Michigan State’s football team moved to 2-0 today with a 21-6 victory over South Florida in East Lansing, Mich.
Despite the Spartans’ record, the underlying statistics could lead to an interesting week for the MSU coaching staff and fans.
Why? Michigan State’s three quarterbacks combined for 94 passing yards, and for the second straight week true freshman Damion Terry did not play. The Cathedral Prep graduate watched from the sideline as the Spartans’ offense struggled again.
MSU announced before that game that sophomore Connor Cook would start, redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor would serve as the backup and senior Andrew Maxwell, the 2012 and Week 1 starter, would be the No. 3 quarterback. Terry was the No. 4 QB.
However, for the second straight week, there was no passing game. Cook completed 6-of-11 passes for 32 yards, and O’Connor went 2-of-4 for 22 yards. Maxwell also saw some action, completing 4-of-9 for 40 yards. None threw for a touchdown.
Maxwell and Cook combined for 116 yards in a 26-13 win over Western Michigan in Week 1. That’s an average of 105 yards passing in two games, with Youngstown State next week and Notre Dame looming in Week 4.
The clamor for Terry among fans only grew today. Just search for his name on Twitter and you’re bound to see dozens of tweets like this:
If I get 1,000,000 retweets Mark Dantonio will put Damion Terry in at QB!
— Cadillac Zack (@Zack_The_Babe) September 7, 2013
However, another report noted that Terry did not play because he was ill.
TV crew reports that Damion Terry had strep throat this week, keeping him out of potentially playing today for Spartans. #USFvsMSU
— Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) September 7, 2013
Michigan State has not confirmed the accuracy of that report. (Update, 5:25 p.m.: Dantonio later confirmed this report.)
It should be an interesting week in East Lansing, especially because MSU’s defense outscored the offense for the second straight game.
Will Michigan State’s coaching staff stick with its plan and keep Terry on the bench? The pressure to play him will only grow because 105 yards passing isn’t going to cut it against Notre Dame.
Note: Cathedral Prep grad Delton Williams was listed as the No. 4 running back before the game and did not have a carry for the second consecutive week.
UPDATE, 5:25 p.m.: Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said after the game that Damion Terry had strep throat this week and had a thumb injury.
– Jeff Kirik, sports editor