The Vandals sport a speedy and talented set of linebackers, but are undersized in their interior front.
Idaho wants to run a disciplined one-gap system, which requires lineman to execute gap responsibility rather than focusing on getting into the offensive backfield.
While head coach Dennis Erickson's crew is likely to be game early on, contending with a constant pounding from junior running back Jehuu Caulcrick (486 yards rushing in 2005), the breakaway threat of Javon Ringer (873 yards rushing in 2005) and the change of pace from A.J. Jimmerson could be too much for Idaho in the long run.
Upfront the Vandals (rank 92nd in rushing defense in 2005, allowing 183.27 yards per game) will line up with Charles Campbell (6'3", 230) at right end, Josh Shaw (6'2", 254) at weak side tackle, Ryan Davis (6'7", 270) at nose tackle and Ben Alexander (6'1", 235) at rush end.
MSU's big, physical offensive line of Mike Gyetvai (6'7", 307) Peter Clifford (6'7", 300) center Kyle Cook (6'3", 295) right guard Roland Martin (6' 5", 325) and Jesse Miller (6'6", 306") should be licking their chops going against the smaller Idaho squad.
The Spartans averaged 201.82 yards rushing per game, good for 20th in the NCAA in 2005.
Idaho's productive fast linebacking corps of SAM linebacker Josh Bousman (61 tackles, 5 sacks) , MIKE backer Robert Davis and WILL linebacker David Vobora might have a tough time fending off linemen getting into the secondary.
Idaho has already shown a weakness defending the run in fall practices. "We can't give up a big run like that," coach Dennis Erickson said after watching sophomore Jayson Bird ramble off a 65-yard run in the Vandals final fall scrimmage. "That's huge. That's mental. Being in the right gaps; all the things that are necessary."
While Drew Stanton might want to put up some early Heisman like numbers early, this might be the game where he sits back and watches as Ringer gets to do his thing.
If the game goes according to form, Brian Hoyer, the Spartans #2 QB could also get some reps.