EAST LANSING — True freshman quarterback Damion Terry impressed his head coach with his versatility in the Spartans second preseason scrimmage held at Spartan Stadium on Saturday.
Terry went 10-of-14 for 240 yards and three touchdowns while adding 12 rushes for 40 yards as he rallied the offense to a 37-36 comeback victory over the defense.
MSU announced that Terry’s performance was primarily against the Spartans No. 1 defense, which may have helped the 6-foot-3, 222-pound quarterback’s chances in an intense competition for the starting job.
Coming into Saturday’s scrimmage it seemed as if senior Andrew Maxwell, sophomore Connor Cook, and redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor were duking it out for the starting position. However, Terry’s improvement throughout camp and his ability to create — a quality that Dantonio has emphasized that his starting quarterback possess — may have turned this competition into a Fatal 4-Way.
“Damion Terry is a big, physical guy,” Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said in a press release. “He’s sudden, and he can create. He’s still a freshman and that’s the thing that bothers you a little bit, but he can create. The name of the game – and I’ve said this over and over again – is you’ve got to create at quarterback. You’ve got to take a bad play and make it a good one because things are going to break down. That’s just the way football is.
“(After today’s scrimmage) it makes it (the quarterback race) even more interesting. Damion throws a nice ball, and guys went up and caught the ball. It’s exciting to see (his development).”
While Dantonio didn’t comment on his other three QB’s in the press release, statistically, O’Connor had solid numbers. The 6-foot-3 215-pound quarterback went 11-of-16 for 102 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Maxwell went 9-of-19 for 77 yards, and Cook went 4-of-9 for 67 yards and one interception.
Michigan State will return to practice Sunday afternoon for its 18th workout of preseason camp.