The Washington Huskies Football team entered this year’s Las Vegas Bowl with motivation to send head coach Chris Petersen out on top.
In the end, the Husky defense would dominate the Boise State Broncos offense, and owned the line of scrimmage in their 38-7 victory.
On the opening drive of the game, the Boise State Broncos drove the ball and gained a first down and then it went down hill from there.
Broncos quarterback Hank Bachmeier‘s pass was intercepted by Washington safety Myles Bryant, as he returned it 26-yards.
The Huskies offense started out with great field position, starting their first possession at their own 48-yard line.
Momentum wise, it was a great way for the Huskies to start out the game. Offensively, the Huskies have needed all the help they could get all season long!
On the their first drive they wouldn’t disappoint, as they converted some crucial third and fourth downs, helping them move the chains.
The drive was capped by a 17-yard slant play to senior wide receiver Andre Baccellia, who ran it into the end zone and punched in 6 for the Huskies.
At the 5:32 mark, the Huskies were leading the Broncos 7-0 and their trend of fast starts continued, as they had all season long.
During the scoring drive, the Huskies went on a 12 play, 52 yards impressive march down the field, which was a nice rhythm for the offense.
The Broncos offense would get the ball on their next possession, but couldn’t move it, as the Husky defense got extremely physical.
A 3-and-out was the result and the Husky offense would take the field once again, hoping to extend their lead even further!
They would stall on their ensuing possession, but the special teams unit came up big. Race Porter punted the ball down to the 4-yard line by a rugby style punt.
It was a perfectly executed punt, which forced the Broncos to start out with a daunting task of going the length of the field to score.
At the end of the first quarter, Boise State still had the ball on their own 27-yard line on 2nd and 9, but trailed 7-0 on the scoreboard.
It was a great start for the Huskies, as they seemed to be in control of the game, and needed to get a stop defensively on the drive.
They would get the stop after bringing the pressure, forcing the Broncos to punt the ball down to the Washington 26-yard line.
Defensively, the Huskies game plan had been executed to perfection, as they had swarmed the Broncos all game long.
On the next drive for the Huskies, they showed some nice balance and marched down the field on 13 plays, 74-yards, with a time of possession of 5:53.
Junior running back Salvon Ahmed took the handoff and scampered to the edge for an 8-yard TD run which put the Huskies up two scores.
At the 6:46 mark in the 2nd quarter, the Huskies were leading 14-0, completely dominating the Broncos on both sides of the ball.
Boise State got the ball back but still was flustered by the defensive pressures and schemes of the Husky defense, being forced to punt once again.
The Huskies offense was looking to tack on one more score before the half and gain even further separation from the Broncos.
It wouldn’t happen, as the Huskies were forced to punt the ball down to the Boise State 1-yard line after a 54-yard punt by Joel Whitford.
All that was left to complete a stellar half was to hold the Broncos from marching down the field and scoring before the half.
As was the story for the entire first half, the Husky defense got the stop, giving the offense a chance to get into field goal range.
On the first play, Jacob Eason connected with WR Marquis Spiker for the longest pass of the half, at 26-yards, to take a big chunk down the field.
The Husky offense would maneuver closer down the field, where sophomore placekicker Peyton Henry connected on a 32-yard field goal,
giving them huge momentum into the half.
At halftime, the Huskies led 17-0, with the best part being that they were set to receive the ball at the start of the second half.
Eason had a very productive first half and finished with a stat line of 16 for 22, 124-yards and 1 TD. He was very efficient and moved the offense.
Defensively, the Huskies held the high-powered Broncos offense to 96 total yards and had them completely flustered and confused.
The Huskies were now 30 minutes away from sending Petersen out on top, with a victory against his former team and protege Bryan Harsin.
At the start of the third quarter, the Husky offense got the ball and were looking to really put the pressure on the Broncos with another score.
The Huskies offense threw a bomb down the field, on the very first throw to send a message, but it wouldn’t end up being sent.
Boise State forced the Huskies to go 3-and-out and punt the ball. It was some mini-momentum for the Broncos to start the half.
It wouldn’t last, as junior defensive back Elijah Molden picked off the Bachmeier pass to setup the Washington offense to score.
A surgical 22-yard throw by Eason to WR Terrell Bynum down to the Broncos 2-yard line, set up another score for the Huskies on the next play.
Battering ram redshirt freshman running back Richard Newton bulldozed into the end zone for the 2-yard TD run and the Huskies were in business.
They led 24-0 at the 10:22 mark of the third quarter and the Broncos were definitely searching for a lifeline to stay in the game.
That lifeline would come on the next possession, as the Broncos went on a methodical 11 play, 77-yard, 5:30 time of possession drive.
Boise State running back George Holani converted the 10-yard shovel pass touchdown and the Broncos now had some life.
At the 4:44 mark, the Huskies were leading 24-7 and would now have to stop the Boise State momentum.
On their next offensive possession, the Huskies would move the ball but the drive would eventually stall, forcing them to punt.
Avery Williams returned it 29-yards to the Washington 46-yard line and they had another chance to close the gap on the Huskies.
The Huskies defense would hold and take over on downs, as the Broncos couldn’t move the chains on 4th down and continue their drive.
Eason and the offense would get another shot to seal the victory and put the game out of reach, with another touchdown score.
They would do just that as the Huskies decided to add a little trickery and flare to their offense to cap off the scoring drive.
Newton would throw the ball to Bynum for a 13-yard touchdown, that put the Huskies on top 30-7, with 10:44 left in the game;
a little Chris Petersen Boise State trick play magic, to secure a 23-point lead. On the drive the Huskies went 6 plays for 60 yards and 3:27 for time of possession.
The Broncos got the ball back and tried to fight their way back into the game with another score, but ended up punting the ball.
All Washington had to do was run the football and chew up the clock down the stretch and secure their win. Victory was within reach.
The Huskies tried to run the entire clock down with the run, but the Broncos couldn’t stop the Huskies.
Ahmed put some icing on the cake with a 12-yard TD run, and 2:29 left, putting Petersen within minutes of going out on top.
Now the score was 38-7 and anything else would simply be academic the rest of the way. What a night for the Huskies.
Offensively, the Huskies out gained the Broncos 341-266 for the entire game. Who would have thought that, heading into the matchup today?
Boise State sophomore running back George Holani was held to 35-yards, on just 11 carries, a big factor in the game for the Huskies.
It was the most complete performance of the season for the Huskies, who were fantastic and sound in all three phases of the game.
After the game, in an iconic moment, Chris Petersen held the trophy with Jimmy Lake, passing the torch off to him for the next era of Husky football!
This game concluded the season for the Huskies, as they finished with a record of 8-5 (4-5) on the year.
Washington vs. Boise State Final Game Stats
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