With the projected starter at quarterback, Andrew Maxwell, sidelined due to injury for Michigan State’s spring game, all eyes were on backup Connor Cook and whether he could chip into the presumptive frontrunner’s lead coming out of the spring.
It was another player, however, who was front and center in the headlines, albeit for a hold-your-breath reason.
William Gholston (pictured), the Spartans’ talented but “feisty” defensive lineman, threw a scare into MSU’s coaching staff and fans after limping off the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return. Those anxious moments aside, it appears the initial prognosis is very positive; the Big Ten Network reported that it was merely a bruised right knee.
As of this posting, there was no official word from the team on the extent or severity of Gholston’s injury.
Prior to his injury, Gholston was credited with two tackles for a loss. All told, there were 14 tackles for loss and four sacks in the game for both defenses. One of Gholston’s tackles for loss resulted in a safety, which were the only points the Green team scored in a 14-2 “loss” to the White squad.
As for Cook? He put up solid numbers with 294 yards passing and a touchdown, but offset that somewhat by completing less than 50 percent of his passes (20-of-45) and an interception. Based solely on the statistical numbers in a meaningless exhibition game, it’s hard to believe that anyone but Maxwell will head into summer camp with a decided edge at the position.
Regardless of whether Cook chipped into Maxwell’s “lead” or not — and the coaches weren’t saying yea or nay on that front — the experience the redshirt freshman received both in the game and in the practice sessions leading up to the spring finale was unanimously viewed as very much a positive.
“What is great about the game is that it allowed someone like Connor (Cook) to see a lot of action,” wide receivers coach and White team head coach Terrence Samuel said in quotes distributed by the team. “He was able to jump on both sides and each team had their tricks. The last week has been invaluable to him because he has been able to work on processing the offense. It has been really nice to see his decision making. He has great command of the huddle. I think our players realize that too and respect him for it. Today was also important for Connor to get a feel for a real game in Spartan Stadium.”