The top late game on Saturday night (10:00pm ET) features a rematch of last season’s Las Vegas Bowl won by the Broncos of Boise State out of the Mountain West Conference over the Washington Huskies of the Pac-12 by a score of 28-26 to …. The 19th ranked Broncos will now travel to Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA for the rematch led by the no-huddle offense of head coach Chris Petersen (84-8 in his eight year career at Boise St.) and quarterback Joe Southwick. The Huskies are led by Coach Steve Sarkisian and quarterback Keith Price.With a third-year starting quarterback (Keith Price), an elite tailback (Bishop Sankey), an All-America tight end (Austin Seferian-Jenkins) and 13 other starters returning, Sarkisian has to achieve a breakthrough in 2013. Beating a ranked non conference opponent would help get that started.
BSU will play fast and they will rotate numerous skill players into the game on offense, including backs Jay Ajayi who averaged just under than 7 yards per carry last season, and Aaron Baltazar a true freshman. Southwick (2,730 yards, 19 touchdowns, seven interceptions) finished strong last season, with 9 TD passes and no INTs through the last 4 games. Boise St. will also have the services of DE Demarcus Lawrence, who had 9.5 sacks last season, after he sat out the bowl game with a suspension.
Washington has two players in star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver Kasen Williams who are uncertain for the game with legal/disciplinary issues. The Huskies will employ the no-huddle offense as well, so expect a fast-paced game with a great deal of action. The top defensive player for the Huskies is sophomore outside linebacker Shaq Thompson, who return 20 starters overall from last season.
Boise St. vs. Washington Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Boise St. Broncos +3.5
@Washington Huskies -3.5
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Boise St. St. vs. Washington Pick
One stat (unearthed by USA Today’s Paul Myerberg) that does not bode well for Boise State opponents: Chris Petersen is 51-2 when his team returns its starting quarterback, and the Broncos return Southwick from last season.The Broncos are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 road games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.The Huskies are 2-5-2 ATS in their last 9 games against Mountain West teams. The over is 4-1 in BSU’s last 5 games against PAC-12 teams and 8-2 in their last 10 road games. The over is 9-4 in Washington’s last 13 non-conference games.
With both teams featuring the no-huddle and Boise St. breaking in new starters at both cornerback positions and all three linebacker spots, there should be more offense in this game than we saw last year in the bowl game. Southwick threw for 264 yards and 2 TDs in that one while Price was inconsistent last season in throwing for 2,726 yards with 19 TDs and 13 INTs.The Broncos have very athletic receivers in Geraldo Boldewijn and Aaron Burks and should be improved in the run game as well after struggling last season at times. Boise St. allowed only 4 passing TDs last season to lead the nation in that category, if they can play at a similar level in this game they should be able to pull off the road upset. With Washington lacking consistency on offense last season and that unit appearing much the same as it did last season, there is no reason to expect the Huskies to break out in this game. Boise St. is very familiar with this Washington team, and they opened up last season on the road against a high-profile power conference opponent (Michigan St.). The thinking here is that Southwick will be improved from that experience and is a more consistent QB than Price, combined with coach Petersen’s innovative mind and an entire off-season of preparation this makes BSU and attractive pick. Take the Broncos and the points in this game.