With less than two weeks left until Michigan State’s football opener, coach Mark Dantonio still has a decision to make about his quarterback situation.
MSU has a returning starter in senior Andrew Maxwell and two talented young quarterbacks in Connor Cook and Tyler O’Connor, who were with the team last year. The Spartans also have Cathedral Prep graduate and true freshman Damion Terry, who flashed his vast potential Saturday by passing for 240 yards and three TDs and rushing for 40 yards in the team’s second scrimmage.
Terry’s performance has caused more speculation around East Lansing about which player will be the long-term starter. The Spartans will host Western Michigan (Aug. 30), South Florida (Sept. 7) and Youngstown State (Sept. 14) before traveling to Notre Dame on Sept. 21.
In an online report this morning, mlive.com asked readers: Which Michigan State QB will start against Notre Dame?
With 950 votes cast at about 11 a.m., Maxwell led with 40.8 percent of the votes. Terry ranked second with 28.3 percent, followed by Cook with 23.4 percent.
What do you think? Voting in the poll continues.
As of 4:30 p.m., Damion Terry had trimmed Andrew Maxwell’s lead in the mlive.com poll to just 6 points — 39 percent to 33 percent — with more than 1,500 votes.
Also, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio spent much of his morning media session talking about the quarterback situation.
Dantonio said of Terry: “Realistically, we’ve got to see if he’s consistent with his performance that he displayed on Saturday. We’re going to find that out.”
He later added this about Terry’s scrimmage performance: “As the scrimmage progressed, he did well with the threes. I sort of shrugged my shoulders and put him with the twos. Then, I sort of shrugged my shoulders and put him with the ones. It’s not that complicated, you’re going to play the guys that move the football down the field, that don’t make mistakes and that can create.”
Finally, Dantonio compared playing a freshman quarterback to the Michigan State basketball team playing a freshman at point guard.
“You could assess at the beginning of the scrimmage yesterday that it was a three-horse race and at the end of the scrimmage it was a four-horse race,” he said. “I think that’s the fair thing to assess right now. Tom Izzo plays a freshman point guard all the time. All the time, right? When that guy asserts himself and takes control of the football team or the basketball team, that’s the guy who’s going to play. I don’t care whether he’s a senior, sophomore, junior, redshirt freshman or freshman. That’s the best thing to do. Damion has to prove consistency in performance.”
Check out the full transcript.
Michigan State’s coaching staff will have to begin bring clarity to the four-player race soon. The season opener is less than two weeks away.
– Jeff Kirik, sports editor