In the search for answers on offense, explosive plays and a quarterback, Michigan State broke its norm and practiced Sunday.
”I really wish I could be more concrete on things, but it really depends on how a guy practices because we need to see the production,” head coach Mark Dantonio said. “We started (Sunday) and normally we don’t practice on a Sunday. But we have our skill guys out there.”
Dantonio said in trying to solve the questions at quarterback, he has a sense of urgency -- and that decisions made leading up to Youngstown State on Saturday will be made in-house.
“I have a sense of urgency in this process as I try and formulate it and get it handled as quick as possible so I have to give people opportunities,” he said.
The Spartans gave three quarterbacks opportunities Saturday in their 21-6 win against South Florida.
Dantonio said the plan to start Connor Cook and play Tyler O’Connor in the first half was planned.
”I had a script in mind that I was gonna play the two guys that played in the first half,” Dantonio said, “and if they didn’t get it done and we weren’t moving the football to what I believed should be happening, me, Mark Dantonio, that it was a possibility I would go with Andrew Maxwell, because I felt like he deserves that opportunity if nobody else is seizing it.”
The Spartans offense didn’t put any points on the board in the first half, but Dantonio said he felt like the quarterbacks did some good things.
“We went with Connor Cook initially,” he said. “Felt like he did some good things, we’ve got to move the football down the field. I mean, it’s pretty much that simple. We inserted Tyler O’Connor. Double reverse, came down the field and I think he made two mistakes inside the 5-yard line. Took points off the board. … I think all of them have their points of positives. They also have their points of negatives.”
Cook started and finished the game, while Maxwell and O'Connor had two series each.
Dantonio said the biggest concern with O’Connor was an incorrect play call inside the 5-yard line, which stalled a drive that ended with a missed field goal.
Dantonio said Maxwell still is in the mix to start. He also said Damion Terry is practicing after some injuries last week.
"It looks to me like he'll be ready to compete," Dantonio said.
Dantonio said after Saturday’s game that Terry had strep throat and had dislocated his thumb in the week of practice leading up to South Florida.