Why? The Freep reports that Alabama is citing that it's due to the uncertainty in the SEC schedule.
The Spartans and the Crimson Tide were to meet each other in a home-and-home series in 2016 and 2017.
Connor Cook is still MSU's starting quarterback.
So said head coach Mark Dantonio during Sunday's teleconference with the press.
"I think he is still our number one quarterback. " said Dantonio. "I think he continues to get better. He's a young quarterback. He's a redshirt sophomore. I think he continues to get better and at times shows his ability to be resilient on the field and had composure on the field. But there's always a consistency to things."
Even though Dantonio said he was disappointed with Saturday's loss to Notre Dame, he's trying to keep a level head about it.
"We need to continue to keep things in perspective. We're a 3-1 football team. We have an opportunity to sit this week and regroup."
While pleased with his Spartans' defensive efforts, Dantonio is always looking for improvement, adding that "...we need to pressure the quarterback more consistently. Came away with zero sacks."
But it's the offense that, after four games, is still a thorn in Dantonio's side, stating that " ... in the end, defensively you give up 17 points, you got an opportunity to win. That's what you have to look at, as well. We have to be able to overcome some of these things."
Dantonio added, "I think the things we have to correct are our consistency in our passing game. We've got continue to try to push our running game forward. I think we're getting pretty good play from our offensive line in the running back situation."
More comments from Dantonio ...
On Conner Cook:
"He's a young quarterback that's still maturing, that is in his first big road game. I thought, with all things being said, he did a pretty good job. It takes a lot of things for a quarterback to be successful. It's not just him. It's the receivers running the routes, it's being able to establish a running game, being able to protect for him. I thought he had pretty good protection. But you've got to be consistent, as well."
On his decision to put in Andrew Maxwell on the final drive:
"Those things are tough to evaluate because, as I said, hindsight it 20/20.
"I thought Maxwell had a chance on a second down play or a third down play. He throws it a little bit high, but Burbridge has both hands on the ball. You got to make the catch. It's a 50/50 catch, but if he makes it, we're on the 40. Maxwell has done a good job in two minute situation before."
"Connor had not played as well the two previous series, and that was a decision that was made by us as a staff. I stamped my approval on the decision. It shows that I still have belief in Andrew Maxwell, which is important. You have to do the best you can with the time you have on the field, whether that's in a two minute situation or the 58 minutes preceding that two minute situation. Obviously you want to play the guy who is going to be successful. But you don't ever know that. I just felt like a change was warranted at that time."
Some injury notes ...
Senior linebacker Jairus Jones, injured in Saturday's loss to Notre Dame, will be out at least six weeks due. Jones suffered an MCL injury.
Senior safety Isaiah Lewis had meniscus surgery back on September 12th. Lewis missed the
From 9/18/2010 ...
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.
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