Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Who should Michigan State's starting QB be?

The MSU offense is a mess.
That’s not really breaking news.
The real news is that heading into the third week of the season, the Spartans still don’t have a defined quarterback. In fact, Michigan State has four quarterbacks in the mix.

Andrew Maxwell – Maxwell is the one with all the experience (he’s a fifth-year senior) and is currently leading the team in passing yards (114), completion percentage (50 percent) and completions (15). Maxwell struggled throughout last season, going 234 of 446 passing for 2,606 yards and 13 touchdowns with nine interceptions. Maxwell has been notorious for throwing short of the sticks on third down and shows little mobility in the pocket. He has been most impacted by the drops of the receivers, but that could be due to the ball he throws.
Connor Cook – Cook, a sophomore, was given the opportunity to win the job last week against South Florida but he went just 6 of 11 passing for 32 yards. He also rushed for 10 yards on nine carries. There seems to be a belief among the coaching staff that he is the best man for the job, as he will be getting most of the reps with the first team in practice this week. Cook has the mobility that Maxwell doesn’t, but there has been no proof that he can consistently lead the MSU offense down the field. He is just 12 of 27 passing for the season for 74 yards.
Tyler O’Connor – The redshirt freshman got an opportunity last week against South Florida, but he apparently blew that chance with a questionable pass attempt in the red zone. O’Connor did lead MSU down the field and setup the Spartans for a field goal, which happened to be missed. However, a throw into triple coverage in the end zone frustrated the coaching staff and earned him the bench for the rest of the game and possibly the season. It seemed like a quick hook for O’Connor. While his throw was poor and was lucky not to be a turnover, he’s also a freshman that is going to make some mistakes. If anything, MSU is hurting his development by making him think he will get the hook if he ever makes a mistake.
Damion Terry – The true freshman out of Erie, Pa. appears set to make his MSU debut this week. He has been getting No. 2 reps during practice this week and likely would have been given a chance last week if not for an illness keeping him from practicing. The fan base seems to want to see what Terry can do, but just how much leeway would he be given when he steps on the field? Would he be pulled if he makes one questionable throw or fumbles the ball? Certainly a true freshman has to be expected to make some mistakes along the way.

No matter what Michigan State does going forward, it has to make a decision after this week’s game with Youngstown State. Notre Dame is on the horizon and then Big Ten play starts. You can’t go into these important games still playing up to four quarterbacks.
So who do you think gives MSU the best chance to win?

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