Maxwell to start against Western Michigan

Fifth-year senior will get the start, but won't be the only quarterback that plays in Friday night's season opener against Western Michigan.

The speculation of who will start at quarterback Friday night ended Tuesday, as head coach Mark Dantonio said senior Andrew Maxwell will be the guy for Michigan State.

"W'eve allowed sort of the competition to take place and sort of knew where we were going with this probably after last Tuesday, but I felt like the most important thing to do was sit and talk to our players initially before going forward and making it known to everybody else out there. We had those discussions and sat down with them individually with each young man and collectively as well.

"So, Andrew Maxwell will be our starter. I think what he does is, he brings consistency in terms of his knowledge of our offense. You gotta make good decisions. He's got experience, with 13 games last year, he's got a chance to get back into the arena and put his foot down. Play it, as I always say, plant and drive forward. I'm very, very confident that he is going to have a great football game for us."

While the depth chart lists Maxwell as a co-starter with sophomore Connor Cook, redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor and freshman Damion Terry, Dantonio said he is comfortable with Maxwell as his clear No. 1.

"I'm comfortable that we have a number one quarterback," Dantonio said. He was the number one quarterback last year and he gained some experience with that. He's had some balls dropped and you gotta protect him, gotta run the football and gotta do the things that surrounds him as well. He's got great knowledge of our system, he is competitive and got great leadership skills."

Maxwell completed 52 percent of his passes a year ago and threw for 2,606 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. While Maxwell will start, Dantonio did say Cook will play in the game against the Broncos.

Cook replaced Maxwell on the final drive in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl last season. which began the quarterback competition.

"(Cook) is another guy that possesses great athletic ability and arm strength, size," Dantonio said. "He's got game experience as well and he's looked very, very good at often times, actually."

Dantonio also had good things to say about O'Connor and Terry -- and said both are in the mix to an extent.

"Tyler O'Connor has gained confidence and I think knows what's going on far and beyond what he did last year," Dantonio said. "He is in the mix.

"Damion Terry, as I said after that Saturday scrimmage, sort of put himself in the mix, but he's a freshman. We have to allow him to grow."

Dantonio said all the coaches were involved in the decision to start Maxwell.

"All of them had their say," he said. "They looked a lot every day, statistically, how they handled pressure, how they handled things in the huddle, all those different types of things. We are excited about the opportunity that they will have this weekend."


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