By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
The Boise State-Michigan State football game to open the season has been scheduled for 6 p.m. MDT Aug. 31 and will air on ESPN. That's an 8 p.m. kickoff in East Lansing, Mich.
The date — a Friday — had previously been announced, but the time and TV assignment were set Tuesday. Michigan State wanted to play on Friday of Labor Day weekend to help its fans.
This is the fourth straight year that Boise State's season opener will air on ESPN. The Broncos previously beat Oregon (2009), Virginia Tech (2010) and Georgia (2011) in high-profile season openers.
Boise State and Michigan State finished in the top 11 last season.
Boise State has only played a Big Ten team one time before. The Broncos lost 28-24 at Wisconsin in 1997.
Times and TV for the rest of the Broncos' games are yet to be determined.
Boise State coach Chris Petersen spoke on the Mountain West's spring media teleconference Tuesday. Here are some highlights (he also talked about Shea McClellin and Billy Winn, and I posted those comments in our draft blog):
On the quarterback race: "We have four guys, which is a lot of guys. You'd probably like to narrow it down. Well, you'd like to have one that you know. If you can't know that, you'd probably like to have two guys battling. We really have four guys. One guy has been here for three years, Joe Southwick. He knows our system really well. The rest of our guys are still young guys. We're trying to give those guys a fair opportunity to digest our offense and see if they've got a chance to truly compete next year for that position."
Asked whether Southwick is currently the leader: "Not necessarily. Joe knows the most, but we knew that going in. So these guys will compete all through the summer and they'll compete all through fall camp and hopefully we can narrow it down to one guy. If we can't, we'll play two or three. We'll figure out who can move this offense."
On the idea of the Broncos being the Mountain West favorites: "I don't know what everybody else has. I haven't even thought about that. We're still getting over maybe what we don't have. ... We never get caught up in preseason indicators, whether they're good for us or not good for us. That means nothing. It's all about how we finish and how we improve during the season. ... I think there's a lot of assuming going on. All the things we've earned are in the past and so many of those guys are not here any more. ... The important thing is we've never gotten caught up in outside expectations good or bad. We have our standards and expectations and those are the ones we latch onto."
On his impressions of spring ball: "We've got a lot of work to do. We made progress. Certain guys did take steps forward. It was certainly different than it's been in the past. ... I thought the kids worked hard. I thought they laid a really good foundation. If we can pick up where we left off in the spring when we get into fall camp and keep that focus and intensity and stay a little healthy, then we'll feel OK about ourselves."
Fall camp begins Aug. 4.