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Michigan State sticks with Maxwell at QB

The SportsXchange

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Andrew Maxwell fought off his challengers and will begin the season as Michigan State's starting quarterback.

When the Spartans open the season Friday night against Western Michigan, Maxwell will be under center and sophomore Connor Cook will also get some reps. Redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor remains "in the mix" and freshman Damion Terry's chances of seeing the field appear to be slim.

The four battled throughout camp to win the starting job and there is still a possibility all of them could get a shot in the first few weeks of the season.

But coach Mark Dantonio made it clear the Spartans are are moving forward with Maxwell, who struggled while starting all 13 games last season. Maxwell completed 52.5 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions and had a 107.1 quarterback rating that ranked 109th in FBS.

"I'm comfortable we have a No. 1 quarterback," Dantonio said. "He was our No. 1 quarterback last year, gained some experience with that, had some balls dropped. (We've) got to protect him, got to run the football, got to do the things you have to do that surrounds him as well.

"He's got great knowledge of our system. I think he's competitive, (has) got great leadership skills. Like I told him today, 'Here are the keys, bring it back full.' I think he'll do that."

Dantonio believes Maxwell proved throughout preseason camp he deserves the shot to be the No. 1 quarterback.

"What I tried to provide was a very competitive situation, mainly to put pressure on everybody," he said. "People have to feel the heat, they have to feel the pressure so that you can evaluate them in pressure situations. That's as close as we can get to the game situation.

"So I always felt like that Andrew was going to be our guy. That was the general consensus among our coaches, but we wanted to provide that competitive level. There were times when a guy had a better practice, put him with the ones, just like I did with Damion Terry. ... I think Andrew has proven that he is that guy."

--Team correspondents for The Sports Xchange contributed material for this story.
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