September 21, 2013

Trends & Schemes: Cook surprised to get pulled

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Connor Cook pulled ahead in nine-month competition to become Michigan State's starting quarterback, two weeks ago. But he's still not the trusted finisher. At least not yet.

Not after struggling with bouts of inaccuracy during a 17-13 loss at Notre Dame on Saturday.

Cook was pulled in favor of senior and former starter Andrew Maxwell for Michigan State's final desperation drive, with 2:11 remaining and the Spartans at their own 33-yard line.

Maxwell was ineffective, throwing three incompletions and being stopped well short of first-down yardage on a fourth-down scramble.

Maxwell was not available for interviews.

Cook was 16-of-32 for 135 yards with 1 TD and no interceptions. He had a few good moments, including a sharp back-shoulder 12-yard TD pass to Macgarrett Kings to give the Spartans a 7-3 lead in the second quarter. But he was inaccurate on passes to open receivers on at least five passes, continuing a trend that has hampered his progress for more than a year.

"I was a little inaccurate but I would have wished the coaches had faith in me to keep me in there in a critical situation like that," Cook said.

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