September 5, 2009

Cousins, Nichol play like starters in opener

EAST LANSING - It wasn't exactly the green and white game where Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol threw for the identical number of yard and the identical number of touchdowns, but each of Michigan State's sophomore quarterbacks played well in the Michigan State opener to the point where coach Mark Dantonio will have another difficult decision to make when he names a starter for next weekend's game against Central Michigan.

Cousins, who took the opening snap against Montana State, was 10 of 17 through the air for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns. Nichol threw for 135 yards with 2 touchdowns and he added 20 more yards on four carries.

"My first assessment is that they both moved the football and moved our football team," said Dantonio. "That was the biggest thing that we need to see, the kids moving our football team - whether its running the ball, what they do in the huddle, or throwing the football. We have a little different dynamic with both of them and it was important to see them both play, and play when there was something on the table a little bit, when the score wasn't too lopsided. I thought it was important also to come back in the second half and allow Keith Nichol to have an opportunity to start the second half - that gives him a little different experience when he was to pick something up. I continue to say they are very mature in how they handle this and they are very competitive. They want to be the guy and it's a good situation when they are both playing well because it gives us more opportunities."



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