Boise State University traveled to Las Vegas for their third consecutive Las Vegas Bowl to take on the University of Washington. Boise State came into the game winners of the Mountain West for the second year in a row, and the best team from the conference. Washington’s season wasn’t quite what they hoped but still presented a very good challenge for the Broncos.
Right of the bat the Broncos showed their depth of their playbook and their trickery with a bit of screens and misdirection that led to Boise State finding the scoreboard first with a chip shot field goal. Washington immediately responded with the legs of Bishop Sankey.
The sophomore running back gave a preview of things to come for the day with over 60 yards on the Huskies first drive. Sankey played a huge role in the Huskies offense and was the guy that kept him in the game, and led them to a field goal on their first drive.
After a deadlock tie Boise State’s quarterback Joe Southwick began to heat up and really start connecting on his throws. He hit Geraldo Boldewijn as the first quarter expired to give the Broncos the lead.
Boise State then controlled the majority of the second quarter on both sides of the ball and Southwick continued to make plays with his arm and legs, before Boise State pulled out more trickery to extend the lead to 18-3 on a wide receiver screen pass for the touchdown.
Just as it looked like the Huskies were down and out Sankey took a pitch 26 yards to close the gap to a one score game. He then took a screen pass 42 yards that set up a Price touchdown right before the half. This closed the game to one point despite Boise State dominating most of the first half.
Boise State came out and asserted their will with a 15 play drive that put them back ahead by eight but from there it was all Huskies and a heavy dose of Sankey. He continued to find small holes and turn them into huge gains that were capitalized when Price found his big tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to close the gap to 2 again.
The game stayed close with the Huskies finally getting their first lead of the game with a 38 yard field goal with just over four minutes remaining, but it was just too much time left for a team that moved the ball well all day.
A huge return by Boise State allowed Southwick to lead the Broncos on a scoring drive that was capped off with a game winning field goal. The irony that they made the short field is the problem that Boise State has had with field goals to win games over the year.
The win capped off the 11th win of the season for Boise State and their third straight Las Vegas bowl win. Despite the loss Washington running back Bishop Sankey was named player of the game with 30 carries for 205 yards and added 6 catches for 74 yards.
Photos by Daniel Ward