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Should Connor Cook be Michigan State’s Next Starting Quarterback?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State has a dilemma on its hands — the Spartans are looking for their starting quarterback for the 2013 season, and Mark Dantonio has quite the selection of quarterbacks to choose from.

After a rough 2012 season, Michigan State is hoping that its quarterback play in 2013 improves drastically. Andrew Maxwell was the starting quarterback for the Big Ten‘s biggest disappointment of a team in 2012, finishing with mediocre numbers. He threw for 2,606 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

While these numbers aren’t exactly horrid, it was one number that stuck out like a sore thumb: a completion percentage of just 52. This was one of the most looked-at numbers of last season, as many people were doubtful that Maxwell could hit the broad side of a barn with his lack of accuracy.

The Spartans somehow found themselves playing in a bowl game even though they were one of the conference’s worst offenses — a far cry from the potent offense they had in 2011 led by Kirk Cousins.

However, they beat TCU in the bowl game, and the question of quarterbacks arose. While Maxwell started the game, it wasn’t the junior quarterback who finished it. Freshman quarterback Connor Cook finished just 4 for 11 with 47 yards and the go-ahead touchdown.

The numbers don’t look too impressive, but it was his spark that led the Spartans to a bowl win. Even though he had just 47 yards passing on 11 attempts, he was the team leader in passing for the game, throwing for 20 more yards than the starter Maxwell. In fact, even running back Le’Veon Bell had more passing yards than Maxwell in the game.

This raises the question of whether Maxwell deserves another season of starting games, and that answer is yes.

Although Cook sparked the team to a spurt that ended up winning the game, Maxwell has the experience and learned under one of the best quarterbacks in school history. Sure, Cook had a solid game, but he is not the consistent player that many people may think.