However, as we learned, Cousins was banged up and showing his grit and determination to lead the Spartans to a share of the Big Ten title. Saturday, Dave Warner feels Cousins will be back to normal.
"He wasn't the only one. When you go through the Big Ten schedule, I mean, you're going to be banged up. I think (the time off) has benefitted all of us. Certainly in our position, at quarterback, it's benefitted Kirk. I think he'll be as healthy as he's been in awhile come Saturday."
The Spartans will look to get their first bowl victory since Mark Dantonio took over the program four years ago and Cousins will be missing one of his top targets. What impact on offense will Spartan fans see with B.J. Cunningham out for the game?
"B.J. has the size, he has the physicality in the pass game, as well as the run game. He seemed to come up with some big-time catches in critical situations throughout the year. He made some acrobatic catches that a lot of guys wouldn't make. We'll miss that about him, but certainly we feel like we have a decent amount of depth at that position that can fit in and we can count of for that big-time catch."
When asked about Cousins importance to the program, Warner wasted little words in describing his quarterback.
"I think he has so many qualities, as a person and as a quarterback. He's certainly the best leader we've had around here in this program in a long time."
One thing that helps all teams that make bowl games is extra practice time. For Warner, the chance for backup quarterback Andrew Maxwell to get some extra reps has given the staff even more confidence in the redshirt freshman.
He's gotten a lot of work throughout the season, and he's gotten a lot of work throughout this bowl preparation over the last 3-4 weeks. I have a lot of confidence in him, the offensive staff has a lot of confidence in him."
Dave Warner will need his quarterbacks to be on top of their game when the Spartans take the field on Saturday.