Boise State fans were clamoring for a New Year’s Six and were disappointed to be playing in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Washington Huskies were playing their last game under head coach Chris Petersen and were clearly motivated to have Petersen go out with a win. Washington had superior experience and athletes. Injuries in the secondary over the course of the game forced multiple freshman into action and the Broncos just couldn’t keep up. Let’s revisit my keys to the game and see where things went wrong for the Broncos.
Which team has the most to play for? Who is sitting out?
The Huskies had two players sitting out to prepare for the NFL and their depth proved to be impressive. The Broncos were without a key defensive lineman in Sonatane Lui and safety DeAndre Pierce. The Broncos could never establish the pass rush that they needed to rattle Jacob Eason and they couldn’t get off the field on third down. Credit to Coach Pete and his staff, they had an excellent game plan.
Can the Broncos score against the best defense they have faced?
Nope. We were all surprised to see Hank Bachmeier get the start for Boise State and he was noticeably rusty. But I don’t think it would have mattered who played quarterback for the Broncos. They were clearly outmatched and the youth of the Broncos couldn’t keep up. If there is anything positive to take away from this performance, it is that the future is bright. The Broncos relied heavily on freshman over the course of the season and those guys will be back with experience and another year in the weight room.
Will this game impact how we look back at this team?
There were two possible scenarios that we would be weighing following this game. One, the Broncos win and we all question what might have been if Hank or Jaylon would have played against BYU. The other is that the Broncos lose and we realize this team maybe overachieved a bit. The result was unfortunate, but the future is bright and Boise State should be among the Group of Five favorites entering 2020.
My Prediction: I predicted a 21-20 Boise State win, but I was not confident in that prediction. This game had a weird feeling from the moment it was announced. The Huskies were prepared and had the superior athletes. Great win for the Huskies and congratulations to Coach Petersen on a great career.