When the Western Michigan Broncos travel to East Lansing to square off against the Michigan State Spartans in this lopsided Week 1 matchup, the focus will not be whether Michigan State wins the game but by how much.
Western Michigan has a chance to perform well in the MAC, but the program will be taking on a much better Spartans team that boasts the depth and skill needed to be considered for a spot in the Top 25 by the season’s end.
It is great to see college football back, and the offensive explosion and defensive prowess that will be shown by Michigan State should have even casual fans ready for NCAA action.
When: Friday, August 30, at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
Watch: Big Ten Network
Live Stream: BTN2Go
Betting Line (via Covers): Over/Under: 44.5, Spread: Michigan State (-28)
Western Michigan Injuries (via USA Today)
Terry Davisson, OL, Out for season (undisclosed)
Devon Brant, LB, Out for season (knee)
Daniel Braverman, WR, Out for season (knee)
Terry Easmon, LB, Out indefinitely (knee)
Jaime Wilson, WR, Out until mid October (ankle)
Tevin Drake, RB, Out indefinitely (disciplinary)
Michigan State Injuries (via USA Today)
Skyler Burkland, T, Out for season (undisclosed)
A.J. Troup, WR, Out for season (knee)
Top Storyline: How Handily Will the Spartans Beat the Broncos?
Michigan State had a subpar season in 2012—7-6 overall with a 3-5 record in the Big Ten—and will look to bounce back with a convincing win in Week 1 to start the season off on the right foot.
The return of senior Andrew Maxwell as the starting quarterback for the Spartans is great news for the team and its fans. Maxwell understands this is his final season to shine at the collegiate level, and he will use the Broncos as the team he starts padding his numbers against.
Western Michigan has a solid offensive unit that will give Michigan State a firm test on defense, but it won't be enough to keep the Broncos within striking distance (the team’s defense was ranked 76th in the nation in 2012).
This game has all the earmarks of a one-sided battle, and it will be a chance for the Spartans to assert their dominance and set the tone for the regular season.
Western Michigan has a few talented players, but the Broncos can’t hold a candle to the speed and power of the Spartans. This game could get very ugly for the fans supporting Western Michigan.
If you are looking to place a wager on this game, the lack of elite defense from the Broncos will make the over a safe bet, but be cautious of the spread. While Michigan State is giving up 28 points, I have them winning by 27.
Take Western Michigan with the points if you have to make that bet.
Predicted final score: Michigan State 44, Western Michigan 17.