Spartans to start QB Lewerke vs. Buckeyes

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said junior Brian Lewerke will start at quarterback when the Spartans play host to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday.

Lewerke has been dealing with a shoulder injury that he admitted after Saturday’s 24-3 victory over Maryland was not yet 100 percent.

The Spartans (6-3) take on the 8-1 Buckeyes at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday.

“Brian Lewerke is our starting quarterback,” Dantonio said Tuesday, per the Detroit News. “If he was hurt, he would not be playing. Is he 100 percent? Nobody’s ever 100 percent at this point in the season.”

Lewerke missed the Purdue game two weeks ago, with redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardi throwing for 318 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over the Boilermakers. The depth chart last week listed Lewerke OR Lombardi as the projected starter against Maryland.

Lewerke got the start, but was just 11-for-20 passing for 87 yards with an interception in windy conditions. Lombardi eventually replaced him in the fourth quarter, but did not complete either of his pass attempts.

Run-based attack

The Spartans ran the ball 44 times, with Connor Heyward leading the way with 157 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries.

“We’re not afraid to use Rocky,” Dantoni said. “If we’re not having success, then we will go to him.”

Dantoni said running back LJ Scott’s availability remains an ongoing evaluation. The senior has missed five games due to an ankle injury, and could still take a redshirt year.

“We’ll see where he’s at in terms of his injury,” Dantonio said. “He’s only played four games so there’s the possibility of redshirting him. We’ll look at those as we go. We’ll talk with him this week and see what happens.”

–Field Level Media

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