After months of anticipation, No. 13 Michigan State will finally kick off the 2012 season with a matchup against No. 24 Boise State on Friday night. The Spartans are beginning their first season since 2008 without former starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is now the backup quarterback for the Washington Redskins.
Last season, the Spartans won their first bowl game since 2001 by knocking off the Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl, capping their second consecutive 11-win season. That was Cousins' last college game, though, and now Andrew Maxwell is hoping to follow in his footsteps as a strong signal-caller.
Considering that the Broncos have also lost a long-time starting quarterback in Kellen Moore, who graduated this year, we're looking at a matchup between two high-quality programs in transition. Even so, expectations for both teams are high, especially as Boise State looks to transition into the Big East following this season.
According to the line over at OddsShark, the Spartans are actually a seven-point favorite entering Friday's game. Boise State has never lost a season opener under head coach Chris Petersen, though, even while facing the likes of Georgia, Oregon and Virginia Tech in different openers.
For more on the Spartans, be sure to visit The Only Colors. Additional coverage on the Broncos can be found at One Bronco Nation Under God, while SB Nation's NCAA football hub is the place to go for news surrounding college football.