Michigan State Preview: A look at the Quarterbacks
Unlike last season, when you look at the quarterbacks on this roster you know who will be the starter when the season rolls around: Redshirt Junior Connor Cook.
Connor Cook: Redshirt Junior
Measurables: 6’4″ and Weighs 219 lbs.
Of course, how could it not be Connor Cook? As a Redshirt Sophomore, Cook was able to lead the Spartans to their first Rose Bowl Trophy in 25 years after starting the season on the bench. Connor Cook has started the last 13 games for the Spartans and has established a 12-1 record over those starts. In 2013 Cook completed 59 percent of his passes (223 of 380) for 2,755 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. Let us put those 22 touchdowns tosses in perspective: they tie him for 2nd all-time among MSU’s single-season leaders in touchdown passes. His breakout season earned him a second-team All-B1G selection by the coaches and an honorable mention All-B1G selection by the media. He was also named to the All-B1G second-team by ESPN. In other words; this man will be your starter for the entire season unless he is injured (knock on wood).
But who will be the backup quarterback for 2014?
Here’s where the fun begins for this position. There will be a battle for the backup spot between Redshirt Freshman Damion Terry and Redshirt Sophomore Tyler O’Connor.
Tyler O’Connor: Redshirt Sophomore
Measurables : 6’3″ and Weighs 219 lbs.
O’Connor has made it clear through statements made to the media that he will not be transferring regardless of how the depth chart looks come fall; he loves the coaching staff and the atmosphere. He has also stated that he is here to make the team better, whether that is through him starting, being the backup or being third on the depth chart. Now that we have established that O’Connor is here to stay, in what role will he make the team better in 2014? Based on my feel of things I believe that Tyler O’Connor will stay put as the number two in the depth chart. The coaches seem comfortable with him in that role and he does have a bit more playing experience than Damion. In 2013 O’Connor saw action in three games (South Florida, Youngstown State and Illinois) and finished 9 of 14 for 90 yards in those games.
Damion Terry: Redshirt Freshman
Measurables: 6’3″ and Weighs 230 lbs.
Damion Terry is well known by Spartan fans, yet he hasn’t even played a snap for Michigan State. It seems like he is already somewhat of an urban legend in my opinion. I mean, not many people have actually seen the kid play, yet everyone and their grandmother was calling for him to take over the starting quarterback spot in 2013. There were “We want Terry” chants screeching from the student section and it seemed like wherever you went there was always someone talking about this true freshman quarterback that Mark Dantonio had. Fortunately for MSU and your fandom, Mark Dantonio does not run a democracy and thus your cries for Terry were not heard. Not to say that Damion Terry is not good or cannot be great, it’s just that he did not know the playbook yet and Connor Cook brought you a Rose Bowl Championship. Ok, back to the urban legend that is Damion Terry. Where did all this start? Well, not only is Damion the type of player that every college fan wants: extremely athletic and exciting to watch. He also had an amazing scrimmage in 2013 where he compiled 280 yards of total offense, going 10 of 14 for 240 yards and three touchdowns; while rushing for 40 yards on 12 carries. This is (in my opinion) where the urban legend all began. Now, how will Damion see the field in 2014, or will he see the field? In my opinion, I believe that though Damion will be third on the depth chart, he will see as much or more playing time than Tyler O’Connor. How is this you ask? Well it seems like the coaches have put together some option/running plays specifically for Terry. We saw some of those plays in the spring game and Terry looked good running them. Now I wouldn’t expect to see Damion in the first game of the season, instead I expect the coaches to unleash him and his option/running plays in the second week against Oregon to give their defense a different look. You cannot prepare for someone who you have no tape on.