The focus for Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook in his first start against in-state rival Michigan was clear on Saturday: Remain poised.
“I just went into this game with the main focus on just being poised,” Cook said. “No matter what was going to go on early in the game, late in the game.
“I talked to some people and they said be poised. I thought I was resilient like I have been and I thought remained poised throughout the whole game.”
Coming out early, Cook said his nerves were present, but just like any other game.
“I think that just goes for every game you’re playing in,” Cook said. “You have butterflies the first couple of snaps then you get into groove and that’s what we did as an offense today.”
Following a performance in which he set the single-game completion percentage school record, Cook was 18 of 33 passing for 252 yards with a touchdown – and also had one on the ground.
“We've got a quarterback who's resilient, who can make plays,” head coach Mark Dantonio said. “He's young and he's still growing with a big opportunity to grow this game.”
Cook did have a potentially costly interception in the third quarter which Michigan junior cornerback Raymon Taylor made a play on a Cook throw. Cook said he stayed calm with his teammates around him.
“I talked to my QB coach, the other QBs,” Cook said. “Talked to some wide outs and pretty much a lot of my teammates, but it was a stupid play.
“I probably shouldn’t have thrown it, but it was a good play by the corner on that too, but got to put it behind you and move forward.”
Cook helped his team put the game out of reached as he stuffed the ball in the end zone for his first career rushing touchdown run with 10:30 left to play in the third that gave the Spartans a 22-6 lead.
Cook moved to 5-0 as a starter in Big Ten play with the win Saturday.