While the battle to become Michigan State’s starting quarterback in 2016 officially got underway on Jan. 1, just one day after the Spartans’ Cotton Bowl loss to Alabama, head coach Mark Dantonio has yet to name a starter with just two weeks to go before the Spartans’ regular season opener.
Now, Dantonio’s tough decision can become your payday thanks to the value-packed betting odds surrounding Michigan State’s quarterback battle. Now, let’s find out who’s going to be the Michigan State’s new starting signal-caller.
Analyzing The Spartans Quarterback Battle College Football Expert Picks
Tyler O’Connor -800
Damion Terry +550
Brian Lewerke +2500
Now senior, Tyler O’Connor was the backup last year and is the most experienced quarterback in this year’s race for the starting spot.
O’Connor played in six games last season, going 13 for 24 with two touchdowns and one interception while rushing 14 times for 48 yards. O’Connor replaced injured former starter Connor Cook against Maryland and led the Spartans to huge win over Big Ten rival Ohio State the following week. O’Connor has good chemistry with the Spartans’ wide receivers and doesn’t make the costly mistake very often.
Terry, a junior, is the far more athletic dual-threat signal-caller that appeared in 10 games last season, mostly in specialized packages that featured him playing wide receiver. Terry threw just seven passes while completing just two of them for 15 yards while rushing the ball 21 times for 68 yards. Terry also ran eight times and threw four passes against the Buckeyes in Michigan State’s stunning victory over Ohio State, but right now, he’s clearly behind O’Connor in this race.
Reports out of Michigan State say that Lewerke has a cannon for a right arm and decent mobility, but expecting the redshirt freshman to leapfrog both, O’Connor and Terry is a bit of a stretch. For the redshirt freshman.
Analysis and Expert Prediction
While I love Damion Terry’s athletic ability, I believe Tyler O’Connor will win this quarterback battle for one big reason – he doesn’t turn the ball over. Mark Dantonio has to be concerned with playing smart possession football until he can count on any of his quarterbacks to win game with their passing ability and right now, Tyler O’Connor gives the Spartans the best chance of doing just that.
If Tyler O’Connor can start and lead the Spartans to a big win over an elite opponent like he did by beating Ohio State last season, then he should have been named the starter a long time go if you ask me. In the end, he’ll get the nod, although I do expect to see Damion Terry to play a lot this season – and not all at wide receiver either.