Las Vegas Bowl Pick – December 22nd
The Boise State Broncos are starting to feel at home in Las Vegas. For the third straight year, the Broncos will be playing in the Las Vegas Bowl. This year they’ll be up against the Washington Huskies from the PAC 12. Boise State isn’t the same team they were a couple years ago, but they were still good enough to go 10-2. Washington was 7-5 in a pretty good PAC 12 conference this year. Let’s take a look at this contest.
The Washington Huskies were matched up against RG3 and the Baylor Bears last year in the Alamo Bowl. The result was a 67-56 record breaking bowl game where the Huskies came up a bit short. The good news for Washington is they won’t have to face RG3 this year. The Huskies defense has actually been much better this season. This secondary has been very stingy against the pass. Opponents are only throwing for 189 yards per game against Washington. The run defense has had some trouble, but they are much better than a year ago. Washington is allowing 23.8 points per game.
Washington’s offense was spectacular last year, but they took a step backward this year. Keith Price put up massive numbers last year in this offense, but he struggled to get going this season. It seems the Huskies really missed having Chris Polk in the backfield to keep the defense honest. Bishop Sankey has done a nice job in the backfield, and Kasen Williams is one of the best receivers in the nation. Still, Washington is only 101st in the nation in total offense.
Boise State has taken care of business in a big way in its last two trips to the Las Vegas Bowl. Two years ago they beat Utah 26-3. Last year, the Broncos took down Arizona State 56-24. Joe Southwick has had big shoes to fill this year in Boise. Southwick and the entire Broncos offense struggled quite a bit at the beginning of the year, but they have improved as the season moved along. D.J. Harper is the team’s best offensive weapon. Harper has 16 touchdowns on the year, and he has rushed for more than 1,000 yards. The Broncos average 30.4 points per game.
Boise State’s defense is the reason they are 10-2 right now. This unit has been tremendous all season. The front seven had to replace some absolute stars, but they have been able to hold their own against the running game. The secondary has been superb against the pass all year. Cornerback Jamar Taylor is the leader in the secondary, and he has three interceptions on the season. Boise State has only given up 14.9 points per game this year. This defense is one of the most underrated in the country.
Free Pick: Under 46
Both defenses are much better than many expected them to be this year. Boise State no longer has that explosive offense. Look for a lower scoring game here.
Boise State 24 Washington 20