2010 Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Utah, Preview and Prediction

Justin WheelerContributor IDecember 10, 2010

BOISE, ID - NOVEMBER 19:  Jeremy Avery #27 of the Boise State Broncos runs the ball against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Bronco Stadium on November 19, 2010 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

It's always a challenge to pick bowl games between two teams that didn't meet their goals in the regular season. But make no mistake, these are two great Top 25 teams, and this figures to be a good game. Both schools are used to being BCS-busters, but this year each has to settle for trying to beat the other.

Usually, hearing your quarterback won't be able to play in your team's bowl game is devastating. Utah has the luxury of being able to go to Terrance Cain, who went 9-1 in the 10 games he's started for Utah.

Utah started 8-0 before what we'll call the TCU/Notre Dame whippings. Utah is a tough program; most teams would have folded up late in the year, with title hopes dead, but Utah fought back to win their last two, including one over rival BYU.

Utah ranks in the Top 25 in points scored and points allowed, but that stat is deceiving as it was boosted against weaker competition. Against tough foes, Utah has been challenged (Pittsburgh) or been beaten mightily (TCU).

Boise State lost a late-night game to a vastly underrated Nevada team looking to win what amounted to a WAC title game for both teams. Though the loss hurts, it isn't a sign that the Broncos shouldn't be taken seriously as one of the top teams in the nation. Kellen Moore is a smart kid with great leadership skills. For anyone who disagrees, I refer them to the game-winning drive against VT and what should have been an amazing, season-saving play in Reno at the end of the game. Titus Young and Austin Pettis, along with the entire defense, are living proof that Boise has much more than determination and trick plays. This school has phenomenal athletes as well.



I tried to envision Boise losing this game, and the Nevada loss opens up that possibility more in my mind. You won't see a "roll over and wait for San Diego State" performance out of Utah as you did when they played TCU, but I don't see them winning this one. The Broncos defense wins the night for Boise.


Boise State 34, Utah 21