The defensive line and mainly DL Coach Ted Gill are under the gun for a supreior performance in 2011. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

 

Do you think this year’s defense will be the best yet under Coach D?  Jason

I do without any doubt.  When Mark Dantonio arrived here he was following an offensive coach.  JLS left him several weapons on that side of the ball.  The Spartan Nation was brutal to Coach Narduzzi in my opinion and considering how barren the defensive talent was when he arrived he has been the MVP of the assistant coaches since this staff arrived.  They will be their best yet, but still two years away from being great.  They have talent now, but they are so young.

 

Can Gill not close the deal with those recruits and that is why they choose places like Iowa ?  Charles

Well, I think they had an excellent DL class in 2011.  Gill is a good man with a long pedigree, but football is a what have you done for me now sport.  I think he needs to have a very big year this season.  Of all the assistants the most pressure rests on him, whether or not he feels it.

 

Hondo, everyone seems to be focusing on how good the offense can be in the fall, but I’m more interested in the defense.  It seems like the overall size and physicality of the group should make a step change this year.  My hope is that MSU will be so improved up front that teams will have a very hard time getting anything going on the ground (the D line is simply massive compared to 2007).  Plus, the LB group should be far more athletic as well.  Am I drinking too much Kool-Aid or could we really be looking at a dominant group?  Thanks, Andrew

Andrew, I alluded to it above, but let me say this.  This will be the best defense that Coach Dantonio and Narduzzi have had in their five seasons here.  They will have one of the best in the nation in 2013, but this season will be very good.  You are going to see some mistakes because of youth and that will happen anywhere.  You will also see the most athletic group in years.  YEARS!

Hondo, I understand why Hollis moved the Youngstown State game to at night on a Friday.  It makes it more of an event, but I hate playing 1-AA schools.  Your take?  Mick

I hate it.  Unfortunately, it is getting harder to schedule real games without having to give a team at least one game at their place.  I say make the Big Ten play ten games and then only have two non conference games because asking the fans to pay full price for 1-AA is absurd.  You can’t blame Hollis/Ianni because it is the system.  It is a crappy system, so they don’t have a choice.  You can’t play nine games because that would make a team have an odd number of home/away games and would simply give an unfair advantage.  It must be ten games to make my idea work.

 

Hondo you were the first to report that Dan Roushar would be the offensive coordinator, by weeks.  Good job.  I had heard from other media that Charlie Baggett was under a lot of consideration and that Mark Staten and Dave Warner were also in the hunt.  Do you think Roushar will get it done or will Dantonio regret not giving it to one of those three?  Guitaino

Guiatino I did not read those reports, but I can say this.  Anyone who said that Baggett had a legitimate shot at the job has no clue what is going on with Spartan Football in my opinion.  None at all.  Charlie will not coach here.  As far as Staten and Warner they were both given complimentary interviews because they are on staff, but the job was Roushar’s once I reported it.  There was no chance they were going to get the job over Roushar.

 

Thanks for all of the great comments and email for the Saturday column.  If you aren’t aware, on Saturday mornings I answer some of your email in a Q and A column about Spartan football.  If you have a MSU football question you would like answered send me an email at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com