While it appears that Mark Dantonio is quite bullish on his latest starting quarterback, Connor Cook ... and while it also appears as though Cook will be the man moving forward, at least in the short-term ... the murkey picture of who will be THE quarterback of the Spartans isn't crystal clear ... yet ...
Dantonio addressed the press on Tuesday morning as the Spartans prepare for Saturday's big test at Notre Dame.
"I think it was important for total team to have success catching the football. We've got a young QB. This will be a great experience for him down there and an (example) of what he'll face in the Big Ten."
Bullish may be putting it lightly.
"I think he got a boost of confidence from his play. I'm sure he's looking forward to the opportunity. He's not going to back away from a challenge."
But is Dantonio ready to name Cook as the starter for the season?
"Can't say enough about Andrew Maxwell with the way he's handled it. Opportunities are going to come. He's not done."
And what about freshman QB Damion Terry? Dantonio says that based on what he say at practices last week,he thinks the team would become limited with what they could do, adding that with limited knowledge of offense, a defense will bring pressure "and he has to be able to operate against pressure."
As for the rest of the Spartan offense, Dantonio says they need "production from the tight end position, whether running the ball or passing it."
Dantonio added that, if they can, they will likely redshirt DeAnthony Arnett. He thanks that Arnett has a great future at MSU, but "there are some things he has to do better."
It's interesting to note that while Dantonio mentioned that Lawrence Thomas is still out, he revealed that when he does come back, he will come back on the defensive side of the ball.
Dantonio says he's "very excited" about the Spartan defense, adding that they "like to play and like playing on a big stage, which is positive."
One defensive scheme change to be noted -- they have moved Evan Jones to defensive end. Dantonio says Jones is "tough, active, firm."
Dantonio says their preparations on the defensive side are "as high as (they) can take it. How we take the next step, we're going to find out who's who. Our football team."
While Dantonio speaks highly on Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, Dantonio indicated that he thinks the Fighting Irish may be somewhat limited, adding that "big plays have kept Notre Dame offense moving."
But he sees their quarterback Tommy Rees as a possible threat, saying Rees "uses a lot of the clock. But, the ball can be snapped at any time. Guy does a lot of things at the line of scrimmage."
Kickoff on Saturday afternoon is 3:30pm.
Join ESPN 96.1 at Uccello's in Standale for a Watch Party with your chance to win prizes and more.