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
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 Boise
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 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.
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".BoiseState 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.BoiseState'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.