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MSU Football: Maxwell aims to end strong

11:15 AM, Dec 25, 2012   |    comments
Quarterback Andrew Maxwell and the Spartans offense managed just 237 yards against Notre Dame. / Greg DeRuiter | Lansing State Journal
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (Lansing State Journal) - Andrew Maxwell has experienced the highs and lows throughout his first season as Michigan State's starting quarterback.

The fourth-year junior has remained positive through it all and hopes to use Saturday's matchup against TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., as a way for the Spartans to carry momentum into the 2013 season.

"Sitting here at 6-6 and coming up on the short end of so many games and knowing the kind of team that we potentially could've been and the record we potentially could've had, this is our one last chance to kind of go out with a bang and people always remember how you finish," Maxwell said. "If we finish up with a win and can send the seniors out on a good note, and we finish up at 7-6 with two straight wins to end the year, two straight bowl wins, that's gonna speak a lot to where our program is."

The bowl game can also serve as a way for Maxwell to carry a positive tone into his senior season.

Maxwell threw for 2,578 yards for 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season, finishing third in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (214.8). He struggled some down the stretch, completing just 43.1 percent (44-of-102) of his passes for three touchdowns and four interceptions during MSU's final three games. Maxwell played with a bruised right throwing elbow in the season finale against Minnesota - an injury he suffered a week earlier in a setback to Northwestern.

"I think Andrew, like a lot of us, would probably say that he had some performances that we thought were very, very good, and then he had some that weren't nearly what we wanted or what he wanted," MSU offensive coordinator Dan Roushar said. "I think he's remained very positive. I've watched him in these practices. He's working very hard with his fundamentals, and we're hoping that he continues to do nothing but improve with the competition that's around him at the quarterback position.

"... Even going back to the last game, I thought he did a tremendous job of getting us to a win. He did a lot of good things with run checks that go unnoticed. He didn't throw the ball as effectively as he would have liked, but he played with a pretty significant injury that game, and you've got to take your hat off to a guy that's going to fight and compete like he did."

Maxwell is now healthy and has been live in practices as the Spartans prepare to take on a TCU squad that ranks 18th nationally in total defense. The quarterbacks being live is something Maxwell sees as beneficial, especially for freshman Tyler O'Connor and redshirt freshman Connor Cook, who haven't had the game experience under center.

"It was good to get that work just because that's how it's gonna be in the game and that's something that unless you go live you really can't simulate standing in the pocket and trying to get the ball out of your hands before you run out of time," Maxwell said.

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