Maxwell Leaves Spring As No.1 QB

Michigan State's quarterback competition compels coaches to observe during preseason camp.

The quarterback play in today's Green-White game had some flashes while there were some flaws.

Senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell will be going in as the starter with the most knowledge and consistency according to Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio.

"I think you leave here at the end of spring saying that [Andrew] Maxwell comes into summer camp number one based on knowledge and consistency in terms of performance," head coach Mark Dantonio said.

Maxwell came into today's game needing more help from his receivers. At times he showed that he could be a strong contender for the quarterback position. Near the end of the game he was able to complete nine of his passes for 110-yards. His sole touchdown came with 4:32 left in the game when he passed to junior wide receiver A.J. Troup for a 46-yard touchdown.

Even though Maxwell started the game rough he was able to finish the day out strong with the win.

"Anytime you can finish well, with a touchdown and a with a win, that leaves you with a good taste in your mouth and leaves you feeling pretty good about how the spring game went," Maxwell said.

Junior quarterback Connor Cook will be the backup to Maxwell, but he made a strong case for himself in today's game. He completed 10 of his passes for 217 yards. His best play came in the third quarter when he completed to senior wide receiver Bennie Fowler for a 63-yard completion. His lone touchdown pass came in the second quarter when he connected with junior wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett.

"I think Connor Cook pushes [Maxwell] and quite frankly Cook doesn't make mistakes that can be easily omitted," Dantonio said. "He's right there. Because I think he throws the ball and moves well in the pocket, but you can't take a 5-yard loss and turn it into a 20-yards loss: you just can't do that.

"That's the bottom line of it. We've got to learn that and that's part of it."

Cook felt the same way as Dantonio as he mentioned that he needed to clean some stuff up that he did today.

"If I just clean up some of the stuff I did, trying to do too much," Cook said. "I just have to play within myself and trust myself and everything that I do.

"Not trying to create all this stuff that is going on around me. But I felt like that is what needed to happen at that time. It was fourth down, [and] it was the end of the game. I felt like I needed to make a play.

While both quarterbacks were able to hit their targets, their receivers had didn't help them with an estimated nine dropped passes. Most of the drops were catchable with receivers having both hands on top of them.

"I thought we did a better job throughout 14 practices of consistently catching the football," co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner said. "So I was a little bit surprised by what I saw, but I did see some great catches, today too.

"It was very encouraging."

Both quarterbacks had strong statements for their respective teams, while redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler O'Connor proved to be a reliable backup with a couple of hiccups through the game. He threw for 59-yards on just three passes, although two of his three incompletions were intercepted. One of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown by junior safety Chris Laneaux.

"It was Tyler O'Connor's first opportunity to play on live TV and in front of a large group of people," Dantonio said. "He needs to play with a bit more consistency and play better.

"He had a big turnover for a touchdown. Again, he was playing with the white team so he didn't get as many snaps initially and we tried to force the issue at the end, playing him on the green a little bit."

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