Michigan State

Dantonio On QB Situation: ‘All Four Are Sort Of In The Mix’

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TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 29: Quarterback Connor Cook #18 of the Michigan State Spartans throws a pass against the TCU Horned Frogs during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium on December 29, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona. The Spartans defeated the Horned Frogs 17-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE, AZ – DECEMBER 29: Quarterback Connor Cook #18 of the Michigan State Spartans throws a pass against the TCU Horned Frogs during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium on December 29, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona. The Spartans defeated the Horned Frogs 17-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

AshleyDunkak Ashley Dunkak
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By Ashley Dunkak
@AshleyDunkak

Most teams have one starting quarterback. Some teams use two. Competition for the first-string passer position is normal during the months leading up to football season, but Michigan State might be one of the only teams in the country that, two games into the schedule, still has four contenders for the starting spot.

Head coach Mark Dantonio recognizes the benefits of having one quarterback just like everyone else understands them, and he said the staff is going that direction.

“It’s tough to get three quarterbacks ready,” Dantonio said. “It’s almost impossible to get four. It’s tough to get three. You can get two, but usually when you’re repping throughout a game week, your number one quarterback gets most of the reps. He gets probably 65 percent of the reps, I would say, so that’s what you’re trying to figure out.

“You want to get to the one, I think that’s important that we get to the one, but at the same time, I felt compelled to look at the number of points we’re putting up on the board and the explosive plays that are happening, and make decisions based on that in that football game on Saturday because I think it is my job to provide opportunities for people,” Dantonio continued. “We went in that direction, and we will probably go in that direction early this week.”

Dantonio said he was encouraged by the fact that Connor Cook knew early last week that he would start last Saturday, but he and other players kept that to themselves.

“I think that speaks volumes about our chemistry on our football team because not only did he know, other people knew too, but they kept it in-house, and I think they did that to protect everybody involved in the situation,” Dantonio said. “You sort of know when you’re getting the reps and everything.”

Apparently, though, Saturday’s game did not result in any decisions. Cook played, former starter Andrew Maxwell played in the second half, Tyler O’Connor played for one series, and Damion Terry would have played but was injured and ill.

Interestingly enough, Terry, the freshman, was one that Dantonio singled out. Even so, he said the process of choosing a starter is ongoing.

“Based on Damion’s performance in the summer and the one practice and his performance as of late, he deserves an opportunity to show what he can do in practice,” Dantonio said. “It’s pretty self explanatory. We’ll evaluate practice.”

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