7:00 p.m. Sunday, August 26, 2012
Here it is, folks, straight from the horse’s mouth…
This Friday evening, a prime time contest will take place at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing between the MSU Spartans and Boise State. This contest should be an interesting one for Mark Dantonio’s squad. His young offense needs the experience and confidence early, and the experienced defense seeks its game-day rhythm.
Although the Broncos' offensive ranks were depleted following 2011, there’s still enough firepower and gimmickry up Coach Chris Petersen’s sleeve to dazzle and bewilder—think Inspector Gadget meets Bear Bryant.
Petersen’s starting his seventh year at the helm, where he’s amassed an astounding record of 73-6, 12-1 last year (sportingnews.com). In fact, in its recently released power rankings of college football coach rankings: Nos. 1-124, Sporting News listed Petersen as its No. 2 coach, only behind Alabama’s Nick Saban. Dantonio was listed 13th in the same report—which should provide some added impetus for Coach D.
Mention Boise State Football and most fans see blue—as in the team’s characteristic blue football turf. What most might not understand is this: Boise State doesn't recruit average mental specimens.
In fact, the Broncos’ squad was recognized by the NCAA for a second straight year as having its multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) score in the top 10 percent among Football Bowl Subdivision schools (Boise State University).
It’s admirable that collegians participating on this team are scholars and gifted athletes. For his performance, the university awarded its coach a new five-year contract with a first-year package worth $2.0 million a year starting this fall—comparable to some Big 10 coaches salaries.
Big sky, big dreams and bold play are characteristic of the new breed of steed. Petersen, armed with his new compensation package, must indeed dream up big dreams (and bigger plays) if his team is to compete with Michigan State.
He has just seven players on offense and defense returning from 2011’s roster; gone are his starting quarterback and receivers from that potent offense; and he lost all four starters on defensive line and his top three linebackers (nbcsports.com).
You can rest assured the Spartans will be primed to send Boise State packing, licking their wounds from a superior, experienced defense.
I’m not one to kick another horse when he’s down, but if you’re interested in my prediction here it is:
MSU by 30, with the Green Machine on D contributing 14 of those points.
Petersen's rebuilding effort is just too steep a trail to climb for a first game in 2012.
Spartan fans will enjoy the new stadium scoreboard, late summer air, and celebration.