QB Cousins on struggling Spartans: 'They'll regroup'
Allen Park — Michigan State sure has issues at quarterback these days.
That's unusual, and it certainly hasn't been the case much over the last several years, as Kirk Cousins and Connor Cook orchestrated the resurgence of the football program.
One of those guys, Cousins, will be back in the state Sunday afternoon, as Washington's starting quarterback facing off against the Lions at Ford Field.
A lot of Spartan friends and family will be in attendance to see Cousins, who always loves returning home — and still keeps tabs on what's going on in East Lansing.
"It's been a challenge this year, but that happens. That's what happens in life," Cousins said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters. "I remember my first year (2009) starting, we started off 1-3."
MSU and Cousins then rallied to make a bowl game.
MSU is 2-4 this year, and has games against No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan looming. A bowl game will be awfully tough, just one year after the Spartans played in the national semifinals.
"I've always been a big believer in the fact that tough times don't last, tough people do," Cousins said. "You've just gotta keep pushing, and I know Michigan State will do that.
"Michigan State's built with a lot of tough people, and they'll respond well."
Cousins, a native of Holland, Michigan, was one of Mark Dantonio's first recruits after taking over as head coach at Michigan State.
Cousins started three years (2009-11). The first year was a tough one, even with a loss to Central Michigan. He then led MSU to a share of the Big Ten title in 2010 and the inaugural Big Ten championship game in 2011. Since, MSU has won a Rose Bowl and played in the College Football Playoff.
That's what makes the sudden fall — since the graduation of Cook after last season — so stunning, at least to outsiders. Not necessarily Cousins, though.
"It happens," said Cousins, 28, in his second full season as Washington's starting quarterback. "The other teams are good, too. Anything can happen.
"They'll be all right, they'll regroup, get it together. I think they've got a lot of good football ahead of them this year."
Washington (4-2) visits Detroit (3-3) for a 1 p.m. game Sunday (Fox/WJR).