August 17, 2013

Scrimmage could sort out QB and RB picture

EAST LANSING - Not since August of 2009 has a preseason scrimmage been as crucial to the quarterback position at Michigan State as will be the case today at Spartan Stadium.

Senior Andrew Maxwell and sophomore Connor Cook are still engaged in a lively battle for the starting (and finishing) quarterback job at Michigan State for 2013. And redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor is apparently still in the conversation.

The QB competition is the most heated Michigan State has seen since 2009 when Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol went at it as sophomores for the right to succeed the graduated Brian Hoyer.

The Cousins-Nichol battle went deep into the regular season, and may have cost the Spartans some rhythm and a win or two in a season that eventually ended at 6-7 and a loss in the Alamo Bowl. But the sometimes-painful process of 2009 eventually exposed Cousins as the man for the position - a decision which paved the way to a share of the Big Ten title in 2010 and a Legends Division championship and Top 10 finish in 2011.

Cousins and Nichol engaged in several dead-heat scrimmages prior to hitting the regular season in 2009. Maxwell and Cook have been too close to call through two Jersey Scrimmages in the spring, the Green-White Game and then last week's first Jersey Scrimmage of the fall.

Today will mark the final Jersey Scrimmage of August camp, and with it, co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner hopes and expects to have a stronger idea of who will be the man at QB for Michigan State in 2013.

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