Michigan State vs Western Michigan: Grading the Spartans

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Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) attempts to throw the ball against the Western Michigan Broncos prior to a game at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback: C+

It’s easy to point the finger at one single player on the offensive side of things to blame for the mediocre performance on Friday night. Yes, the offense was probably the only bright spot as a whole, but Connor Cook did not play like the Heisman contender that he is.

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Starting the game off relatively strong with a couple of touchdown passes to Josiah Price and DeAnthony Arnett, Cook was beginning to stir up the Heisman conversation once again, but his performance in the second half was average, at best.

The Spartans took a 27-10 lead into the locker room, but then came out flat in the second half, getting outscored by the Broncos 14-10.

A big reason for the lackluster performance in the second half was the inaccuracy of Cook. He completed just 15-of-31 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.

You may be asking why the grade I gave Cook is so harsh despite his two touchdowns and 250-plus yards passing while he looked like a superstar at times. The answer to that is that he didn’t play like he’s accustomed to or has the potential to — and he completed less than 50 percent of his passes.

Cook will need to build on this big-time in order to beat Oregon next week.

Next: Running backs