There’s no way around it, Michigan State Spartans quarterback Andrew Maxwell has been known to underperform at the position. He has only been the true starter for a season, but 2012 was not kind to the Spartan QB nor was it good to the Spartan offense.
Sure, he may not be the best option at the position — in fact, he certainly isn’t — but he is the guy that head coach Mark Dantonio is trusting with his offense for the moment. He is one of those guys that will be hated if he does something wrong and praised if he does something right. The problem is — he hasn’t done much right in recent play.
The 2013 season opened up with a win against Western Michigan, but the offense was anything but potent. Maxwell started the game at quarterback only to be replaced in spot appearances by the even less impressive Connor Cook. Maxwell finished with 74 yards on 11-21 passing and no scores. Let’s just say that is not what the doctor ordered.
Dantonio has been searching all offseason for the right choice at quarterback and there is no reason that he shouldn’t give true freshman Damion Terry or redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor a shot at playing time. He has said in the past that every quarterback on the roster has a shot at starting, but he’s not showing it.
O’Connor was a top recruit coming in two seasons ago, but because of Andrew Maxwell taking over the starting role in 2012, he was redshirted. Coming into this season, he was hoping to compete with fellow freshman Damion Terry for the starting job. Both had impressive camps but Dantonio decided to stick with Maxwell and Cook as the top-two.
It might be time for a change. The two quarterbacks combined for 116 yards on 17-37 passing and no touchdowns. Cook did run the ball four times for 35 yards, but that doesn’t change the fact he can’t throw a football accurately.
Terry impressed in offseason scrimmages, eventually becoming the top performer out of all the quarterbacks with some eye-popping numbers. This kid can play and he also adds the run element to his game.
This offense needs a change of pace and Terry and O’Connor can bring that. O’Connor brings a strong arm and accuracy while Terry can scramble and provide a spark to the offense. Both highly-touted recruits coming in, both deserve a shot.
We will find out what Dantonio decides to do with his quarterbacks against South Florida on Saturday presumably once the offense takes the field for the first time — he’s been quiet about it recently.
Related: Michigan State Offense Suffers