Without question, the biggest off-season storyline surrounding the Michigan State Spartans as they head into 2016 looking to defend their 2015 Big Ten crown was who would be the starting quarterback, replacing the all-time winningest and most prolific quarterback in school history in Connor Cook.
On Monday, we learned from the head man himself. Coach Mark Dantonio has named redshirt senior Tyler O’Connor as the starter for week one against Furman.
Tyler O’Connor will start Michigan State’s opener, Mark Dantonio said
— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) August 22, 2016
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
O’Connor has long awaited his chance to be the starter for MSU football. He’s appeared in just 12 games over the last three seasons, completing 34 passes on 54 attempts for a total of 374 yards. He’s also show a modest amount of mobility for a QB of his stature, rushing the ball 28 times for 94 yards over those three seasons. He and likely backup, redshirt junior Damion Terry, shared duties a year ago when Connor Cook was injured and were integral in that road victory in Columbus that propelled MSU into a division title.
Whether O’Connor is the No. 1 guy for the entire season remains to be seen. He, Terry and redshirt freshman Brian Lewerke will likely see playing time in that season opener against the Paladins, as well as perhaps true freshman Messiah deWeaver.