university of washington blog

Things to watch for in the UW vs. Boise St. Maaco Bowl matchup

Let’s go bowling!

It’s not a premier bowl game by any means, but a bowl game it is nonetheless.

The Washington Huskies are getting ready to go toe to toe with the Boise St. Broncos this Saturday in Las Vegas, are you?

Here’s what I’m watching for in this game, or more like, what I’m praying will happen against a power house of a school in a nationally televised NCAA Bowl Game.

Can Coach Sark bring the boys back together?

Let’s not sugar coat anything. The Huskies blew a huge lead in the Apple Cup. A monumental lead that will go down in history as one of the greatest games in Washington State Cougars history.

And we let that happen.

We cannot let another embarrassment of a game happen again this coming weekend.

Hopefully the 4th quarter of the Apple Cup has been physically and mentally embedded in the minds of the defense.

Coach Sark is finally the answer for the head coaching vacancy that was left open by Don James two decades ago, but the Alums will not let him keep his job if these types of losses keep piling up for the Dawgs.

This is his chance to get the purple and gold back on the winning track in the Bowl season, and for momentum carrying in to the 2013 football season.

Maaco Las Vegas Bowl

UW vs. Boise St. (Photo: cappersinfo)

The Bishop will carry us to the promised land

Nothing against Keith Price and his game, but Bishop Sankey has been “our” man all year long, and I expect that to happen again on Saturday.

I don’t think in a million years we will see another arms race like in the game against Baylor last year, even though Boise St. likes to air it out.

If the Huskies can let Sankey shoulder the load, pick up his big gains, and get into the end zone a couple times, Price won’t be needed to pressure himself into bad situations.

That is if the Boise St. defense allows this.

The Broncos are tough defensively (9th in the country), while the Huskies offense isn’t even on the same playing field (99th in the country).

This does not play into our favor. In fact it will most likely make us have to play from behind, which means more passes, which means more plays without Sankey having the ball.

Take the Broncos out of their game early

The best shot for the Dawgs will be taking Boise St. out of control of the game.

This means scoring first, and often.

Defense will have to play bigger than they have in almost three months. The last big test was probably the USC game.

Bleacher Report is arguing that the Broncos will shut out the Huskies on Saturday. Now I don’t think that will happen, but we are definitely up against a superior opponent.

If the D can trouble QB Joe Southwick, keep pressure on him and keep him from burning us deep we will have half the battle won.

The other half won’t be as easy though.

RB DJ Harper is coming off a regular season in which he averaged just under 100 yards per game. He also had 15 TD’s on the year.

So even if the passing game is shut down, the running game will be a major problem too, especially for a team that likes to give up 18 unanswered points in the 4th quarter of big games.

Keith Price

Keith Price needs to be special vs. Boise St. (Photo: Wild West Sports)

The Price is wrong

Maybe last year was just a fluke. Or maybe it was the fact that there was a QB battle with Nick Montana.

Whatever the reason, this season’s Keith Price is not last season’s Keith Price.

Oh, he’s got the same weapons, sans Chris Polk, but that’s not the problem. It’s his judgment that is lacking this year.

He looked great in two games, Utah, and Colorado. Mediocre in the others, and downright terrible in a couple more.

He will need to pull out all the stops and get the Utah, Colorado, games to become one to lead the Huskies past the Broncos this Saturday.

I’m not knocking the guy, I’m a Price fan, I’m just not that optimistic of our chances this weekend is all.

A miracle

It might not need to come in the form of a trick play (Boise St. vs. Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl), or even a fluke play (Doug Flutie), but we will need some additional help to pull this thing off.

The Mountain West or not, a 10-2 football team is a good one.

The Huskies are limping in at 7-5, even though that is where I predicted them to finish, it’s not where any of us would have liked them to be at this moment.

Even had the Apple Cup gone in our favor, we would still be in the same position, just with a tad bit more momentum.

I love this team, and have for as long as I can remember, but I just don’t see it happening this week. I hope it’s not a blow out, but I highly doubt a win will be in order.

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About Clinton Bell

NWSB Editor. Born and raised in Friday Harbor. Even though he makes his home in Mesa still bleeds Seattle Blue and Green. Mariners Seahawks Sounders till the day he dies! Bring back his Sonics! Connect with Clinton today!
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