Kirk Cousins' Time To Win, Urgency on Campus, and More Michigan News

Blake MillerContributor ISeptember 23, 2009

It would appear that a 1-2 start and missed plays in South Bend would call for some changes.

After being beaten by the likes of Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, and a band of Central Michigan receivers, junior cornerback Chris L. Rucker has been replaced by senior Kendall Davis Clark. 

That crucial fourth quarter missed interception probably didn't help either.

True freshman Chris Norman has been added as a starting outside linebacker, and hopefully, will begin to follow in the footsteps of Greg Jones.

Meanwhile, after nullifying a gutsy onside kick call, redshirt freshman Caulton Ray has been demoted from sole to co-starter with true freshman Larry Caper.  Caper finished with 12 carries for 51 yards and saw the majority of snaps after Ray's fumble.

Now, to the real buzz on campus: Kirk Cousins.

Optimism remains, and rightfully so. Statistically, he looks good.

Using 13 fewer attempts (70 vs. 83), he's matched Jeff Smoker's completions and yards through three games as a true starter.  Don't forget Smoker had Charles Rogers to throw to back in 2002 (present day Rogers is a whole different story).

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He beats Brian Hoyer in every key quarterback category when comparing Hoyer's first three starts as a junior.

In fact, only Drew Stanton looked better regarding Cousins' current 65 percent completion rate through three games.

None of those guys were sharing snaps either, like Cousins is with Keith Nichol.

But of course, the key is winning.

Smoker, Hoyer, and Stanton had one loss through their first nine combined games as undisputed starters. Hoyer went undefeated against Notre Dame.  Stanton eked past the Irish in a 2005 OT thriller on his way to a 4-0 start.

So despite Cousins impressing, "The Same Old Spartans" whispers have begun before October for the first time in years.

Madison, Wisconsin couldn't be a better place for Kirk Cousins to start adding "Ws" to his solid individual accolades.

The Spartans haven't won in Camp Randall since 2001, when Charles Rogers went for 206 yards on only five catches, and fellow first-round pick T.J. Duckett boomed for 186 yards on the ground.

If his first Big Ten win comes in a hostile environment like Camp Randall Stadium, Spartan fans could feel a little better about going into a game against a much-improved Michigan team the next week.

They could drop the "yeah buts" when describing another solid performance by their quarterback.

They could feel like a good Big Ten showing isn't out of the question yet.

Maybe, just maybe, they could have faith restored.