At least Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio got 5Ĺ minutes of peace during Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference, because it took that long to field his first question about the Spartans' crazy-quilt quarterback situation.
The news this week in the ongoing drama about an offense that has fewer touchdowns (2) than MSU defensive end Shilique Calhoun (3) is the insertion of true freshman Damion Terry.
As of now, Dantonio emphasized, sophomore Connor Cook is scheduled to start while Terry gets full preparation as the backup. That means returning starter and fifth-year senior Andrew Maxwell and redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor will see scout-team work.
“We're looking for somebody to seize the moment,” Dantonio said.
Terry, originally expected to redshirt, jumped into contention with a giant performance in the final preseason scrimmage. The 6-foot-3, 222-pounder from Erie, Pa., piled up 280 yards of total offense and three touchdowns against the Spartans' top 10 defense.
“He's a big, physical guy, he's sudden and he can create,” Dantonio said, which through two games is something Michigan State's offense has shown little knack for.
Terry was supposed to get a look last week, but was slowed by strep throat and a bruised thumb. Now, if he performs well in practice, the redshirt will come off Saturday against Youngstown State.
Illinois coach 'shocked'
Illinois coach Tim Beckman said he was jolted by allegations of players being paid and academic misconduct at Oklahoma State from 2001 through 2011.
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Sports Illustrated is running a five-part series about alleged rule violations involving the Cowboys. Beckman was the defensive coordinator in Stillwater in 2007 and 2008.
“I was totally shocked,” Beckman said. “My time at Oklahoma State, I never experienced or knew of anything that was going on. I was shocked at the allegations.”
Beckman said he hasn't been contacted by Sports Illustrated, Oklahoma State or the NCAA.
Players of the week
Offense: Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon. The senior from Apopka, Fla., set career bests with 184 yards receiving and three touchdowns in a win against Notre Dame.
Defense: Michigan State's Calhoun. The sophomore from Middletown, N.J., returned a fumble and an interception for touchdowns in a win over South Florida.
Co-special teams: Minnesota punt returner Marcus Jones and Purdue kick returner Akeem Hunt. Jones, a junior from Wake Forest, N.C., returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown in a win over New Mexico State. Hunt, a junior from Covington, Ga., returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for touchdown in a win against Indiana State.
Freshman: Wisconsin tailback Corey Clement. The Glassboro, N.J., product ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns in a win against Tennessee Tech. It was his second straight 100-yard game.
Quote of the week
Dantonio: “I think we have a championship defense. I think we can do things on special teams to a championship level. We have to raise our performance on offense because we're not shooting for 7-6.”
Stat of the week
Through two weeks, Big Ten teams have recorded 12 defensive touchdowns and six kick-return touchdowns.
Bits and pieces
Ľ Tuesday's Ohio State practice left coach Urban Meyer “optimistic” about quarterback Braxton Miller playing Saturday. Miller sprained a knee ligament last week.
Ľ Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan, who tore an ACL in spring ball, is on track for an October return, coach Brady Hoke said Tuesday. “I can't tell you if it will be early, middle or late (October), but Jake's doing great,” Hoke said. Ryan led the Wolverines in tackles in 2012.
Ľ Two Big Ten schools playing Pac-12 road games this week are altering their normal travel schedules. Wisconsin will leave on Thursday night ahead of Saturday's 9:30 p.m. game at Arizona State. Ohio State will leave Friday morning to prepare for Saturday's 6 p.m. game at California.