Boise State and Washington will end their 2012 season by squaring off against each other in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl but it won’t be the last time we see these two teams matching up on the same field.
The opening game for either team next year will be against each other as the Huskies will unveil their recently renovated Husky Stadium, while Washington will travel to Boise in 2015 to complete the home-and-home series.
First things first though, one team will be walking out of Vegas on a heater.
Boise State is rather familiar with Vegas and the bowl game played there seeing that they have won the previous two Vegas bowls in runaway fashion. In the previous two Las Vegas bowls the Broncos have blown out Utah and Arizona State by a combined 55 points. However, if this year’s Boise State team wins a third straight Vegas bowl they will do it with their defense and not their usual high-flying offense.
The Broncos won this season by way of their 10th ranked defense that only allows 14.9 points a game while giving up just over 300 yards of offense per contest. Led by Demarcus Lawrence and J.C. Percy, both first-team All-Mountain West selections, the Broncos’ defense is as stout as they come and they will have to continue that trend if they want to slow down Washington’s balanced offensive attack.
Washington didn’t end their regular season on a high note, blowing an 18-point lead to rival Washington State in the Apple Cup but they can still secure their highest season win total since going 8-4 in 2001. QB Keith Price, once a dark horse Heisman candidate, posted solid numbers this season (2486 yds, 18 tds) but nowhere near what many thought he was capable of. He’ll face a tough pass defense as the Broncos come into the game as the 12th best unit in the country only allowing 163 yards per game while giving up three TDs through the air all year.
This game has all the makings of being another Boise State blowout. Washington’s offense is decent but not great and up against a tough defense they will not be able to do much. On the other side, the Broncos’ offense will likely have success against a porous Huskies defense that gives up almost 24 points per game.
Boise State isn’t the high caliber team that they were the previous two seasons but they are more than capable of handling Washington.
Prediction: Boise State 31 Washington 13