Offensively, the Michigan State Spartans are one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. Defensively, they are one of the best in the country. However, it’s the offense that is holding this team back from being a top-25 squad. One position, in particular, has been the source of much of the struggle. Why would Tyler O’Connor clean up the mess?
O’Connor is just a redshirt freshman, but he seems to be the best choice of all three eligible quarterbacks right now. While Connor Cook and Andrew Maxwell have more experience, they also have less talent — harsh, but true.
Brought in as a four-star recruit prior to last season, O’Connor was praised for having a strong, accurate arm and scrambling ability. That’s exactly what the Spartans need right now. Sure, many fans want true freshman and fellow four-star recruit Damion Terry to start, he’s being redshirted this season and it would hurt the Spartans down the line if they burned that redshirt.
Maxwell started the season as the top QB, but has since seen his job taken from him. He is 15-33 for just 114 yards on the season. Cook replaced Maxwell behind center and has been 43-81 with 411 yards and five touchdowns. In fact, he is the only quarterback to have thrown a touchdown pass this season out of the three that have played.
Cook’s accuracy has been a huge problem as he sailed the ball over the heads of receivers in the Spartans’ game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last week.
On the other hand, in limited time, O’Connor has come in and completed 9 of 14 passes for 90 yards. He has played just a handful of snaps, but he has shown calmness and poise in the pocket — just what the Spartans need.
So, if Terry can’t start, why not make O’Connor the starter for one game, just to test him out? It could turn the Spartans’ season around completely.