When the Boise State Broncos and Washington Huskies met in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl last season, they went back and forth in a highly competitive contest that came down to the wire. The Broncos ultimately prevailed 28-26 with a late field goal and the Huskies were stuck with yet another disappointing seven-win season. Now, the two teams face off to kick off the 2013 season in renovated Husky Stadium with the Dawgs looking for redemption.
Steve Sarkisian has called this year’s squad his most talented roster since becoming the head coach at UW and he plans on unleashing that roster in a multitude of ways right out of the gate. Quarterback Keith Price will be looking for a bounce-back season in a more up-tempo attack for the Huskies with more of the offense getting put in his hands. He’ll have the benefit of a more experienced offensive line in front of him and a strong running game behind him with Bishop Sankey, giving him some nice protection and balance as he runs things this fall.
For the Broncos, they bring high expectations and experienced leader under center themselves in Joe Southwick. He has grown as a leader and a quarterback this offseason, continuing a strong finish to his 2012 season when he threw nine touchdowns and no interceptions over BSU’s final four games. Chris Petersen is expecting big things out of him this season and knows how important it is for the Broncos to start the season off strong if they hope to bust the BCS at season’s end.
Southwick will have to deal with a defense for Washington that continues to improve. Shaq Thompson leads a linebacker corps for the Huskies that could be one of the best in the Pac 12 when it’s all said and done. After starting every game last season as a true freshman, Thompson figures to become an even bigger part of the defensive attack, getting moved all over to get after the quarterback and become a mainstay in opposing backfields.
There is some uncertainty, however, on the Washington offense heading into the game as Sarkisian has yet to announce the status of the team’s leading returning receiver Kasen Williams and elite tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Both playmakers had run-ins with the law this offseason and their head coach has yet to announce if there will be any form of punishment. Further, Seferian-Jenkins had to have surgery on a broken finger, which could keep him sidelined for an extended period to start the season.
With or without them, Washington is ready to open up their brand new stadium in style this Saturday. Will they get their retribution for their bowl-game loss from the end of last season or can Boise State make a push to bust the BCS early by spoiling the Dawgs’ new digs?