Ever since making the switch to the FBS in 1996, the Broncos have slowly become one of the more consistent teams in college football, albeit against easier competition. Nevertheless, Boise State are coming off yet another 12+ win season and are the favorites to win the Mountain West Conference.
However, this Boise State team will be a much different looking team, especially after the departure of QB Kellen Moore. Moore, a four year starter at Boise State, was the most successful quarterback in FBS history, finishing his career with a startling 50-3 record. He also threw for nearly 15,000 yards, 142 TDs to only 28 INTs. Moore is not the only player Boise State will need to replace. The Broncos lose 7 starters on defense and 6 starters on offense, so the Boise State team taking the field will be almost entirely different from last year's squad.
Despite this being, on paper, one of the weakest Boise State teams in a few years, this is a team that the Spartans can absolutely not take lightly. Boise coach Chris Petersen has orchestrated more than a few upsets in his time as coach for the Broncos. No one can forget the memorable 2007 Fiesta Bowl where Boise State shocked Oklahoma in exciting fashion with a 42-41 victory in double overtime. Also, Boise State has experience playing tough teams in their first game of the year. The past three years, Boise State has played Oregon, Virginia Tech, and Georgia; They won all three of those games.
Even though Boise State will be inexperienced, they will not fear the Spartans and their highly praised defense. I expect Boise State to come out strong against MSU and could see the game going right down to the wire. I think MSU will eventually pull out the victory, but it will not come easy for the Spartans. Maybe I'm giving Boise State too much credit for what they've done in the past, but I think Boise State poses a real threat for the Spartans.