Friday, August 31. 8 pm
Weather @ kickoff: HOT, 82 degrees
Line: MSU by 7
The skinny on the Broncos? Read up at the Idaho Statesman, this is good stuff:
1) on Mr. Confident, QB Southwick, 2) looking at Boise State's battle in the trenches, 3) Players to watch; 4) and this may be Boise's "Biggest Test Yet"
Predictions, seemingly ALL in MSU favor except The Blue Turf's 38-6 BSU blasphemy:
- Idaho Statesman: No prediction, but nice preview from the enemy.
- ESPN Blog: MSU 20-16 (Rittenberg), MSU 17-14 (Bennett)
- CBSSports.com: MSU 24-10
- CFN/Scout.com: MSU 23-17
- NBCSports.com: MSU 31-20
- Detroit News: MSU 31-10 (Charboneau), MSU 27-14 (Wojo), MSU 31-28 (Niyo)
- Sporting News: MSU 16-9 (Hayes), 24-10 (Greenburg)
- Freep: MSU 24-16 (Rexrode), MSU 20-17 (Sharp), MSU 28-17 (Seidel)
- MLive: MSU 38-17
- ISportsweb: MSU 30-16
The ES: Well, aren't championships won on defense and in the trenches? The matchups along the front heavily favor veteran Michigan State on both sides of the ball against an experienced, but younger Boise State squad. MSU's defense is deep throughout, and should pressure Boise QBs for most of the game... hurried throws may mean easy picks for MSU lock-down corners Johnny Adams and Dequize Dennard. The Boise running game will have a tough time of it against the Spartan front four and the fantastic MSU trio of linebackers. But, Boise always seems to have a high-flying team. The Boise defense will be better than advertised, and it will be interesting to see how the under-appreciated Andrew Maxwell will direct MSU's passing offense. With huge Dion Sims at TE and a veteran front, it should give Maxwell enough time to spread the ball around and have a balanced offense. The Spartans very much have the advantage in kicking, (Dan Conroy), punting (Mike Sadler), and the return game (Nick Hill).
On paper, a heavy MSU advantage... but Boise has a string of upsets in season-openers on the road at BCS schools. However, their losses at key positions, and especially at QB, RB and across defense, will allow MSU to dictate after a rocky first quarter. Expect an MSU defensive touchdown in this game.
ES sez: MSU 24, Boise State 13.