August 26, 2012

Petersen on MSU: 'one of the hardest openers that we've had'

With wins over Georgia, Virginia Tech, and Oregon in the last three season-openers, it is a pretty safe bet that Boise State will not be intimidated in its season opener against Michigan State at Spartan Stadium on Friday.

But the Broncos have a healthy respect for their first-game opponent.

"Excellent football team without question," said Boise State coach Chris Petersen during a teleconference on Sunday. "This will be one of the hardest openers that we've had since I've been here for sure. We have to go to their place and face an extremely seasoned defense that is obviously as good as anybody in the country."

With new faces in key positions on both sides of the ball, there are more unknowns Boise State entering the 2012 opener than there has been in recent years.

Junior Joe Southwick will take over the Boise State offense from Kellen Moore, who was 50-3 as a starter during a career that included 142 touchdown passes and 14,667 passing yards.

"Everybody is hard to compare to Kellen so we don't do that," said Petersen. "I think Joe is a good athlete. He's been in our system four years, he knows our stuff very well. He knows how to operate as a quarterback. Has had a little bit of playing time here and there throughout the years. He has always done a great job in terms of preparing. It will be nice to finally give him this opportunity to see what he can do with it."

Defensive end Shea McClellin may not have been the household name that Moore was, but the first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears was the ringleader of a disruptive defensive line that also featured third-round draft pick Tyrone Crawford (Dallas Cowboys) and sixth-round draft pick Billy Winn (Cleveland Browns).

"We have the standards and expectations that we expect our kids to operate with and how to conduct themselves and all of those types of things," Petersen said. "But it is not about trying to be Shea McClellin, Kellen Moore, or any of those type things. All of our kids are unique and different. We just try and get the most out of them and have them do the very best they can."

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