Spartan co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner was much more at ease following Michigan State's 55-point output against Youngstown State on Saturday.
The disappointment from Michigan State's unsightly performances in the first two weeks of the season was replaced by optimism created by big numbers and nice downfield passes from QB Connor Cook, good hands from multiple receivers and a slick ground game.
Throttling a FCS opponent such as Youngstown State isn't reason for throwing a parade, but it's better than struggling against Western Michigan and South Florida, with a trip to Notre Dame scheduled for next week.
A transcript of Warner's post-game press conference:
Opening statement: "Obviously it was a lot better than it has been in the past couple of weeks. We got our passing game going but still missed some receivers which prevented us from being even better. But overall, it's a good feeling to finally put everything together. We put the ball on the ground one time offensively and one time on special teams which is something we have to avoid. Third-down conversions were much better and we really put everything together. But that's just the start because certainly we have a long way to go and a long season in front of us so hopefully it's just the beginning.
On the performance of the wide receivers: I thought they did excellent. We had a lot of the young guys going again and we mixed some other guys in throughout the game. I don't remember any drops and I thought we ran some pretty good routes. Conner put the ball on the money a couple of times especially down the field which is something we've been lacking. It was good to put it all together.
On whether Cook's performance settles the QB competition: You'll have to ask Coach Dantonio about that. I think Connor (Cook) played well. We went into this football game telling Connor that this is his game. We definitely went into this game different then we have in the previous couple of games, so I think that helped him from a confidence standpoint, and he seemed to settle in and make plays. I've been saying it all along hopefully we can make a decision and settle it. Hopefully were getting a little bit closer.
On how satisfied he was regarding the running backs' performance: I think there were some instances where I thought we could have put our foot in the ground, and go north and south a little bit sooner and maybe run with a little more power. I'll have to watch the film and maybe I'll have a different opinion.
On what he saw in practice this week that led him to believe there would be a different outcome offensively: Last week we had a very good Thursday practice and I was pretty confident we would have a good game. That didn't happen. This week we had another good Thursday practice but I think there was a little more sense of urgency from the entire football team. Coach Dantonio made that very clear to everybody on our football team. We played better offensively so hopefully it's a taste of things to come.
On why true freshman quarterback Damion Terry was not ready to play: It was an understanding of the offense. He's got tremendous tools and he's going to be a very good football player for us. At the same time we want to be smart and protect him and protect this football team and not put him in before he's ready. The jury is still out. This doesn't mean he's on the back shelf the rest of the year, just at this time he wasn't ready to go.