Huskies Host Boise State in Big Game

Boise State travels to Seattle to take on Washington this afternoon in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Broncos feature a host of new players in starting roles this season while experienced Washington looks to put away Boise State. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. Boise time.

It's nearly here!  The battle Bronco fans have been looking forward to ever since the game was announced—Boise State vs. Washington.  It figures to be a hard-fought game between a vastly improved Husky team and the #20 Broncos.  Washington hosts the game this afternoon at 1:30 Boise time.


High School All-American Jake Locker (6-3, 225, Fr.) will lead the Huskies into today's game at quarterback.  Locker was 14-19 passing and had 83 yards rushing in blitzing Syracuse last week 42-12.  Locker ranks 43rd in passing efficiency and 49th in total offense (225 total yards) in the young season.


 Senior Louis Rankin (6-0, 205) is another star in the backfield for the Huskies.  Rankin ran for 666 yards (4.69 average) and four touchdowns last year, but with the presence of Locker to keep defenses honest, figures to have an outstanding year.  He's off to a good start with 147 yards against Syracuse, good for 14th in the nation.  Paul Horner (6-0, 222, So.) will start at fullback.  Washington ranks 12th in the nation in rushing with 302 yards on the ground last week.


Senior Anthony Russo (5-11, 185) will try to create space in the Bronco secondary at one wideout position.  Russo had five catches for 49 yards last week to lead the Washington receivers.  Marcel Reece (6-3, 240, Sr.) and D'Andre Goodwin (6-0, 170, So.) will also see action for the Huskies.  Seniors Michael Gottlieb (6-5, 245) and Johnie Kirton (6-4, 270) will likely both get time at tight end.


The line is made up of monster tackles Ben Ossai (6-6, 300, Jr.) and Chad Macklin (6-8, 300, Sr.).  Casey Bulyca (6-6, 340, Sr.) and Ryan Tolar (6-5, 310, So.) will get the starts at guard while Juan Garcia (6-3, 315, Sr.) plays center.


The defense is big and strong and ranks fifth in the nation in rushing defense, giving up a measly eight yards last week.  Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (6-4, 245, Jr..) and Greyson Gunheim (6-5, 265, Sr.) will try to disrupt things from their defensive end spots while Jordan Reffert (6-6, 295, Sr.) and Wilson Afoa (6-3, 290, Sr.) anchor the tackle positions.  Gunheim was credited with two sacks last week while Caesar Rayford had 1.5 and Te'o-Nesheim and Reffert and one each.


The inside linebacker will be Donald Butler (6-1, 240, So.) or Trenton Tuiasosopo (6-2, 240, Sr.).  E.J. Savannah (6-2, 228, Jr.) and Dan Howell (6-1, 225,S.) are the outside ‘backers.


Vonzell McDowell, Jr. (5-9, 176, So.) and Roy Lewis (5-11, 187, Sr.) are the corners for Washington.  Jason Wells (6-2, 210, Jr.) plays free safety while Mesphin Forrester (6-2, 205, Sr.) starts at strong safety.  


Junior Ryan Perkins (6-0, 185) is the placekicker while Jared Ballman (5-11, 175, Jr.) is the new punter.  Ballman could give Washington a huge advantage, as his 46.25 average last week ranks 11th in the country.  Brandon Johnson (5-11, 195, Fr.) and Rankin will be back for Bronco kickoffs; Johnson averaged 21.0 last week on three returns.  Russo will handle punt returns for Washington.


E/A Sports Analysis:


100 games were simulated between these two teams using E/A Sports' popular software program, "NCAA Football 2008".  Boise State won 60 of those simulations, essentially meaning that the Broncos have a 60 percent chance of winning.  The average score of 26.2-24.5 was much tighter because most of the Bronco wins were close while quite a few Washington wins were blowouts.  Boise State's biggest win in the 100 simulations was 29 points (47-18) while Washington won by 31 points on three occasions.  The simulations confirm other sources that, while anything could happen in this game, it should be a tight game. 



Here are the complete simulation results:


At Washington (60-40)  26.2-24.5, High:  47-18 (Boise State), 31-0, 34-3, 52-21 (Washington), Low:  13-12 and 45-44 (Boise State), 21-18 and 27-24 (Washington), Times Washington scored 25 points or less (57), Times Boise State scored 27 or more points (50), Highest points Boise State scored and lost (33).  This data is quite useful to Boise State coaches if they so choose.  It is apparent that if Boise State holds Washington to 25 points or less, they have a very good chance of winning.  Also, 27 points for the Bronco offense seems to be the average, and if they score 33, they only lose once out of 100.  In other words, if Boise State has 27 points in the fourth quarter, they may need another touchdown to win.  Since 52 points is the most that Washington scored to win, 53 points would be the magic number for the Bronco offense.



E/A Sports Predicted Winner:  Boise State



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