Finally, mercifully, a game. Hallelujah.
It’s supposed to be 75 degrees at 7 p.m. for kickoff. The sun goes down 51 minutes later.
There has been a lot of love during the week for Boise State. Head coach Chris Petersen always finds a way with his groups, that’s why he’s 84-8 since taking over.
But, this group has a lot of turnover, at least among the starters. Here’s a look at the difference between Boise’s Las Vegas Bowl starters and the starters on this week’s two-deep:
That’s a lot of change for anyone.
One other notable thing on the roster: the size and experience of Boise State’s corners. Washington had trouble passing in the bowl game — as it often did last season — and will test new corners tonight. Boise State will run nickel packages to give corners help. It will also shift safeties over the top to Kasen Williams. There will be a lot of pressure on Douglas and Deayon who will be giving away five inches to Williams, six to freshman Damore’ea Stringfellow and four to DiAndre Campbell.
Boise also has to deal with Bishop Sankey, who torched them.
Defensively, the Huskies have to do a better job of fencing in quarterback Joe Southwick. Tape of the Vegas Bowl shows numerous almosts for Washington with Southwick, often on third down. He’d be able to slip out then find a receiver once the coverage broke down. Hemming him into the pocket will be crucial.
It’s easy to point to Price’s two interceptions in the bowl game, including the one to ostensibly end it, as culprits for the loss. But, if you go back, you’ll see Williams dropped a touchdown at the goal line (-4 points) and Sankey fumbled on the opening drive (which led to three points for Boise). The Broncos always manage to make the game tight. Mistakes like those mean a loss.
I expect Washington to be the sharper and deeper team today. The turnover for Boise could lead to a rare busted coverage for it, plus the Huskies offensive line should be improved. Price was harassed and knocked around throughout the Vegas bowl.
Call it Washington 27, Boise State 20.