Washington vs. Boise State: Broncos' Defense Will Be Key in MAACO Bowl

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 22, 2012

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 13:  Michael Atkinson #99 and Demarcus Lawrence #8 of the Boise State Broncos celebrate after a play against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Bronco Stadium on October 13, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Boise State will capture the MAACO Bowl this weekend in much the same way as it has succeeded all season: with its defense.

The No. 19 Broncos, who go for their fourth straight bowl victory on Saturday against Washington, have ceded just 14.9 points per game this season, sixth in the nation. The includes holding Fresno State to 10 points and Nevada to 21 points.

Washington, of course, has averaged 23.8 points this season, 90th in the country. In the Huskies' last three games against Utah, Colorado and Washington State, they've scored a combined 100 points, but then again, Utah, Colorado and Washington State haven't exactly been known for their defenses this season (the Utes led the three teams with 25.1 points per game allowed).

Washington is coming off a 31-28 overtime loss to Washington State. This, despite Washington State averaging 20.4 points per game this season, 108th in the country.

Washington's "strength" on offense lies in its running game. The Huskies have averaged 3.85 yards per carry this season, 89th in the nation (via CFBStats.com).

But Boise State has allowed 3.58 yards per carry (tied for 22nd in the FBS). The Broncos have had trouble against the more explosive rushing attacks, but they feast on the weaker running games...like Washington's.

You add the fact that Boise State's ground game figures to make an impact against Washington's run defense and there is a lot for the Huskies to be worried about. The Huskies have allowed 4.58 yards per carry this season, tied for 78th in the country. The Broncos, led by senior D.J. Harper and freshman Jay Ajayi, could literally end up running away with this game.

They say defense wins championships. The same could be said about this bowl game.

Boise State will go on to win its fourth consecutive bowl game and third consecutive MAACO Bowl on Saturday.


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