfection from others do the same in their jobs? I look at plays and see if the wrong play is called, or if players fail to execute. If they fail to execute and it is repeated I look at assistant coaches, and is there depth chart issues? Are their injuries or recruiting mistakes on the depth chart and more? A lot goes into evaluation. I think there is more that could be added, but I am not in the fire Roushar camp. I support him 100%.

Hondo -What’s the word on Gholston this year? I think Spartan Nation had assumed 10 or 15 sacks a game from Will, so we’re trying to reconcile the difference. Is it just that he’s receiving the additional attention, or is there something else? Thanks, Jeremy

A few things. He is getting a lot more attention. Teams are keying in on him and combined with that he has not played as well as last season.  Teams are using a lot shorter QB times to throw to counter balance the MSU DEs also. With the DTs not playing as well, they can key in on him more. Iowa will not change their offense. I am going to have more to say based on his performance this Saturday. This will tell us a lot.

Hondo, with all due respect I do not understand how you could say that Taybor Pepper is the MVP over Mike Sadler? Mary

No problem with the question Mary. Mike is a third year player and Taybor is a true freshman and undersized. Mike has not had a great year, but certainly not a bad one. Sure, Taybor has had some snaps that weren’t perfect, but considering his size, class, and performance, not only do I think he was the MVP, so did Sadler when I talked to him about it.

Hondo, we heard a lot about our depth at most positions. The transition from our solid WR group last year to this inexperienced group this year has obviously been a challenge. Looking forward, our RB's will have limited experience in 2013. Doesn't it make sense to get a second RB in the mix this year so there is no drop-off when we transition into 2013? Who would be the top candidates? Rick in KS

Sense? I can see the argument for Tompkins, but he is benefitting every day from the redshirt. Other than him, who? Nick is struggling and there is no one else younger. I love getting reps for young players, but since Nick wouldn’t play that much it would be a waste. Great question.


There you go everyone. Another week of your MSU Football Q and A in the books. Make sure to send in your questions for next week. Simply email them to and put weekly Q and AFootball in the subject line.