It will feature the Huskies who had a down year this season with a 7-5 record, against the Broncos who finished 12-1 with a Mountain West championship.
What will be fascinating is the “Chris Petersen” element to the game; with him retiring and pitting him against the program he built into a national power.
With the Las Vegs Bowl less than a couple weeks away, we will take an early look at the Huskies opponent….the Boise State Broncos.
This has been an extremely successful season for the Boise State Broncos, as they went 12-1 on the season and only suffered one 28-25 defeat to BYU on the road. Recently the Broncos faced the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in the Mountain West Championship game and won 31-10. The Broncos went undefeated on the season during conference play, which was the first time in program history since joining the Mountain West Conference. Boise State also did not drop a game while playing at home at Albertsons Stadium this season.
During the season, the Broncos had three games where they entered the fourth quarter trailing on the scoreboard, but they came out with the victory. Even with a superior 12-1 record, Boise State is feeling slighted, as they were hoping to be chosen for the Cotton Bowl instead of the Las Vegas Bowl. The back half of the Broncos schedule featured three teams that finished with losing records, two teams that finished with seven wins and then Hawaii. Respect has eluded the Broncos this season and their matchup against the Washington Huskies gives them the ultimate chance to prove themselves.
* 12-1 Overall Record
* 0.923 Overall Winning Percentage
* 8-0 Conference Record
* 100% Conference Winning Percentage
* 6-Game Winning Streak
* Through five seasons with the Broncos, Bryan Harsin boasts a record of 53-15, an average of more than 10 wins per season. Since Boise State hired Harsin, prior to the 2014 season, only five schools have more wins than the Broncos – Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Harsin was Petersen’s offensive coordinator for five of his eight seasons as head coach (2006-10), and was named a finalist for the 2009 Broyles Award, awarded annually to the nation’s top assistant coach. Boise State went 61-5 during his tenure as offensive coordinator.
* Record at Boise State.: 64-16
* Overall: 71-21
* The Broncos currently rank #24 in the nation in scoring defense at 20.60 points per game.
* They rank #14 in the nation in scoring offense at 36.8 points per game.
* Boise State’s offense ranks #10 in the nation, in 3rd down conversion percentage at .489.
* The Broncos currently rank #83 in the nation in passing defense, at 234.4 yards per game.
* Rushing defense ranks #19 in the nation at 112.3 points per game.
* They rank #23 in the nation in sacks per game at 2.85.
* QB – Hank Bachmeier
Freshman quarterback was named to the FWAA’s Freshman All-America Midseason Watch List on October 24th.
* RB – George Holani
Holani became the first Bronco running back to score on at least two receptions in a game since Nov . 27, 2009.
* WR – John Hightower
Hightower has seven plays of 50-plus yards in his career, all of which have gone for scores.
* LB – Riley Whimpey
- Leads the Broncos defense in tackles at 72 on the season.
* DE – Curtis Weaver
- Leads the team in tackles for loss at 18.5 and leads the team in sacks at 13.5.
* PR/KR – Avery Williams
- Ranked #8 in the nation in punt returns at 12.4 yards per game. He also ranks #2 in the nation in punt return TD’s at 2 total.
- Multiple Formations
* The high-powered offense of the Broncos is their biggest strength. They have used three different quarterbacks throughout the season. They have a near 1,000 yard rusher at running back and highlight reel receivers who can go up and make plays down the field.
* Boise State has given up a ton of yards through the air this season and their secondary has been exposed quite often. Opponents have been able to exploit them down the field and move the chains due to tentative play on the back end.
At Boise State, Chris Petersen won two Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year Awards, voted on by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He is the only coach to receive this award twice, which debuted in 1986.
Under Petersen, Boise State recorded two undefeated seasons, three undefeated regular seasons, and reached the Bowl Championship Series twice. The 2006 season was capped with a memorable upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, while the 2009 team defeated TCU in the Fiesta Bowl to finish at 14–0 and were fourth in both major polls. They were just the second team ever to go 14–0 in the history of major college football.
Petersen brought Boise State football its highest ranking during the 2010 season. The team rose to second in the Associated Press poll during weeks 7, 8, and 9, and No. 2 in the Coaches’ Poll, as well as earning the No. 3 slot in the first BCS ranking. After 2010, Boise State joined the Mountain West Conference.
Petersen finished his eight seasons as head coach of Boise State with a record of 92–12 (.885), with three top 10 finishes, seven seasons with ten or more wins, six top 25 finishes, two Fiesta Bowl titles, five bowl wins, and five conference titles. He was at Boise State University for thirteen years, the first five as offensive coordinator under Hawkins.
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