Game Preview: Bowl Style ... UW vs Boise State

Troy Babbitt-US PRESSWIRE

A match-up between two northwest schools, this game figures to be a good one. Both these teams have solid defenses, and less than par offenses, which leads me to think that this game will most definitely not be a repeat of the Alamo Bowl last year between UW and Baylor. How's that for irony? Let's hope that Dawg fans don't come away from this game trying to keep everything that happened in Vegas ... in Vegas.

I'm gonna keep on the run
I'm gonna have me some fun
If it costs me my very last dime
If I wind up broke up well
I'll always remember that I had a swingin time
I'm gonna give it everything I've got
Lady luck please let the dice stay hot
Let me shout a seven with every shot
Viva Las Vegas, viva Las Vegas,
Viva, viva Las Vegas

Who: UW and Boise State

Where: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada

When: Saturday, December 22, 2012 @ 12:30 pm Pacific Time

Catch the action on the entertainment sports programming network

History

The history between these two teams goes back to 2007 in Seattle, when Jake Locker, then a red-shirt freshman, played an amazing game, and the defense did a decent job too, in a dominating 24-10 victory. They lead the series 1-0, in a series that will be either 3-0, 2-1, or 1-2 by the end of August next year. That game snapped a 14-game winning streak the Bronco's had been sporting. I seem to remember being seriously underwhelmed with the way the Broncos played that game. They were BCS Busters, but came out flat and bent over to take a beating by the hands of what was to be Mr. Willingham's best season as a coach.

Retrospective look at the seasons

The Huskies finished the season at 7-5. As a whole, the record is something to be happy about. Coming into this season, the Huskies had a ridiculously difficult early season stretch, playing LSU Oregon, Stanford, and USC in the first six games. A 7-5 season looked optimistic to many, and acceptable, if not slightly above expectations, for most. However, the season ended up being amazingly difficult to swallow, even though the dawgs won seven. It was kind of like trying to swallow an extra-large grape without chewing it ... (I did that a lot in the first grade with my buddy Sammy, but when I tried the "extra-jumbo" grape, I was stopped short, about a quarter of the way down my esophagus ...) The season really left most Dawgfans desiring more, and the hope is, after this game against Boise State, is the "more" that will scratch that itch that Lear hasn't been to scratch for quite a while.

Boise State was hoping that, even though they no longer have Kellen Moore, they could have a strong season in the Mountain West, but was stopped short by two losses. They lost a close one to Michigan State to start off the season, and then lost to our friends the San Diego State Aztecs at home. That lost was the sole reason that Northern Illinois got the nod to play Florida State in the Orange Bowl over the Broncos.

Numbers

+1.5 - Boise State's turnover margin on the season

+2.17 - Boise State's turnover margin on the road or at neutral stadiums

3 - the number of consecutive years Boise State will have played in the Los Vegas Bowl counting this year

4 - the number of teams Boise State has played so far this season against teams with a winning record, in 12 games (Michigan State is currently 6-6)

8 - number of sacks Boise State has surrendered, the entire season ... (ranked 4th in the country)

9 - Boise State's national ranking in total defense

16 - number of interceptions Boise State has on the year

33 - Boise State's national ranking in 3rd down conversion percentage (45.22%)

72 - Boise State's nation ranking in red zone conversion percentage (80.36%) *** side note ... here's Boise State's ranking in terms of touchdowns scored and field goals made in the red zone: 77th in country at scoring TD in the red zone at a clip of 58.93% & 51st in the country at scoring field goals in the red zone at a clip of 21.43%

76 - Boise State's national ranking in total offense

78 - Boise State's strength of schedule this season (from here)

Questions needing answers

Offense: How will the preparation before this game help the Dawgs? Will we see the Dawgs coming out firing, or starting off like slugs? What offensive line will show up? Can the Dawgs get Bishop Sankey going, even though the Bronco's are likely to stack the box? How many yards will a health ASJ get? Which Keith Price is going to be taking the snaps? Will he finish up this year with a bang or a blank?

Defense: Will the real pass rush please stand up? Can we get into Mr. Southwick's head early and cause him to make some errant throws in our favor? Will ASJ get his first sack? Who's head is Travis Feeney going to take off this week? Will Southwick think Shaq Thompson is one of his receivers? Will Trufant lock down everyone he lines up against? How strong will Mr. Shelton be against the run?

Miscellaneous: Will this be the game the Dawgs finally take one the distance? Can Sark outfox Peterson? Should we give Husky stadium purple grass and coin it Bad@$$ grass? Can the Dawgs finally get an 8 win season?

Viva Las Vegas Dawgfans. The Bronco's have had a less than awesome season, just like the Huskies. Maybe you fans who aren't so sure about the Huskies coming away with a solid victory tomorrow can find solace in this: We beat San Diego State, but the Bronco's didn't. Since the transitive property works so well in college football (see Oregon and Stanford), we should most definitely win this game.

Here's one Dawgfan hoping for an early Christmas present. GO DAWGS!

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