Petersen Coaches Final Game Against His Old Team
When Boise State and Washington meet on Saturday in the Las Vegas Bowl it’s the end of an era. A man very familiar to both programs, Huskies coach Chris Petersen ends his very successful run. While Petersen’s retirement is the major story line heading into the game there is much more to talk about. Let’s look at both teams and give a prediction as we begin our 2019 Las Vegas Bowl preview. However first we are going to give you the history of the game.
About The Las Vegas Bowl
First held in 1992 the inaugural Las Vegas Bowl saw Bowling Green defeat Nevada 34-33. Originally the game was called the California Raisin Bowl from 1981 to 1991 before being relocated to Las Vegas. The has had many sponsors over the years. Currently Mitsubishi Motors has sponsored the game for the last two years.
However, next year changes are coming for the game. Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the soon to be relocated Oakland Raiders will host the game. In addition the teams heading to the bowl will also changing. Currently, the game pits the Mountain West against the Pac-12. However, in 2020 it will be the Pac-12 versus either a Big 10 or SEC team.
Now that we’ve given you the history of the game let’s now look at the teams in our 2019 Las Vegas Bowl preview.
Scouting The Huskies
When the season began the Huskies were picked a close second to Oregon in the Pac 12. . However the 2019 campaign hasn’t turned out like they hoped it would. Chris Peterson’s club comes in to the Las Vegas Bowl with a 7-5 record, but only 4-5 in the conference.
On December 3rd Petersen made the shocking announcement he was retiring from coaching. During his press conference he stated dealing with the anxiety and stress from being a head coach led him to make his decision. In 14 years as a head coach, eight at Boise State and six at Washington, Petersen was 146-38. He led the Huskies to two Pac-12 titles and an appearance in the 2016 College Football Playoff. While he will coach in the bowl game the school has already named defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake as the successor.
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) December 8, 2019
They are led by quarterback Jacob Eason. As a junior the former Georgia signal caller threw for 2,922 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His best game of the 2019 campaign came in the season opener when he threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns against Eastern Washington.
While Eason is undecided about whether to declare for the NFL, he will be without one of his favorite targets. Tight end Hunter Bryant announced he is skipping the Las Vegas Bowl to concentrate on the NFL Draft. Bryant has 52 receptions for 825 yards this season. In addition he found the end zone three times. Another player, offensive tackle Trey Adams is also skipping the game.
Looking At The Broncos
While Washington limped home down the stretch of the 2019 season Boise State did just the opposite. Bryan Harsin’s club is 12-1 on the season and went undefeated in the Mountain West. Their only loss came on October 19th when the lost 28-25 at BYU. They finished 19th in the final college football playoff rankings just missing being the highest group of five school. That would have earned them a Cotton Bowl bid against Wisconsin. In fact there are many who say Boise should have gotten the bid over Memphis. After all they did win six bowl eligible teams and also won at Florida State.
As you would expect with the Broncos they are loaded on offense. For the season they averaged 37 points a game ranking them 14th in college football. While their quarterback position has been a bit of revolving door they are set now with Jaylon Henderson. After taking over following the loss to Brigham Young the Broncos have won all four games with Henderson under center. Furthermore in his last two games he’s thrown for 465 yards and four touchdowns. In addition he’s run for two more.
Behind Henderson George Holani leads the rushing attack with 979 yards and seven touchdowns. When they throw the ball the one-two punch of Khalil Shakir and John Hightower are the favorite targets. Between the two they have 108 catches on the season for 1,757 yards and On the season he has 60 catches for 834 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Bowl And Series History
Boise State and Washington have met four times in history with each school winning twice. The Broncos won the last match up in 2015 16-13. They did meet in the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl with Boise winning 28-26.
All-time the Broncos are 12-6 in bowl games and have won seven of their last nine. A season ago severe weather cancelled their game against Boston College in the First Responder Bowl.
On the other side of the ball the Huskies are 18-20-1 all time in bowl games. Under Petersen they’ve lost four of the five games they’ve appeared. The only win came in the 2015 Heart of Dallas Bowl beating Southern Mississippi 44-31. Furthermore since winning the 1992 Rose Bowl over Michigan Washington has gone 5-13 in bowl games.
Who Wins On Saturday?
As we continue on with our 2019 Las Vegas Bowl preview it’s prediction time. Both teams have a great deal to play for in this contest. The Huskies want to send Petersen out a winner against his former team. Boise State wants to prove it should have gone to the Cotton Bowl instead of Memphis.
Look for both teams to put up lots of points, even with a couple of Washington players sitting out. Even though they are only 7-5 the Broncos haven’t played anyone the caliber of the Huskies. It what is a close game that goes down to the wire Petersen goes out a winner.
Thanks for checking out our 2019 Las Vegas Bowl preview here at Last Word On College Football. As a reminder we have a preview of every game leading up to the championship on January 13th.