Michigan State's quarterback competition was re-opened to include four players last week, but with the season opener days away Mark Dantonio has decided to stick with incumbent starter Andrew Maxwell.
Maxwell was named the starter on Tuesday, beating out Connor Cook, Tyler O'Conner and Damion Terry. Dantonio said that Maxwell earned the job thanks to his "consistency and knowledge of [Michigan State's] offense," but Cook, a sophomore, will also play in the game against Western Michigan on Friday.
In his comments on Tuesday, Dantonio was sure to state that the responsibility for Maxwell's success falls on more than just one person.
Dantonio: "I'm comfortable we have a No. 1 QB. He was No. 1 last year. Had some balls dropped, have to protect him. He has great knowledge."— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) August 27, 2013
Dantonio: "I told (Maxwell) today, here's the keys. Bring them back home. It's important we all go forward together."— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) August 27, 2013
Dantonio said that Maxwell was likely the frontrunner from the start, but the staff wanted to add a level of competitiveness to test the entire group. All four quarterbacks worked with the first and second string, allowing the younger players to get valuable reps for the future.
Maxwell started every game in 2012, completing 52.5 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards and 13 touchdowns while totaling nine interceptions. The Spartans leaned heavily on the Le'Veon Bell-powered rushing attack, but the lack of a consistent passing game resulted in the Spartans offense averaging just 4.88 yards per play, ranking No. 10 in the conference and No. 111 nationally.