Although they are losing their head coach for the bowl game, the Washington Huskies are still talented enough to put a cap on their successful season with a ninth win. The Huskies have been a bit inconsistent this season, but finishing the year with an 8-4 record can be considered a success after a 7-6 season in 2012.
On the other side of the field, the BYU Cougars have had a somewhat successful season and have been a pretty consistent team for years. The Cougars have posted an 8-4 record on the year, losing to two teams who missed out on bowl games and two teams ranked in the Top 25.
Washington is led by talented senior quarterback Keith Price who has had a relatively successful season. Price has passed for 2,843 yards and 20 touchdowns after a scorching-hot start to the season, hitting Kevin Smith 45 times for 722 yards and four touchdowns. Jaydon Mickens is second on the team with 681 yards, but he is also second in touchdowns, five, and first in receptions, 62. Bishop Sankey is one of the best running backs in the nation and he leads the 14th-best rushing offense in the nation with 1,775 yards and 18 touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry.
The Cougars are a much stronger rushing team than they are a passing team. Although sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill has had a solid season with 2,645 yards and 19 touchdowns, but his 13 interceptions have been too elevated of a number for anyone’s liking. Cody Hoffman has been his favorite receiver, catching 45 passes for 727 yards and five touchdowns. The run game ranks 10th in the nation and that’s due in large part to the success of both Hill and Jamaal Williams who have 1,211 yards and nine touchdowns and 1,202 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, respectively.
Defensively, the Huskies have been a bit above average this season. Washington ranks 35th in the nation in points allowed per game as well as 58th in the country in yards allowed per game. The Cougars have been nearly the same, ranking 23rd in points allowed per game as well as 54th in yards allowed per game.
Washington and BYU will meet in the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, Calif., at 9:30 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 27. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Washington 34, BYU 27
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.