The Boise State Broncos will be pursuing their third consecutive Las Vegas Bowl win, and fourth consecutive bowl win in all, when they play the Washington Huskies at the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET. The Broncos, who enter the game ranked #15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, are 5.5-point favorites.
Boise State has flipped their usual script this season, relying on the ground game and a stellar defense to compile a 10-2 record and win a co-championship in their last season as part of the Mountain West Conference. The Broncos are allowing just 14.9 points per game, sixth in the country, and gave up more than 21 points just once this season. Quarterback Joe Southwick has completed 66.6% of his passes this season for 2,466 yards and 17 touchdowns, but halfback D.J. Harper's 1065 rushing yards and 15 scores have fueled the Bronco offense. SB Nation Boise State site One Bronco Nation Under God is more focused on the schedule anomaly caused by the matchup:
"Prematch" is the word I made up just now to describe a rematch that happens before the original game is played. Make sense? Probably not, and neither really does making two teams play each other back to back. The Broncos and Huskies will end this season playing each other and begin next season playing each other. Prematch.
Washington finished 7-5 in 2012, Steve Sarkisian's fourth with the Huskies. Should the Huskies lose, they would finish 7-6 for the third consecutive season. Washington has two of the season's great wins, with victories over Stanford and Oregon State. They also own one of its worst losses, an overtime defeat at Washington State in the Apple Cup. Halfback Bishop Sankey has run for 1,234 yards and 15 touchdowns. Safety Justin Glenn and cornerback Marcus Peters each have three interceptions for a Huskies defense that has recorded 32 takeaways and helped Washington to a +7 turnover margin.
SB Nation Washington site UW Dawg Pound thinks the game will be won or lost with the Huskies' passing game:
A big question on everyone's mind is whether or not Keith Price and Co. can reclaim their lost glory and whether or not they can do it against a very stiff Boise State Pass D. The Broncos boast the #4 pass D in the nation and have only surrendered two (count them...TWO) passing TDs to quarterbacks this season. That said, the Broncos have played a pretty QB light schedule and their opponents are still completing a respectable 60% of their passes. Regardless, I fully expect BSU to focus on taking the rushing game away from UW and forcing Keith Price to beat their Pass D.
Game date and time
Saturday, December 22, 3:30 p.m. ET
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
Boise State -5.5
WatchESPN and ESPN Mobile TV will have streaming broadcasts of the game.
Last year’s game
Boise State 56 - Arizona State 24
Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.