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Broncos Open 2012 at Michigan State

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No. 22/24 Boise State at No. 13/13 Michigan State
Friday, Aug. 31
6 p.m. (MT)
East Lansing, Mich.
Spartan Stadium (75,005)

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Boise State vs. Michigan State Game Notes

For the fourth-straight season Boise State football's season opener will be a matchup of top-25 teams. The No. 24/22 Broncos travel to East Lansing, Mich., for a Friday (Aug. 31) meeting with No. 13 Michigan State. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT) and will be televised nationally by ESPN.

The opener against the Spartans will mark the start of the seventh season for head coach Chris Petersen, whose 73-6 record makes him the winningest active coach in the NCAA-Football Bowl Subdivision (.924).  Petersen's Broncos hold a 6-0 record in season openers, including victories over ranked opponents each of the last three seasons. Boise State began its march to a 14-0 season in 2009 with a victory at home against No. 14 Oregon. The 2010 campaign commenced with a thrilling 33-30 win against No. 7 Virginia Tech in Landover, Md. Last season the Broncos traveled to Atlanta and captured a 35-21 win over No. 19 Georgia.

Starting the season off with a win is part of a larger trend for the highly-successful Petersen. During his tenure, the Broncos are 23-2 when they have 10-or-more days between games, including season openers. Still, the Spartans will present a new challenge to prepare for. The two teams have never met and Boise State has played just once against current Big Ten members. The Broncos dropped a 28-24 decision at Wisconsin Sept. 6, 1997, in the only previous meeting against the conference.

The game will offer a new look for the Spartans as well. Michigan State has not opened the season against a ranked opponent since hosting No. 18 Colorado State Aug, 29, 1998. The then-No. 23 Spartans fell 23-16 against the Rams. Michigan State is 11-2 in season openers since, including an 11-0 mark at Spartan Stadium.

Boise State enters the season with a much different look than a year ago. According to Phil Steele, the 2012 Broncos return six starters, the fewest in the country. The biggest turnover comes on the defensive side of the ball where Boise State will replace nine starters, including seven who signed with NFL teams. The offensive line provides the most stability with eight players having started at least one game in their careers and as a group has combined for 50 starts.