Over the next month I will be looking at the 2013 Michigan State football team position by position. Up first, the Quarterbacks.
During the 2012 season Andrew Maxwell saw most of the snaps as the starter. Many fans and analysts would say that the season was a struggle for Maxwell and I would agree, but the blame cannot be solely placed on him. The wide receivers were very inconsistent, actually they were consistent with one thing, dropping the ball. The young and very inexperienced core of receivers did not do Maxwell any favors. The offensive line didn’t help either. Coming in to the 2012 season, the offensive line was seen as a position of strength but that quickly turned into a position of concern thanks to season ending injuries to starting center Travis Jackson and starting right guard Fou Fonoti. Maxwell wasn’t given the proper time, seemingly always under constant pressure. Even with all these obstacles, Maxwell did finish the season with a respectable 2606 passing yards, 13 TDs and 9 INTs and was also sacked 21 times.
Junior Quarterback Connor Cook saw playing time sparingly throughout the regular season, but his most memorable performance came in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl against Big 12 foe TCU. Cook came into the game late with the Spartans trailing and led them down the field for the game winning field goal. While his stats for the game may not seem too impressive, 4-11 for 47 YDs and a TD, he gained valuable experience for years to come. With that performance Cook has thrown his name into the hat to be the starting QB for the 2013 season.
Red Shirt Freshman Tyler O’Connor did not see the playing field last year. He spent the season on the scout team learning the playbook and helping the defense prepare for games. During the 2013 spring game, O’Connor saw time playing quarterback for the green team and the white team. O’Connor threw 2 interceptions with one of those being returned for a touchdown. His performance in the Spring game was very unimpressive.
Incoming freshman Damion Terry is a dual threat Quarterback out of Pennsylvania. During his senior season at Cathedral Prep, Terry threw for 3599 yards 50 TDs and only 7 INTs while rushing for 700 yards and 12 touchdowns. While Terry may compete for playing time during the season, I expect him to be redshirted. I do think Terry will be the starting Quarterback for the 2015 season as a redshirt sophomore.
So who wins the starting job? Early on I think Maxwell will get the nod, but Cook will get more playing time this season especially during the early season games against Western Michigan and Youngstown State. I think Maxwell will have a much better season than he did last year mainly because the receivers will be more experienced and the offensive line will return to full health.
Maxwell- 3200 YDs, 19 TDS, 7 INTs
Cook- 300 YDs 3 TDS 1 INT
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