Michigan State lists four co-starters at quarterback on its depth chart for Saturday's game with Youngstown State, but coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday during his weekly news conference that sophomore Connor Cook and true freshman Damion Terry would receive most of the reps at Tuesday's practice.
The Spartans have used three quarterbacks in their first two games: Cook, senior Andrew Maxwell and redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor. But they haven't done much of anything: Michigan State's offense has scored just two touchdowns, and the three quarterbacks have combined to throw for 210 yards and complete just 47.5 percent of their passing attempts.
"We're looking for production and someone to seize the moment there," Dantonio said of his quarterbacks.
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Dantonio also said that when a quarterback emerges, it will "re-energize this team."
Maxwell (6-feet-3, 210 pounds) started all 13 games last season, when the Spartans struggled on offense and finished 7-6, and this season's opener with Western Michigan; he came on in a reserve role in last week's win over USF. Cook (6-4, 218) started the USF game after serving as a backup in the opener. O'Connor (6-3, 215) has played in both as a reserve. Terry (6-3, 222), who hasn't played yet, was considered one of the nation's top five dual-threat quarterbacks out of high school in Erie, Pa.
Of playing Terry, Dantonio said, "Had the other guys played a little bit better, we probably wouldn't even be talking about that."
Dantonio also said there was no guarantee that Terry would play and that he didn't want to burn Terry's redshirt unless he was sure he could help the team this fall.
That Cook and Terry are receiving the most practice reps Tuesday doesn't mean that's the way it will be going forward this week, Dantonio said.
"Above all else, our coaching staff, myself, we want to find the one guy," Dantonio said. "We want one guy to emerge. I don't care who it is."
One positive for the Spartans is that the Big Ten schedule is back-loaded. While there is a big non-conference game Sept. 21 at Notre Dame, the first three league games are against Iowa, Indiana and Purdue. In addition, the Spartans don't play Ohio State or Wisconsin this fall.