Answering your  Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

 

Dear Hondo, I recently read another media member asked if Mark Dantonio continues to handle the QB situation as he has, do you think Rocky Lombardi would transfer.  What do you think?  Keith Ryan

I have not spoken to Rocky, BUT, if it remains handled as it has been I do believe he will.

 

Hondo I heard this week that the reason Connor Cook did so well with the MSU offense is that he would ignore the calls/coaches at times and do his own thing.  Is that true?  John Cook

Yes, that is true.

 

Hondo what did you think of Rocky Lombardi saying to your question, “Were you surprised you were benched?” That he had, “No comment.”  Mark Meyer

I thought of Connor Cook at Notre Dame when he was benched saying, “I wish my coach had faith in me.”  That was the same moment.  Dantonio was “Furious” with Cook, but he kept the starting job.  I think Rocky needs to be more like Cook in SOME (Not all) cases.

Hondo I heard someone on the radio say that there isn’t one coordinator on the MSU staff who could get another Power Five coordinator job.  What do you think?  Thomas D.

Mike Tressel has had multiple offers to laready leave as a DC at other places and would in a heartbeat.  The two offensive coordinators would not.

 

Hondo do you think thank that the new AD Bill Beekman who call out Mark Dantonio privately like Hollis would have?  Keith Burns

No, I do not.  Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo are the reason he has his job.  He would not go to him privately as Hollis did on numerous occasions and call him out.  That isn’t a slam on he AD at atll, it is reality.

 

Hondo I do not doubt you, but can you explain WHY you wrote that if Rocky Lombardi started MSU would win, but if he didn’t they would lose against OSU?  Gretchen Addles

Brian Lewerke had a rested and ready D and he had the ball FIVE times in OSU territory and had no points.  Rocky led the only (TWO) scoring drives and had five drives INSIDE his OWN five.  OC Dave Warner admitted that the playbook is limited there.  Check out this chart on how Brian and Rocky did on Saturday:

 

Vs. Ohio State

Brian Lewerke (3 QTRs)

Attempts Yards Scoring Drive Passer Rating
Passing 28 128 0 70.5
Rushing 6 4 0 70.5
Total 34 132 0 70.5

 

 

Production/Touch 3.88 yards per touch for Lewerke.

 

Give Brian Rocky’s Reps Add 22 attempts@ 3.88 85 + 132 = 217 yards of total offense w/Rocky’s Reps

 

Rocky Lombardi (1 QTR +1:38)

Attempts Yards Scoring Drive Passer Rating
Passing 19 92 2 77.5
Rushing 3 58 77.5
Total 22 142 2 77.5

 

 

Production/Touch 6.45 yards per touch

 

Give Rocky Brian’s Reps Add 34 Attempts @6.45 219 +142 = 361 yards total offense w/Brian’s Reps

 

Not taking into account great field position vs horrible field position my guess is if the field position had changed these numbers would be even greater. These are simple real numbers.

 

Hondo, Thank you for asking the question about the Offense Trending downward over the past several years. From Coach Dantonio’s response, it seemed that he didn’t know or certainly wasn’t an area of concern. He kind of brushed it off as being due to injuries, player execution or tough opponents and never mentioned anything about the Offensive “System” and a need to make changes. That is disappointing especially when you look at highly rated the Defense is especially this year? How can a Head Coach have a Top ranked Defense and “Tolerate” a terrible Offense? Brian Schultz

Not sure how, but he is.

 

Hondo, another Buckeye/Spartan clash. Being a Buckeye and living in Michigan is tough. If it wasn’t for Coach Dantonio and the outstanding MSU sports programs I would be lost. Thank you for your reporting and level-headed analysis.  Continued success.  Don Wieteki

Thank you, Don.

Hondo I am a neighbor of someone who works in the football program.  When I asked them why they thought Coach D was being so stubborn and not playing Rocky Lombardi they told me, “Because Brian could be a graduate transfer in December and Coach doesn’t want to lose him.”  Have you heard that?  Your opinion?  Please do not use my name if you print this, do not want to get my neighbor in trouble.

I have not heard the coach say that, BUT I HAVE heard that from others in the athletic department.

 

Lastly here are five emails that aren’t asking me to comment or I took as rhetorical.  In fact, they are more you all commenting or venting:

 

Did Dantonio think Lewerke was healed while he sat on the bench? What a terrible decision. Scott Lehr

 

Hondo, A look at the stands shows you the fan support that MSU has; few students and the donor seats sold to OSU fans.  Sad.  Dantonio needs to look at the stands as well as the game on TV.  No vote of confidence.  D.J.

 

Hondo I love Coach D.  Playing an injured Brian Lewerke was dumb.  Not calling him that, I am calling that decision that.  Carol R.

 

Hondo I am thankful for all that Mark Dantonio has done.  I think he is getting some unfair criticism and perhaps Brian Lewerke needs some.  If he is telling the coaches he can play, then telling the media he can’t, perhaps he wants his cake and would like to eat it as well.  Ryan Gibbons

Why on earth did we start Lewerke when Rocky is so obviously the better QB?-Norma Wheeler

 

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