Despite finishing in the BCS Top 25 and finishing with a 10-2 record, Boise State will play a 7-5 team in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.
It seems like, every year, I am scratching my head about what bowl Boise State plays in and who it plays. This year brings the same head scratching.
Washington is a good team that will give the Broncos a quality game, but it just feels like the Broncos deserved better.
They will have a chance to prove why they should have been in a better bowl game when the two get together on Dec. 22. Here are three things Boise State must do to get the job done.
Win turnover ratio
Washington has lost four of five games when it fails to win the turnover battle. Meanwhile, Boise State has won three straight games after winning the turnover battle.
Turnovers determine games, and these two teams have been prime examples of that this season.
It seems like a simple philosophy but taking care of the football is an area teams always struggle with. Mistakes cost teams games, and whichever team makes the least mistakes will win the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.
Utilize the workhorse
Boise State has scored 25 rushing touchdowns this season, and 15 have come from D.J. Harper. He has been a workhorse this year, posting 1,065 yards on 212 carries.
Harper rushed for over 100 yards and at least one touchdown in back-to-back games to end the season. Both games resulted in victories.
The Broncos offense starts and ends with the rushing attack. The rushing attack ranks 52nd in the nation, while the passing attack ranks 80th in the nation.
It all starts with Harper.
Force Washington into 3rd-and-longs.
When teams are forced into this situation, defenses dictate how the game is played. Boise State will be able to mix coverages, provide pressure if it chooses, sit back in zone and even double multiple receivers.
3rd-and-longs create more opportunities for turnovers because offenses tend to take more chances down the field.
Washington quarterback Keith Price has had the turnover bug all year long. He has thrown 11 interceptions this season.
If Boise State wants to defeat Washington, forcing 3rd-and-longs must be a high priority.
Boise State 28, Washington 24.
Boise State reaches into its bags of tricks and pulls out a thrilling four-point victory.