Mark Dantonio took over at Michigan State in 2007. He has, by all accounts, been pretty successful as the Spartans’ head coach. He’s won 69 (nice) percent of his games there, and even made the College Football Playoff one year. In the buzzsaw that is the Big Ten East, that’s pretty good!
When you think of a Mark Dantonio team, you probably think a lot of the success can be attributed to a traditionally stingy defense or a punishing power run game. If you hold those thoughts, you would be incorrect.
The real success comes from the revolving door of quarterbacks that are essentially sentient jars of mayonnaise. Mark Dantonio has a type.
Michigan State has had the same quarterback for over a decade now. Sure, the name and number on the back of the jersey might change, but the Spartans have been trotting out the same jar of Hellmann’s since Dantonio took over.
Every year it’s some variation of a 6’3-ish, probably blonde, white QB that hands the ball off to a dynamic back 25 times a game and maybe hurts you with their arm a few times. They will be extremely bland, and they will be extremely frustrating. Tell me I’m wrong!
Anyways, let’s rank each Dantonio quarterback by how well they fit this archetype on a scale of one to five jars of Hellmann’s.
1 Jar of Hellman’s
Andrew Maxwell (2012)
Maxwell was with the Spartans for four years, but really only got serious playing time in 2012. His role on the team was essentially to be the middleman between the center and Le’Veon Bell. He never had a game with more than 300 yards, never had more than two touchdowns in a game, and barely completed 50 percent of his passes. He is fairly inconsequential in Michigan State’s mayo QB history and merely bridged the gap between more prominent jars of mayo.
Tyler O’Connor (2016)
Tyler O’Connor is the most Michigan State quarterback name on this list. He’s similar to Maxwell in the sense that he only had the starting job for one season. O’Connor unfortunately held this honor during the 2016 season, which was the only time the Spartans failed to make a bowl game during Dantonio’s tenure. What else happened in 2016? Glad you asked! A ranked MSU team came into Bloomington for a Saturday night game against the Hoosiers and walked out of Memorial Stadium with a loss. Will history repeat itself this weekend? Well, it hard to say.
2 Jars of Hellman’s
Brian Lewerke (2017-2018)
The Spartan’s current playcaller earns the benefit of a couple of jars for taking the reigns from O’Connor. He’s a perfectly fine college quarterback, and actually showed can he hurt you with his legs a little bit last year. HOW DARE HE BREAK THE MOLD. He failed to throw for 200 yards against the stout Hoosier defense last year, and he could be in for another long day if Tom Allen’s group continues to perform as it has the last couple of weeks.
3 Jars of Hellman’s
Brian Hoyer (2007-2008)
Hoyer actually got a little bit of run before Dantonio arrived, but he took over as the starter in Dantonio’s first year. If you’ve seen Hoyer play in the NFL, you probably wouldn’t expect Hoyer’s college career to be anything special. Guess what? It wasn’t! In his senior season, he completed 51 percent of his passes and threw for nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. That’s Spartan football baby. Hoyer earns an extra jar for being a solid “Let’s Remember Some Guys” guy.
4 Jars of Hellman’s
Connor Cook (2013-2015)
Cook was at the helm for the most successful stretch of football in Michigan State’s history. He amassed a record of 36-5, won a Rose Bowl and took the Spartans to the College Football Playoff before leading the offense to zero (0) points against Alabama. He put up numbers. He has The Look. He has a Very Michigan State Quarterback Name. Connor Cook was almost the perfect Dantonio QB.
5 Jars of Hellman’s
Kirk Cousins (2009-2011)
Before Cousins took his milquetoast brand of quarterbacking to the NFL, he honed his craft at Michigan State. He was the first Spartan QB to have the Spartan QB look. He’s tall, blonde and relatively handsome. He was also slightly above average, but not to the point of being a dominant force. He found success with offenses built around Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell, and won double digit games during his last two years. When I think Michigan State QB, I think Kirk Cousins. He is the prototype. He is the most mayonnaise quarterback Michigan State has had. You get five jars when you do stuff like this: