university of washington blog

Five fearless predictions for the 2012 Maaco Las Vegas Bowl

Vegas baby! UW takes on Boise State.

The 2012 MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas features your up and down Washington Huskies against the 19th-ranked Boise State Broncos.

Buckle up.

Momentum Will Not Be A Factor

Washington comes into this game following a bitter upset loss to Washington State in the Apple Cup. Boise State rides in with three back to back wins. But everyone brings their A-game to a bowl and anything can happen in Vegas.

Washington has had a long few weeks to stew on their infamous 31-28 loss on a last second field goal, in a game they were heavily leading at one point. Both squads will bring the intensity. The regular season is over.

QB is the pivotal position

Both teams have solid defenses and capable skill players on offense. The matchup to watch will be the dueling performances of quarterbacks Keith Price of Washington and Joe Southwick of Boise State. Both quarterbacks have built a reputation after having to replace legends (Jake Locker at UW; Kellen Moore at BSU).

Both have eerily similar stats. Price has thrown for 2486 yards and 18 touchdowns. Southwick has thrown for 2466 yards and 17 touchdowns. On paper, 20 yards and one TD are all that separate the two, although Price has thrown more interceptions (11 to Southwick’s 7).

As simplistic as it sounds to say the team of the better performing quarterback will have a higher chance of winning, a lot will revolve around the two men under center in this game.

The MWC Will Rise or Fall in Prestige

BSU has cruised to a 7-1 record in the Mountain West Conference (10-2 0verall).

Washington, comparatively, is 5-4 in conference play.

But the Huskies have played one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Boise State also lost to San Diego State during the season, a MWC team that UW handled in their season opener.

Las Vegas Bowl

I like this game both as a competitive bowl and as a matchup for the Huskies.

SDSU also was just smashed on national television in the Poinsettia Bowl by Brigham Young University, a team Boise State barely slipped by. The outcome of this game will reflect on the perceived strength of the MWC.

The Game Could be Won or Lost in the Trenches

Boise State is led defensively by All-Mountain West selections Demarcus Lawrence, J.C. Percy, Jamar Taylor, and Mike Atkinson. Washington’s inexperienced offensive line has been a question mark all season. When the line blocks well, Keith Price has time to pass and Bishop Sankey is hard to stop. When the blocking wavers, Washington relies heavily on the pass and Price often forces throws where they don’t belong.

Price also has taken a beating all season, with UW’s offensive line ranked 107th in the country in sacks allowed. When Price starts getting hit, Washington’s passing attack starts to collapse. BSU’s front four on defense could swing the game.

Google Searches of “MAACO” Will Rise Exponentially

What is MAACO, the namesake of the MAACO Bowl? I sure don’t know and you probably don’t either. To save you the trouble of googling it, it’s an auto body repair business. Who knew?

Bonus Homer Prediction: Boise State’s Pass Defense Won’t Know What Hit Them

Boise State boasts the 12th-ranked pass defense in the country, seemingly a poor matchup for a UW team with a mercurial quarterback and only two primary receiving targets. But it’s one thing to shut down MWC offenses.

In between one of the best wide receivers in the Pac-12 in Kasen Williams and one of the best tight ends in the country in Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington can attack any defense in the air. Boise State has only allowed three passing touchdowns all season.

That number will rise.

I like this game both as a competitive bowl and as a matchup for the Huskies. Washington has every possibility of winning this game and finishing the season on a strong note.

Remember the Alamo. Bow Down.

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