Quick Look: Boise State

Michigan State will open the 2012 season with a tough home opener against perennial BCS killer Boise State in what looks like one of the best season opening games in Spartans history. However, there are a few things to look at when doing a quick breakdown of the Broncos.

Game No. 1 – Boise State Broncos
Date: 8/31/2012 – Spartan Stadium
Conference: Mountain West
2011 Record: 12-1
Last Bowl Game: MAACO Bowl – (2011) - Defeated Arizona State 56-24

Head Coach: Chris Petersen

The 2012 season marks Petersen's seventh year at the helm of the Boise State program. During that time the Broncos have gone 73-6 overall and 44-3 in conference play while also posting a bowl record of 4-2 having won two Fiesta Bowls (2006-2009). Petersen's name is always at the top of wish list for college programs looking for a new head coach. However, Boise State has made sure Petersen stays in place by paying him an annual salary of $2 million a year.

Biggest Question for 2012: Who will replace quarterback Kellen Moore?

The Broncos loss of four-year starter and school record holder Kellen Moore will have many favoring the Spartans in the season opener for both teams.

So who will replace Moore?

Going into the spring it looks as if two-year back-up Joe Southwick (JR) will get first dibs on taking over the offense. However, Sophomore Grant Hedrick saw some action last season in special wildcat packages.

Southwick played in eight games last season going 23-30-1 for 198 yards and one touchdown while Hedrick also saw action in eight games by only threw three passes completing two for 19 yards.

Early Prediction: The Spartans and Broncos will both take the field with new starting quarterbacks. However, the Spartans return the majority of their defense intact while Boise State loss three key defenders in Shea McClellin (7 sacks – 50 tackles), Tyrone Crawford (6.5 sacks – 44 tackles) and Billy Winn (3 sacks – 33 tackles). The trio posted 34 tackles for loss in 2011.

Don't expect a sharp game by either offense as they break in all the new pieces. Nevertheless, we do fully expect the Spartans defense to be ready to get off to a fast start and power the Spartans to a victory.

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