The most intriguing bowl game during the first weekend of postseason play in college football this season will take place in Las Vegas on Dec. 21, when No. 19 Boise State plays Washington. Not only is the on-field matchup the best of the early slate of games, but Huskies’ head coach Chris Petersen will be coaching in his final game at Washington before entering retirement. Petersen served as the coach at Boise State from 2006-2013. Huskies’ defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will take over as head coach following the bowl game. The Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl is being played at Sam Boyd Stadium and will air on ABC.
Washington in final game under PetersonPetersen has been a major part of both program’s success over the last 15 years. He led the Broncos to two BCS bowl wins: the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. He won the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award in 2006 and 2009. Petersen led Washington to the College Football Playoff in 2016, but lost to Alabama in the Peach Bowl. His resignation on Dec. 2 came as a surprise, following a lackluster 7-5 regular season. The Huskies were solid out of the gate, winning four of their first five games. However, a loss to Stanford as 16-point favorites led to losses in four of the last seven regular-season contests. The Huskies closed the regular season with a dominant 31-13 win against Washington State in the Apple Cup. Washington had five players named to Pac-12 All-Conference First Team.
Junior tight end Hunter Bryant, who leads the team in receiving yards with 825, will be sitting out of the bowl game. Starting left tackle Trey Adams will also be skipping the Las Vegas bowl. Junior quarterback Jacob Eason intends to play. Eason leads the Huskies’ offense with 2,922 passing yards and 22 touchdowns this season. He has thrown eight interceptions. Junior running back Salvon Ahmed has carried the ball 182 times for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. Freshman Richard Newton has added 102 attempts for 429 yards and nine scores. Junior Sean McGrew has 52 carries for 336 yards, which is good for an average of 6.5 yards per carry. Behind Bryant in the passing game, senior wide receiver Aaron Fuller leads the team with 54 catches for 673 yards and six touchdowns. Sophomore tight end Cade Otton has 29 catches for 330 yards and two scores.
Boise State hoping to stay unbeaten in Las Vegas BowlsBoise State will be making its 18th-consecutive bowl appearance this season. The No. 19 Broncos enter the showdown with the fifth-longest bowl streak in the country and are 12-1 this season. They picked up a 31-10 win against Hawaii in the Mountain West Championship game. Boise State beat Washington in the 2012 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl. The Broncos are 4-0 all-time in the Las Vegas Bowl, picking up wins in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2017. Boise State won its second Mountain West title in three years this season. Freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier was the team’s starting quarterback earlier in the season, but he has been out with an undisclosed injury since Nov. 2. He was warming up on the sidelines in the title game against Hawaii, but did not enter the game.
Senior quarterback Jaylon Henderson has been Boise State’s starting quarterback since Bachmeier went down with the injury. Henderson has thrown for 1,032 yards and 11 touchdowns, while only throwing two interceptions. Bachmeier passed for 1,760 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions earlier in the season. Sophomore Chase Cord has also seen time at quarterback, passing for 670 yards, nine scores and three picks. The starter for the Las Vegas bowl is unknown at this time. Freshman running back George Holani leads the team with 181 carries for 979 yards and seven touchdowns. Junior Robert Mahone has added 420 yards and six scores on 87 attempts. Senior wide receiver John Hightower leads the receiving group with 48 catches for 923 yards and eight touchdowns. Sophomore wideout Khalil Shakir has added 60 receptions for 834 yards and six trips to the end zone. Junior CT Thomas has 38 catches for 499 yards and five touchdowns.
- 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games following an ATS win
- 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games after allowing less than 20 points in its previous game
- 1-4 ATS in its last five bowl games
Boise State is:
- 7-0 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog
- 5-1 ATS in its last six bowl games as an underdog
- 7-3 ATS in its last 10 bowl games