Michigan State had been largely indecisive with its quarterbacks in the first two games of the season and the results of the revolving door at QB were not good.
Against Youngstown State, the Spartans picked sophomore Connor Cook and said, “You’re the guy.”
For Cook and the Spartans that made all the difference.
”We knew we would be rotating in the last two games,” Cook said. “But when I sat down with Coach (Mark) Dantonio he said you're the guy and we believe in you, we have all the confidence in the world with you.”
”I talked with some other people and they said the same stuff. It is just reassuring. I think I found my rhythm pretty early (Saturday).”
Dantonio said the plan going into Saturday was to let Cook play and not make a quick change if he struggled.
”I thought Connor played well,” Dantonio said. “It was the plan to go with him and to stick with him if he had a difficult time. I thought he responded.”
Cook’s response was resounding: Four touchdowns on 15 of 22 passing and 202 yards in just more than a half of the game.
Cook said a big reason for his success in the 55-17 win against Youngstown State was being able to stay on the field and get a rhythm.
”This was the first time where I was in and I was the main guy,” Cook said. “When you know your coaches believe in you, you know your players, teammates believe in you, and you believe in yourself it just makes you a lot more confident and not afraid to make mistakes.”
Cook said that confidence has been key of late and has been steadily growing for him.
“I feel like I’ve gotten better each week, from Western to USF to now, the confidence is just growing,” he said. “It’s growing in practice. It’s growing in the games.”
Sophomore wide receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr said the confidence of Cook was noticeable in the huddle.
"He’s more confident than what he was the other weeks," Kings said. "He has confidence every week, but you could tell he was more upbeat in the huddle."
Offensive coordinator Dave Warner said he felt that telling Cook that it was his game seemed helped spur that confidence.
”We definitely went into this game different then we have in the previous couple of games, so I think that helped him from a confidence standpoint, and he seemed to settle in and make plays,” Warner said. “I've been saying it all along hopefully we can make a decision and settle it.
“Hopefully were getting a little bit closer.”
It looks that way for now, as Dantonio said that there is no more ongoing competition for now.
”Connor Cook is the number one quarterback,” Dantonio said.