Last season the Michigan State Spartans took three weeks to resolve a quarterback controversy. A battle that saw Connor Cook eventually win the job over Tyler O’Conner after a breakout game against Youngstown State. It took Cook a few more weeks to find his consistency and he led the Spartans to huge victories over rivals Michigan and Ohio State to win the Big Ten.
The Spartans don’t have the same quarterback controversy to deal with prior to the 2014 season. Connor Cook’s performance down the stretch culminating in a Big Ten and Rose Bowl Championships gave him a strangle hold on the starting job. The expectations are high for Cook in 2014, who has also gotten some run as a possible Heisman candidate.
Connor Cook will have 6 starters returning on an offense that does not include any freshmen. The unit is experienced and will should not have any learning curve to start the season.
Running Back Jeremy Langford is one of the Spartans returning starters after a breakout season 2013. Like Cook, Jeremy Langford developed throughout the season leading the Spartans ground game with 1,422 yards and will be able to hit the ground running this fall. Lanford’s bruising running style fits the Spartans balanced offensive attack and should open up opportunities for Cook downfield.
In 2013 it was the Michigan State Spartan defense who not only prevented opponents from scoring, they put points up themselves outscoring the spartan offense in a few games early in the season. It was the defense that carried the team in those opening weeks giving the offense precious time to develop. That time turned out to be a key factor in the Spartans success. In 2014 the opposite could be true. With the Spartan offensive personnel are already established it is the transitioning Spartan defense that will need time to develop.
Overall the Michigan State Spartans are a more balanced team than they were to start the season in 2013. But the much like the defense was the story during the Spartans Rose Bowl run, it will be the offense that grabs the headlines this season.