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Mark Dantonio says Brian Lewerke is 'guy to beat' in MSU's 2017 QB battle

Brian Lewerke named favorite to win MSU's 2017 starting QB job

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Michigan State Spartans football coach Mark Dantonio said at a Thursday press conference that Brian Lewerke is the "guy to beat out" in the quarterback battle heading into 2017.

The Spartans struggled at quarterback in 2016, completing just 57 percent of their passes for 2,668 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season.

Redshirt senior Tyler O'Connor took the majority of the snaps, completing 154 of 262 passes for nearly 2,000 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine picks.

Lewerke was the primary backup, completing 31 of 57 pass attempts for 381 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 149 yards on 21 carries.

Lewerke threw for 100 yards and a touchdown against Michigan on Oct. 29 before suffering a season-ending leg injury.

READ: Nation's No. 1 WR recruit to choose between Michigan, MSU, others

Damion Terry figures to be another candidate in the quarterback race despite throwing just 72 passes in this first three seasons. Terry will be a senior in 2017, but his battles with injury throughout his career have robbed him of more playing time.

Messiah deWeaver likely has the highest ceiling of any quarterback on the Spartans' roster. deWeaver reshirted in 2016 but could factor into the quarterback battle this offseason.

For now, it appears Lewerke is the top option for Dantonio, as he tries to bounce back from a difficult 3-9 season.

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