Crystal Ball Week 1

As the Spartans wind down the final days of spring practice we felt it was the right time to look ahead in our crystal ball at the season ahead. Over the next few weeks we'll look at each of the Spartans games for the 2010 season starting with Western Michigan.

Western Michigan (Sat., Sept 4, 2010) Spartan Stadium

2009 Record: 5-7

Last Game Against MSU: 11/7/2009 Score: 49-14 Spartan Victory

Last season the Western Michigan Broncos came to East Lansing looking to knock off the Spartans just like their instate counterpart Central Michigan. While the CMU was able to win a crazy mistake filled game, the Broncos got the full force of the Big Ten losing at Spartan Stadium 49-14.

2010 should not be much different as the Spartans will be ready in week one while the Broncos will be looking for a few new parts.

Gone is quarterback Tim Hiller and his 3,249 yards passing and 23 touchdowns. While Hiller was able to post some good numbers, as a team the Broncos struggled putting points on the board. Who will win the quarterback job for the 2010 season? In their spring game three quarterbacks posted minutes with Alex Carder going 14-for-18 for 147 yards and a touchdown.

While many feel the quarterback battle with be between Carder and Drew Burdi the final decision may not be made when the Broncos enter Spartan Stadium.

Also gone from the offense is Broncos running back Brandon West. Brian Fields and Aaron Winchester will look to handle the load. While there are a few questions on offense the Broncos will return four starters on the offensive front and a couple of quality receivers.

While the offense has many question marks the WMU defense should be its strength as a possible eight starters could return in 2010. Gone is linebacker Austin Pritchard but the Broncos will look to bring a strong pass rush against the Spartans and force them into making mistakes.

Defensive backfield mates Lewis Toler and Vernon Stewart each had strong spring games with linebacker Deauntay Legrier posting the only sack of the game. If Toler and Stewart are the leading tacklers in September the Spartan offense should have a banner day.

Head Coach Bill Cubit enters his sixth season at the helm with an overall record of 34-27 at WMU. The pressure will be on him and his staff to get the team back to the top of the MAC and into a bowl game but week one will not be a positive step towards that quest. Crystal Ball Prediction: Spartans Win – 38-7

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