Payton Thorne, Noah Kim, and Katin Houser, this is MSUs QB room going into week 5. The Spartans are coming off 2 double digit losses and it has fans wanting a change at the QB position. Here’s everything you need to know about MSUs QB drama.
Weeks 1 and 2
The Spartans started off the season vs Western Michigan, Payton Thorne went 12-24 for 233 yds 4 tds and an interception. Michigan State won that game 35-13 with no appearance from Kim or Houser. In week 2 MSU took on Akron, this game was over before it even started as State won 52-0. Payton Thorne started the game and was 18-28 for 212 yards, no touchdowns and 2 ints. After MSUs had the lead 24-0 they put backup QB Noah Kim in the game, he played only 1 drive and went 2/2 for 22 yards and a touchdown on a beautifully thrown ball. Late in the 4th MSU put third string QB, true freshman Katin Houser in the game. Houser threw 2 passes, completed one, and had 15 total yards. Up to this point Michigan State fans were happy with the performances of Thorne even if he did throw 3 interceptions against MAC schools, the consensus was that Thorne will be QB 1 the whole season.
Weeks 3 and 4
In week 3 the Spartans went to Washington to face the Washington Huskies. Washington tore apart Michigan State’s defense and won the game 39-28. Thorne had an impressive showing going 30/42 for 335 total yards, 3 touchdowns and a pick. He did all this without his top receiver Jayden Reed playing. Spartan fans weren’t mad at Thorne after this game, they were mad at the defense. Week 4, Minnesota travels to East Lansing to face the Michigan State Spartans. MSU got blown out 34-7 at home, it was a very ugly performance for Payton Thorne, he completed just 17 passes, had 129 total yards and turned the ball over 3 times. 3 very costly turnovers for Sparty as they could have gotten back in the game if Thorne would have just kept the football. Noah Kim came in the game on the last drive for MSU, 6/7 70 yards and a 27 yard touchdown pass on that drive, he threw beautiful ball after beautiful ball and scored with 17 seconds left to avoid the shutout at home. Fans were very angry with the defense but a lot of fans were surprisingly more angry at Payton Thorne. Through 4 weeks of football, the Spartans were 2-2 and Thorne had 7 turnovers, fans were now calling for Noah Kim to start.
Next week for MSU is a must win game, @ Maryland the Spartans can ill afford a loss going into the toughest games of the season. This could be Noah Kim’s time to shine, if MSU starts him over Thorne and they win, well then they have a new starting QB. If they start Kim and Sparty gets blown out, well then you’re forced to go back to Thorne heading into the OSU matchup. However if you start Thorne, he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder, everybody is doubting him and he will most definitely have something to prove. Now if you start Payton and lose, you have a major QB dilemma heading into the OSU game. There is no surefire answer to the QB debate, and MSU needs to establish a starter going into our matchup with the Buckeyes.
What I Would Do
I am going to start this off by saying I do not think I’m smarter than Mel Tucker and the MSU coaching staff, they see what’s going on in practice and I don’t. That being said I would start Thorne against Maryland, MSU doesn’t have time to experiment with QBs and see what will work. Michigan State can not afford to try out a backup QB and risk losing a must win game. Thorne has the most passing TDs by an MSU QB in a season, we should give him the trust and faith that he has proved he deserved. Start Thorne, he has proved time and time again he is the guy for MSU. One bad game against an undefeated Minnesota team doesn’t call for Thorne being benched.