Jacob Eason, Washington Dominate No. 19 Boise State to Win 2019 Las Vegas Bowl

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 21: Quarterback Jacob Eason #10 of the Washington Huskies looks to pass against the Boise State Broncos during the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images

Chris Petersen closed out his Washington tenure in winning style as the Huskies beat No. 19 Boise State 38-7 in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Petersen was coaching his last game for the Huskies after he announced he was stepping down from his post. Secondary coach and defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will take over as the head coach.

Saturday's game brought Petersen's coaching career full circle. He was Boise State's offensive coordinator for five years before succeeding Dan Hawkins as head coach ahead of the 2006 season. The Broncos went 92-12 and won the Fiesta Bowl twice during his eight years on the sideline.

Not only did Petersen beat his old school, but he also pulled out a trick play to compound the hurt. Richard Newton took a direct snap in the fourth quarter and hit Terrell Bynum for a 13-yard touchdown pass.

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl @LasVegasBowl

.@UW_Football pushes its lead back to 24 points with this 13-yard pitch & catch out of the Wildcat from Richard Newton to Terrell Bynum! UW 31 | BSU 7 in the 4th Quarter Watch Live on @ABC https://t.co/A3Oo2RtXJI

Washington forced three turnovers and held Boise State to 266 yards of offense.

Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB

Quite a send-off for Chris Petersen, dominating Boise State. Jimmy Lake’s defense holds the Broncos to single digits for the first time since the opener of the 2013 season against Washington, which was actually Petersen’s last year at Boise.


Notable Performers

  • Jacob Eason, QB, Washington: 22-of-32, 210 yards, one touchdown
  • Richard Newton, RB, Washington: 15 carries, 69 yards, one touchdown; 1-of-1, 13 yards, one touchdown
  • Terrell Bynum, WR, Washington: five receptions, 67 yards, one touchdown
  • Hank Bachmeier, QB, Boise State: 15-of-26, 119 yards, two interceptions
  • George Holani, RB, Boise State: 11 carries, 35 yards


Huskies Defense Shoulders the Load for Short-Handed Offense

Washington was already without leading receiver Hunter Bryant and starting left tackle Trey Adams, who presumably decided to sit out the Las Vegas Bowl to prepare for the 2020 NFL draft.

That made Petersen's job hard enough. He then had to cope with injuries to his top two running backs, Salvon Ahmed and Newton, over the course of Saturday night.

UW Dawg Pound @UWonSBN

So that's Hunter Bryant, Trey Adams, Jaxson Kirkland, Nick Harris, Richard Newton, and Salvon Ahmed who will have all missed at least a snap for the UW offense tonight. Ugh.

Washington's defense did its part and often helped to give the offense a short field with which to work. Interceptions preceded the Huskies' first scoring drives in the first and second halves.

Myles Bryant picked off a Hank Bachmeier pass in the opening possession of the game. Washington only needed to go 52 yards but ate 6:07 off the clock before Andre Baccellia's 17-yard touchdown reception.

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl @LasVegasBowl

The Huskies are on the 'board! @UW_Football caps a 12-play, 52-yard drive with a 17-yard TD pass - Jacob Eason to Andre Baccellia! With 5:26 left in 1Q: UW 7 | BSU 0 Watch Live on @ABC https://t.co/4F1UulDStc

Then Elijah Molden set Washington up at the Boise State 24-yard line when he intercepted Bachmeier with 11:11 left in the third quarter. Three plays later, Newton punched it in on a two-yard touchdown run.

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl @LasVegasBowl

The Huskies have put another 7 points on the 'board. @UW_Football's Richard Newton twists & turns his way into the end zone for a 2-yard TD! The Huskies' drive went for 3 plays & a total of 34 yards. UW 24 | BSU 0 in 3rd Quarter Watch Live on @ABC! https://t.co/CQwDZfwpWu

Boise State looked to be building some momentum after Jaylon Henderson's 10-yard touchdown pass at the 4:44 mark of the third quarter. Washington forced a turnover on downs on the Broncos' next drive, however. Newton delivered what was effectively the final nail in the coffin.

As Washington looks to the offseason, Jacob Eason's future looms large. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked the junior as the fifth-best quarterback in the 2020 draft class.

Saturday's game was a microcosm of his season.

Geoff Schwartz @geoffschwartz

So Jacob Eason on Washington drops ridiculously deep in the pocket. Like 10+ yards on the regular. Can crush the OL

Christian Caple @ChristianCaple

Eason had Spiker wide open there and missed him. Might have been expecting him to settle.

Eric Edholm @Eric_Edholm

this dude is a hard study. BRILLIANT at times and just so frustrating others.

Eason would benefit from spending another year at Washington, but he might be competing with Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields in the 2021 draft class. Convincing him to spurn the draft now might be difficult.


Boise State Sputters at Final Hurdle

Bachmeier's interception in the first quarter set the tone of the evening for Boise State.

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl @LasVegasBowl

Moments after @BroncoSportsFB connects on a 20-yard completion, QB Hank Bachmeier throws an INT to @UW_Football's Myles Bryant! The Huskies start their 1st drive on their own 48! Watch Live on @abc! https://t.co/rWtqOPpCjU

The Broncos entered Saturday averaging 441.5 yards and 36.8 points per game, and they closed out the regular season 31st in ESPN's SP+ offensive rating.

Their offense never found a groove against Washington.

Boise State was one of the schools that helped break through the lower expectations for programs outside of the Power Five conferences. In the grand scheme of things, little has changed, though, since a 12-1 season ultimately meant a return trip to the Las Vegas Bowl.

Losing to Washington on its own isn't that bad, but such a lopsided defeat will do little to help the Broncos and their Group of Five brethren.

Josh Newman @Joshua_Newman

If Group of Five contenders want to be taken seriously, don’t get trucked in lower-tier bowls. Boise, SMU, Appalachian State, that means you.

Boise State welcomes Florida State to Albertsons Stadium next September for its biggest nonconference game on the schedule. Even with a win over the Seminoles, the team will still be fighting against the perception it remains a class below the best Power Five schools, a perception that many will argue was reinforced Saturday.


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