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Las Vegas Bowl: Quick look at No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington

The 21st edition of the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas will feature the number 19th ranked Mountain West Conference co-champion Boise State Broncos versus the Washington Huskies of the Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12). Both finished the season ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll: Boise State at #15, and Washington at 23rd.

Ethan Miller

Here is a quick look at Boise State vs. Washington.

BOWL MATCHUP: Boise State vs. Washington

WHEN: Saturday, December 22, 2012, 12:30 PST, 1:30 MTN

WHERE: MAACO Bowl, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada


2012 SEASON: Boise State 10-2; Washingon 7-5.

COACHES: Boise State head coach Chris Petersen (83-8); Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian (26-24).



RADIO: ESPN Radio and XM satellite radio

SERIES RECORD: Boise State has lost their only game against Washington and are 0-1

LAST MEETING: September 8, 2007, Washington 24, Boise State 10.

The Boise State Broncos will meet the Washinton Huskies for only the second time ever in the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be the final football game of the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football season for both teams. The Broncos earned their invitation to the Maaco Bowl with a 10-2 record in the regular season, and earning a share of the 2012 Mountain West Championship with Fresno State and San Diego State. It will make their third straight appearance in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl and their 11th straight post-season bowl.

This will be the Washington Huskies first ever appearance in the Maaco Bowl. They come to the game after earning a 7-5 record in a very tough schedule. Two of the Huskies wins were over #8 Stanford and #9 Oregon State and their five losses were to #2 Oregon, #3 LSU, #11 USC, Arizona, and in overtime loss to cross-state rival Washington State. Still, the odds makers have the Broncos a 5 point favorite over the Huskies.

Boise State will be led by junior QB Joe Southwick, 6-1,187 lbs. After a rough patch here and there, Southwick is starting to show he can handle the starting position. So far this season he has gone 222 of 333 for 2,466 yards, averaging 7.4 yards, 17 TD’s and 7 INT’s, giving him a quarterback rating of 141.5. That is not too shabby considering the criticism he has received in some circles. Two of Southwick’s favorite targets have been sophomore WR Matt Miller, 6-3, 215 lbs, and junior WR Kirby Moore, 6-3, 203 lbs.

But the Boise State offense has also been augmented by a good running game. Senior RB D.J. Harper, 5-9, 205 lbs, has rushed 212 times for 1,065 yards and 15 TD’s while freshman RB Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 222 lbs, has carried 78 times for 541 yards, giving the Broncos a pretty solid backfield.

Washington is no less impressive on the ground. The Huskies ground game is anchored by sophomore RB Bishop Sankey, 5-10, 200 lbs. Sankey has amassed 1,234 yards with 259 carries giving him an average of 4.8 yards a carry. He has also accounted for 15 Huskies touchdowns.

But the Huskies also have a good passing game worth well mentioning. Led by senior QB Kieth Price, 6-1, 202 lbs, Price is 243 of 391 for 2,486 yards through the air this season. Those passes have averaged 6.33 yards a toss and 18 have been for touchdowns. Almost half of those passes were caught by an impressive pair of sophomores: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 6-6, 266 lbs, whose 63 receptions accounted for 791 yards this season and WR Kasen Williams . Williams, 6-2, 216 lbs, has 72 catches for 783 yards.

But the game could boil down to a battle of defenses. The Huskies are ranked #37 in defense nationally under Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. Wilcox, it should be noted, was the Boise State defensive coordinator from 2006-2009 under Chris Peterson. So it is easy to see that the defensive battle should prove interesting. Wilcox’s defenses at BSU were statistically among the highest-rated in the nation. But the Broncos’ present defensive coordinator has a reputation of his own worth bragging about. Pete Kwiatkowski has the Boise State defense ranking 6th in the nation and his team is one of the most stubborn defenses in college football allowing just 14.9 points a game.

So the stage is set and the final preparations are underway. Both teams are watching game films, tweaking their play action, and adjusting their schemes. Both teams will be looking to make a statement about the end of this season.

As well as adding another trophy to their trophy cases.