Scott Reed - Spartan Digest

For the second week Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was asked about the status of Tyler O'Connor. Should there be a change?

Despite holding a 14-0 lead in the third quarter Saturday night, Michigan State could not hold back the Indiana Hoosiers and ended up falling 24-21 in overtime. With all eyes on first year starting quarterback Tyler O’Connor, fans and the media are questioning Mark Dantonio on O’Connor being his signal caller. Dantonio responded to the media following the loss.

What does Michigan State Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio think about starting quarterback Tyler O'Connor following the latest loss by the Spartans on Saturday night to Indiana?

Not surprising, Dantonio still has his fifth-year seniors back and expects O’Connor to continue to lead the Spartans through this tough stretch that has many questioning the Spartans offensive attack.

On the night, O’Connor recorded career highs in passing yards (263) and pass completions (21) to go with tying his career best of three touchdowns.  His 86-yard touchdown pass to R.J. Shelton in the first quarter tied for the seventh-longest pass for touchdown in program history.

Here is what Dantonio said following the game when asked about O’Connor’s performance and if he still felt the fifth-year senior would be the Spartans starting signal caller.

 

SPARTAN DIGEST TAKE

At this time, it’s way too early to dump the 2016 season and blame O’Connor for the past two losses.  Have mistakes been made by O'Connor?  Yes!  The back-to-back sacks in overtime against Indiana resulted in the loss of nine yards moving Michael Geiger’s field goal from 40-yards to 49-yards.  Even if the kick was a 40-yard attempt, it looked like Geiger would be short.

For the game, O’Connor hit on 60-percent of his throws and passed for 263-yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.  Add in another 36-yards rushing and you have to agree O’Connor played a solid game and look at placing blame elsewhere.

For the season O’Connor is also hitting on 60-percent on his throws with eight touchdowns.  Yes, the five interceptions in four games is too many, but against the Hoosiers he had none.  Add in the fact O’Connor has been sacked eight times in four games and you can see why at times he’s rushing the throw and putting the football at risk.

While some are starting to feel the 2016 Spartan football team is starting to look and feel like the 2012 Spartan football team that saw Andrew Maxwell go from starter to bench, from a number perspective it looks like O'Connor is playing better but has suffered in the past two games with losses. 

COMPAIRSON

QUARTERBACK COMPLETIONS ATTEMPTS INT TD SACKS PCT
ANDREW MAXWELL 81 143 3 3 4 56.0
TYLER O'CONNOR 71 117 5 8 8 60.7

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