Ever since head coach Mark Dantonio handed the reigns of the Spartan offense to Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook, progression has been Michigan State’s forte each week.
It is obvious that the Spartan defense, ranked 1st in almost every major category, has lifted this team to #11 on the Associated Press poll. However, we should examine what the offense has done with Cook as their field general: Michigan State is taking care of the football.
With only 10 turnovers on the year, Connor Cook and the Spartan offense rank 6th in the NCAA in turnover margin.
Cook’s 17-4 touchdown to interception ratio speaks volumes for Cook’s growth as a young quarterback. As many have seen, in small flashes of brilliance, Cook has the ability to move the football with his legs, taking pressure off his arm and limiting his forced throws.
Although he has only scored once with his rushing capability, when the Spartan nation faces Ohio State and quarterback Braxton Miller, Cook can score stride for stride with the #3 ranked Buckeyes.
Looking back on Spartan great Kirk Cousins, his ability to lead MSU and move the football at will was undeniable. Nothing against Cousins, but his strong point was never rushing for 50 or 60 yards a game.
Cook has that capability. Who’s to say he and Dantonio haven’t been planning this all along to catch some teams like Ohio State off guard? It will be a testament to Dantonio’s faith in his young quarterback to see how much he opens up the offense for Cook.
If Dantonio makes Cook’s legs a part of the game plan then defenses will be forced to stack the box in preparation, opening up the passing lanes for Cook to exploit the defense.
An offense with the ability to score at will with a defense who leads the nation in almost every category, creates a team with championship implications; a team that no Gopher or Buckeye should wish to reckon with.
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