If this was a battle of dinosaurs it would be the Rocky Mountain Velociraptor known for his speed and execution vs the lumbering power of the Brontosaurus. Have to hand it to Boise for starting the season off with strong opponents. In the previous three years they have started off against Oregon, Virginia Tech and Georgia.
This time there is no Kellen Moore who left with a gaudy 50-3 career record. Rick Pitino also told Boise fans that “Doug Martin and Shea McClellin aren’t walking through that door either.” In fact six Boise players were taken in this past NFL draft. Boise does return four starters on a strong offensive line and RB DJ Harper who if he can stay healthy can make it to the next level. The defensive line is the real concern. A new line has to come together in the first game and will be tested by a strong MSU unit. Boise named Joe Southwick as their starting QB. Southwick is a junior but of course has zero career starts under his belt.
Michigan State is playing their first game without Kirk Cousins. Andrew Maxwell won the battle at QB for the Spartans. Eight starters return to a defense that could hold its own in the SEC. The Spartans ranked 6th nationally last year in total defense. For draft nicks look freakish athlete at DE William Gholstein and the top corner in the country Johnny Adams. On paper this is a tough match-up for Boise.
Tennessee vs NC State in Atlanta
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is on everyone’s hot seat as a coach that must win or get fired. On a positive note for Dooley this is his best team by far in Knoxville and they should easily be able to surpass the five wins they had last year. Tyler Bray is a pro prospect for sure at QB and he has a very good WR in Justin Hunter to throw to. Hunter should be playing on Sundays as well. Vols return 19 starters from last year, which is the 2nd most by any team in the country.
Match-up to watch in this one is Hunter vs NC State corner David Amerson. Come April when these two are in the draft this game will be referred to. NC State also sports three other secondary men that are all seniors so we should learn something about Bray as well. At QB Mike Glennon is someone pro scouts are talking about. Glennon has ideal size for a QB and is one of those guys that could move dramatically up the charts with a good senior season. This is a big year for ‘Pack Coach Tom O’Brien as well. Since coming over from BC, O’Brien is only 3 games over .500 in his 6 years at Pack.