August 13, 2013

Maxwell on QB battle: 'I am still No. 1'

EAST LANSING - Twelve months ago, reporters were asking Andrew Maxwell about the challenge of stepping into the starting lineup as the replacement for Kirk Cousins.

Now, we want to know if the strong-armed senior is still the starter.

"In my mind, when they put the depth chart up there I am still No. 1," said Maxwell, a couple of days after he completed 13-of-21 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown in Michigan State's first jersey scrimmage of training camp. "I don't really have any reason to think otherwise."

Maxwell seems relaxed in the midst of a fierce position battle with hard-charging sophomore Connor Cook and redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor. His focus has been on self-improvement.

"You have to take advantage of every opportunity that you get," said Maxwell. "When you are splitting reps, whether you go with the ones or you go with the twos, it is still 11-on-11 and it is still the same plays. Really, that's my focus right now. The reps that I get, making the most of those, making an impact on those, trying to continue to get better and help this football team."

Maxwell was encouraged by what he saw from the offense in the first scrimmage. The defense earned the green practice jerseys, but the offense moved the ball more effectively against a Top 10 defense than they have in past years.

"Sometimes when we'd lose scrimmages in the past, we couldn't run the ball, we didn't throw the ball very effectively," said Maxwell. "We just kind of got stuffed, and sputtered through it. You look back at Saturday, and we were getting chunk plays it seemed like every series. It's a big run. It's a catch and run. It's consistently chipping away at a defense."

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