Fight Hunger Bowl Matchup: BYU Cougars vs. Washington Huskies
Date/Time: December 27th, 9:30 ET
Fight Hunger Bowl Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Washington -3
For the first time since 2010, the BYU Cougars and the Washington Huskies are going to do battle against one another. They’ll meet at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco in what could be one of the best non-BCS bowl games of the season.
BYU really wasn’t all that far away from being a BCS team this year. Sure, the club only went 8-4, but when you look back at the resume as a whole, you have to be impressed. The Cougars were beaten by the Virginia Cavaliers and the Utah Utes early in the season, but the game that really turned the whole season around was a 37-10 win over the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, whom few figured would ultimately go 8-4 on the campaign. From there, the Cougars rolled off five straight wins, and the only losses they suffered for the rest of the season came against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Wisconsin Badgers, and both losses came on the road. There were some awfully impressive wins in this bunch as well, namely the 40-21 win over the Texas Longhorns and the 37-20 win over the Boise State Broncos. QB Taysom Hill was the catalyst for it all, as he threw for 2,645 yards and ran for another 1,211 yards to lead the team. RB Jamaal Williams also ran for 1,202 yards and seven scores to boot.
The Cougs might have one of the two teams in America to post a pair of 1,200 yard rushers (Wisconsin was the other), but the Huskies have the most accomplished runner in this game in RB Bishop Sankey. Sankey is an NFL back in the making, and he had 1,775 yards and 18 TDs on the ground this year. QB Keith Price, who is one of the more polarizing quarterbacks in the nation, threw for 2,843 yards, and though he underachieved from that perspective, he had 20 TDs and five picks. The big question that we have for the Huskies is what are they are going to feel like coming into this one. The Fight Hunger Bowl isn’t the greatest bowl game in the world to be playing in, and with Head Coach Steve Sarkisian now coaching with the USC Trojans and most of the assistant coaches being disbanded when this game is over with to make way for new Head Coach Chris Petersen’s staff, there might not be a whole heck of a lot of motivation to win this game. It’s a senior-laden team though, and it could be a team which ultimately takes a huge drop at the end of this campaign.
One of the selling points for Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall and the Cougars is that they are 3-2 against Pac-12 teams in his tenure in bowl games. The Cougs are also 6-2 in their last eight bowl games, including winning and covering four straight. Washington hasn’t been as fortunate of late. Though the team did put up respectable efforts in both the Las Vegas Bowl last season and the Alamo Bowl the year before, both games were lost by relatively close margins. U-Dub is just 1-4 SU in its last five bowl games and 2-6 SU in its last eight. BYU has won three straight SU in this series and has covered two of those three games.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.