EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mark Dantonio could have his third quarterback rotation in as many games with Michigan State freshman Damion Terry officially in the mix for Saturday's game against Youngstown State.
Terry is expected to get the second-most repetitions at practice, behind second-game starter Connor Cook, as the Spartans (2-0) try to find answers for an offense that has scored just two touchdowns, half the output of their dominating defense.
"We have to make sure he's ready to play, and we have to allow him to develop," Dantonio said of Terry, a 6-foot-3, 222-pound dual threat from Erie, Pa. "I'm willing to do that because of what I saw out at practice and what I see, inconsistently, in his ability to run, his ability to throw and his poise in the pocket. We have to see where he is, and the only way to do that is to practice him (with the first team)."
If Terry is solid the next three days, he should see the field against the Penguins (2-0), a team that has put up 95 points. Dantonio stressed that he won't risk burning a top prospect's redshirt year for one appearance, making the next three days a critical time for a team that needs Cook, Terry, 2012 starter Andrew Maxwell or redshirt-freshman Tyler O'Connor to emerge.
"If he's not ready to play in a game, we can't take the redshirt off him and ruin his year," Dantonio said. "That wouldn't be fair to him. People need to understand that. If we take the redshirt off, that means he had a great week of practice. It means he's getting ready to play, and we'll go in that direction. But we can't play him one game and not play him again. That's why this situation has to be managed very delicately."
Maxwell, Cook and O'Connor have completed just 29 of 61 passes, 47.5 percent, for 210 yards and zero touchdowns in the nation's worst air attack. They haven't thrown an interception. But none of them has completed more than half his throws, and only one attempt has gone for more than 20 yards, a drag pattern that went for 26.