Michigan State has some big shoes to fill in replacing Connor Cook at quarterback, but head coach Mark Dantonio has confidence in Tyler O’Connor to do the job, as on Monday Dantonio named the senior as his new starting quarterback.
MSU coach Mark Dantonio says Tyler O'Connor is the staring QB for Furman game. Battle between Terry/Lewerke for No. 2, with edge to Terry.
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) August 22, 2016
It was long expected that the well-versed O’Connor would get the nod, as he has experience in leading the Spartans’ offense in the past. Who could forget the time O’Connor led the Spartans to an upset win at Ohio State last fall when Cook was injured?
Dan Murphy of ESPN reported of the news Monday. More from ESPN.com:
“He’s the No. 1 guy,” Dantonio said. “He’s had a good enough camp to say that at this point.”
There is always a chance that Dantonio could look to senior Damion Terry or sophomore Brian Lewerke at quarterback, but the coach said O’Connor has done everything that has been asked of him in camp.
O’Connor, a 6’3”, 225-pound fifth-year signal caller from Lima, Ohio is coming off a junior campaign in which he played in four games. He passed for 133 yards and two touchdowns with one interception last season, while completing 54.2 percent of his passes. For his career, O’Connor has passed for 374 yards and four touchdowns to go with two interceptions.
The Spartans are coming off a great 2015 campaign in which they went 12-2 overall, while winning their second Big Ten championship in the past three years. Michigan State ended its season in bitter fashion, though, losing 38-0 to Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
Michigan State will open its 2016 season when it hosts Furman on September 2.