Sep 7, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) scrambles for a first down against the South Florida Bulls during the first quarter at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State's Connor Cook blows opportunity in starting debut

Michigan State’s 26-13 ugly win against visiting Western Michigan last week was not a fluke.

The Spartans are playing uglier today.

MSU leads visiting USF 7-6 at halftime, but the game shouldn’t even be that close.

Quartberback Connor Cook started in place of two-year starter Andrew Maxwell, as Mark Dantonio hoped Cook’s presence behind center would electrify the offense.

It didn’t

Cook exited the game in the first quarter and only played 5:52 before he was replaced by redshirt freshman Tyler O’Conner.

Cook’s inability to move the ball allowed USF to stay in the game. He was 5 of 9 for 12 yards, and O’Connor was 2 of 4 for 22 yards.

Receiver McGarett Kings led all wide outs with three catches for 24 yards in the first half, and running back Nick Hill rushed three times for 38 yards.

MSU’s only touchdown came from a 4-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by lineman Shilique Calhoun.

The Spartans punted six times in the first half.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Football Michigan State Spartans