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WASHINGTON vs. BOISE STATE
Saturday, Dec. 22, 3:30 pm
It’s a preview of next year’s season opener (in Seattle) for Washington and Boise State. Washington played one of the nation’s toughest schedules this season, with five games against Top-11 teams. The Huskies won two of them, beating Pac-12 champ Stanford and Oregon State. But UW was routed at LSU and at Oregon and lost by 10 to Southern Cal. It looked like the team was hitting its stride at the end with four wins in a row, but the Huskies suffered a head-scratching season-ending 31-28 overtime loss to a very bad Washington State team, blowing a 28-10 fourth-quarter lead in the Apple Cup. Both starting quarterbacks have had their struggles this season.
Boise State and Washington have met once. They will play there again on Aug. 31, 2013, in the newly-renovated Husky Stadium. The two schools do have one common opponent for this year: San Diego State.
Joe Southwick of Boise was tasked with filling the huge shoes of Moore. The Broncos ranked 80th in the nation in passing. Sixth-year running back D.J. Harper did well.. He is the 12th player in school history to record a 1,000-yard season and it is the fourth straight year Boise State has had a 1,000-yard rusher. The Broncos have lost just 15 turnovers all season and rank fourth in the nation in turnover margin.
Keith Price is one of the better quarterbacks in Washington history but has been up-and-down in his junior season. He threw at least one pick in every loss and was intercepted on the first play of overtime against Wazzu. Price enters the bowl with 53 career touchdown passes. He needs three touchdown passes to break Cody Pickett's career record at Washington.
Price has one of the nation’s top tight ends in Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Sophomore running back Bishop Sankey capably replaced Chris Polk this season. Price and Co. face a Boise State defense that ranked sixth nationally in allowing 14.9 points per game, No. 7 in pass efficiency defense and No. 9 in total. And those numbers kind of make it hard to go against Boise.
I think it’s fair to say that Boise State has the defensive edge, especially against the pass. Opposing quarterbacks have two touchdown passes with 16 interceptions. But the Huskies have clearly superior talent on offense even though Washington scored more than 21 points just four times all season. The Huskies should be very dangerous next year, but I honestly have no clue which team shows up here: the one that gagged against the Cougars and was destroyed by Arizona or the one that outphysicaled a very physical Stanford team. At this point everyone is jumping on Washington and I look at the numbers and they show Boise winning by 2 touchdowns. So lets get Coach Peterson to bring his boys another bowl vicotry. Leaning towards the under as well but really only an opinion.
BOISE STATE -4
BOISE STATE/WASHINGTON UNDER 45 points (Opinion)
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