Heading into week three, the Michigan State Spartans were a bit worried about their offensive output from the previous two weeks. Weary of the quarterback play in the first couple of weeks, head coach Mark Dantonio decided to give sophomore Connor Cook a shot at starting — hoping he would take advantage of the opportunity.
The Spartan offense had been awful in the first two games as the team scored an average of 23.5 points — however, the defense scored more touchdowns than the offense. It wasn’t looking good for the Spartans on offense this season — that is, until today.
Taking on a lesser opponent in Youngstown State, the Spartans had one thing on their mind: take control of the offense. As one of the best defensive units in the nation, Michigan State just needed an offense to make them one of the elite teams in college football.
Cook began the game under center with uncertainty running through the air at Spartan Stadium. The first snap of the game happened and, little did Spartan fans know, the quarterback battle would soon be over.
Senior Andrew Maxwell has been long criticized for his poor play at the position and has therefore given way to other guys to compete for the job. Cook did his job — and did it well — by passing for 202 yards on 15 of 22 completions and four touchdowns. He passed for just eight yards less in one game than all of the Michigan State quarterbacks had combined in the first two games.
The offense broke out under Cook’s control. Racking up 547 total yards, including 277 on the ground, was a positive sign for this team moving forward. It was such a good performance, in fact, that it accumulated just 15 yards less in one game than it had in the first two combined.
Maxwell didn’t play at all — and he didn’t need to. The quarterback battle is finally over, and the dual-threat Cook has come out on top.
Watch out for this team to break out and sneakily move up the ranks for the rest of the season.