Air Force vs Michigan State: 5 players who earned a game ball

5 of 6

Sep 19, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michican State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) throws a pass against the Air Force Falcons during at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Are you surprised I put Connor Cook on here? Well, if you watched the game last Saturday, you shouldn’t be. The senior quarterback easily had his best game of the season and it had all the feel of the old Connor Cook from last year and from 2013.

Must Read: MSU Recruiting: Next 5 football/basketball recruits who could commit

Through two weeks, people were already starting to panic about Cook’s average, at best, performance against Western Michigan and his slightly-better showing against No. 7 Oregon the following week. Well, he awoke from his apparent slumber to sling the ball around for 247 yards and four touchdowns on 15-of-23 completions.

Those may not seem like world-class numbers, but when you figure how much he was rushed and spilled from the pocket, you have to respect the stats even more.

Saturday was the first time all season in which he had very little time to throw, getting hurried on almost every drop-back and also going down with the first three sacks of the year. The offensive line was mediocre that day, but Cook still managed to shine.

Cook’s accuracy was one thing that needed some improvement, and he did just that. If he can completed about 60-plus percent of his passes each week and protect the ball like he already does, the Spartans will be in great shape for a College Football Playoff run.

Next: 1. Aaron Burbridge, WR