East Lansing, MI – Leading up to the game against Northwestern, there were plenty of discussions about who Michigan State's starting quarterback would be.
Mel Tucker reopened the competition once he benched Rocky Lombardi in favor of Payton Thorne during the second quarter vs. Indiana.
In the postgame presser, he doubled down, saying, "there's no position set in stone on this team; quarterback position or any other."
As Michigan State entered Spartan Stadium, ready to face the eighth-ranked Wildcats, Lombardi warmed up with Nick Samac, the starting center since Matt Allen went down with an undisclosed injury.
It appeared he would get the call.
Lombardi did more than that; he delivered a top-10 win, the first of Tucker's career at MSU, and used scripted play calls to rush for a career-high 65 yards.
"I'd say that most of it was in the gameplan, and I knew that I was going to have to run a little bit," Lombardi told reporters Tuesday morning. "Obviously, depending on how the defense reacted to what plays we were calling I knew that there was a possibility that if they gave us the right looks, I was going to use my legs."
In doing so, MSU recorded its best rushing performance in over two years, finishing with 195 yards, while the offensive line churned out it's own impressive showing, opening up more holes than it had all season.
However, Lombardi's resilience and ability to overcome adversity doesn't guarantee he will be the man under center moving forward, yet he remains focused on the task at hand.
"To be honest with you, I'm not really worried about that … for me; it's just about competing with myself and making sure I'm getting better each and every day," said Lombardi. "I don't really like to compare myself to other people."
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