In the end, the Huskies put it all together in all three phases of the game, en route to a dominating 38-7 victory over the Broncos.
At halftime, Washington was ahead 17-0, after completely shutting down the Boise State offense, to seize momentum of the game.
Offensively, the Huskies had a balanced attack with the running and passing games, and out gained the Broncos on total yards.
Defensively, the Huskies were brilliant and executed their game plan to perfection, by holding Boise State to only one score the entire game.
It was the proper way to send Washington head coach Chris Petersen out, after a valiant and gutsy performance from every Husky involved.
We will now take a look at each position group and coaching staff on the Huskies, and how they fared last night. Here are how things graded out…..
When they say, “saved the best for last” that is exactly was junior Jacob Eason did with his outstanding performance. He was in complete control of the offense the entire game and made some timely throws when he needed to. The Huskies offense was primarily in rhythm due in part to Eason’s efficiency and good decisions the entire night. This is the Jacob Eason that Husky fans are hoping to see next season under a completely revamped offense. A
Overall it was a complete performance by this group, as almost “everyone” got involved in the act. Junior Salvon Ahmed scored two touchdowns on the night, while getting to the edge. Redshirt freshman Richard Newton was a “battering ram” all game long, taking some tough hits and gaining some much needed yards. Sean McGrew, Kamari Pleasant and Cameron Davis all played and made the most of the reps. Productive night for the backs, with moving the chains. B+
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
Heading into the game, everyone wondered how junior Hunter Bryant‘s production would be replaced? The Huskies did it by committee! It was nice to see the senior wide receivers stepping up and providing Eason with some reliable hands. Aaron Fuller, Andre Baccellia, and Chico McClatcher all showed up ready to play. Sophomore tight end Cade Otton had some nice catches as well. This group had a couple of touchdowns, which helped Eason’s confidence. A
This group was the huge question mark heading into the game, as offensive line coach Scott Huff had to shuffle his lineup. Without starting left tackle Trey Adams and starting right guard Jaxson Kirkland, the Huskies needed to maintain a top level of execution. Henry Roberts, Matteo Mele, Victor Curne all came in and played solid enough to get the job done. The Huskies running game should have gotten bigger yards but considering the patchwork job, it was a good night. B+
Impact wise, this group came out and really set the tone from the out start against the Boise State offense. They got after it and put the “heat” on Boise State freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier. It caused the Broncos offense to force throws, where they were unable to move the chains consistently. Junior Levi Onwuzurike and senior Josiah Bronson did a great job of pushing the pocket and disrupting the flow and rhythm of the Broncos quarterbacks consistently. B+
When looking at the stat sheet, there aren’t gawdy numbers for this group, but they were able to keep containment for most of the game. Losing redshirt freshman Edefuan Ulofoshio to injury was a blow to the defense, with the energy and physicality he brings. Redshirt freshman Jackson Sirmon held it down for the Huskies. On the outside, junior Ryan Bowman and sophomore Joe Tryon sealed the edge. Some misreads by this group, but nothing alarming. B
Probably the most sound group on defense the entire night, the secondary suffocated the Broncos receivers and didn’t give them much room to breathe. Junior Elijah Molden was maniacal on the night, as he finished with nine total tackles, including six solo stops, one interception, that he returned 31 yards, and one forced fumble. Holding the Broncos passing game in tact for the entire game was no easy feat, but this group made it look easy once again. A
Another brilliant performance by this group, which has been the story all season, quite honestly. The only hiccup on the night was the 29-yard return by Avery Williams that gave them some momentum. Rugby style punts by Race Porter and well executed punts by Joel Whitford, pinned the Broncos down on their own 1 & 2-yard line. Sophomore Peyton Henry converted his lone field goal attempt from 32-yards out. Field position played a crucial part in winning the game. A-
What can we say…Chris Petersen had one last game to prepare for and he had them ready to go! The entire coaching staff had the Broncos completely scouted out and had the players keyed in on their assignments. The program has been on a roller coaster ride the last three weeks, with losing their beloved coach, starting a new transition and juggling a bowl game. All of those things were certainly not easy, as their were plenty of distractions along the way. This past week, Petersen seemed to have a certain joy to him that we hadn’t really seen from him all season. He was at peace for once, which was nice to see. Most coaches that are “short-timing” could easily slack off and not put the effort in but that is not the Chris Petersen way! He clearly worked hard and closed out his career the right way, helping guide the team to its most complete performance of the season. Offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan called a great game and was able to mitigate the loss of Hunter Bryant, while keeping a balanced attack all game long. Defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake had another masterful game plan and completely dismantled another “high octane” offense. Not only was the game plan sound, but he also had the players execute it to perfection, which is the most important part. The coaching staff wanted this game badly, as they wanted to send their “father figure” and “mentor” out the right way and it showed! A brilliant job done by ALL the coaches! A+
The entire season was sort of a whirlwind so to speak for the Huskies and finishing out the year on a positive note was the goal all along. Their were some things on the players’ minds during preparation for this game, that they had to overcome. Obviously the Huskies didn’t want to be at the Las Vegas Bowl, as it was a clear downgrade from where they had been the past three seasons. It’s not always easy to muster up the mental focus and energy to “get up” for a lesser bowl game, but the Huskies did quite the opposite! They turned in their most complete game of the season. Wanting to win this game for a head coach, that has given them everything on and off the field, was a huge factor in this game. The narrative storyline and motivation fell right into their lap this bowl season and they took it and ran with it. How do you repay a coach that has changed your life in so many ways – that can’t be measured. You send him out with a victory and give him a memory that will last him a lifetime. Also, for the seniors, it was the proper way to go out on top with a victory. The Huskies put together a performance where they were sound in all “three phases” of the game. They saved their best for last when the theme of “last’ was there with Petersen leaving. Watching Petersen pass the torch off to Lake in an iconic trophy holding moment will forever go down as one of the great moments in Husky Football history. Well done Dawgs! A
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