Boise State (12-1) and Washington (7-5) might be the best early bowl season game on the slate. Washington head coach Chris Peterson will be playing in his final game ever on Saturday. He will get to do it against his former team. The Huskies record was below expectations this season, as Boise State won the Mountain West for the third time in six years. As of writing this, 53 percent of bettors are taking Boise State as a 3-point underdog, and 66 percent are going over 50 points.
Date: Saturday, December 21, 2019
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
Boise State Analysis
Boise State comes in with the 13th ranked scoring offense averaging 36.2 points per game. Overall, their offense ranks 48th in success rate and 23rd in explosiveness. They should find success this weekend against a Washington defense that struggled for most of the season. Starting on the line, the Broncos will have an edge over the Huskies front seven. This will help them control the line of scrimmage with a rushing attack that ranks 45th in success rate. Also, Boise State does have a small edge over Washington in the passing game as well. There might not be that much going for them through the air, so expect the Broncos to keep it on the ground for most of the game. One thing Boise will not be able to do is create explosive plays. Washington is one of the best teams in the country at limiting that, so Boise State will need to earn their points.
Defensively, the Broncos matchup well against the Washington offense. Boise State ranks 46th in success rate, but is holding teams to 21.5 points per game (25th). Also, Boise has been successful at taking the ball away averaging 1.5 turnovers per games. This could create havoc for a Washington offense that has been inconsistent this season. The matchup in the trenches will be even, so whoever can control the line of scrimmage might decide how well Washington’s offense does. The biggest mismatch is Boise State’s run defense vs Washington’s run offense. Now, in terms of yards per play, Boise State has the edge here. Overall, Washington’s rush offense ranks 21st in the country compared to Boise State’s defense ranking 66th. Boise State will need to find away to slow down the Huskies rushing attack to help them win.
The Huskies have struggled for most of this season, but their offense has been solid throughout. They average 30.1 points per game (47th), and an offensive success rate of 26th in the country. Quarterback Jacob Eason led a passing attack that ranked 44th in the country. However, their strongest ability is running the football. They rank 21st in rushing success and going up against a Boise State defense that ranks 66th. Although their offensive line is at a disadvantage against the Broncos front seven, they should still have some success moving the football on the ground. The Huskies don’t have much of an explosive offense, so expect a lot of manufactured drives if Washington moves the football. Boise and Washington are fairly even in the passing game, so it will be important for the Huskies to move the ball.
Washington has been holding teams to 21 points per game (20th) this season. However, their overall defensive success rate ranks 69th in the country. Boise State’s 47th ranked offense will be able to move the football at times against the Huskies. However, Washington will make the Broncos earn every point they score. Washington ranks second in the nation in limiting explosive pass plays. Boise State doesn’t create big plays on the ground, but their passing explosiveness ranks 18th in the country. This is something Washington will be able to slow down. Expect Boise State to try to move the football on the ground. The Broncos do have an edge against a Huskies run defense that ranks 86th in the country. Also, Washington’s front seven hasn’t been great in run plays either. This could be something that makes the difference in this game.
Betting Pick: Washington -3
This line stinks with Washington as a 3-point favorite, and that’s why I like it. Chris Peterson his coaching his final college football game, and will do it against his former team. The storylines write themselves. Also, Washington is a very talented team that has just had a bad season. Washington ranks 16th in the S&P+ rankings despite being 7-5. Boise State has had an incredible season, but I’m sure Washington will be fired up to play for their coach one last time.