Welcome back everyone. In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a game tomorrow.
- Date: September 2nd, 2023 @ 1:30 PM (MST)
- Location: Husky Stadium (Seattle, WA)
- Weather at kickoff: 75°, Mostly Sunny
- Moon Phase: Not a Blue Moon
- Odds: Washington by 14
- TV: ABC
- Radio: 670 KBOI/Here or Stream
- Commentators: Bob “Worcestershire” Wischusen (Play-By-Play), Robert “Heisman” Griffin III (Analyst), Kris “Kristofpher” Budden (Sideline)
1. Was That Title Just Clickbait?
Yeah, but you were gonna read it anyway.
Boise State is widely considered a two-touchdown underdog in Saturday’s game. It’s hard for me to decide how I feel about that line. I’m skeptical that Washington is as good as advertised, but A. There’s a good reason to believe I’m wrong and B. if they aren’t as good as advertised, it doesn’t mean I think they’ll win.
Why I could be right:
I got the sense that the Huskies overachieved last year. Lots of one-score games, and quite a few stinkers (see October). Much of that can be attributed to a defense that was porous at times. Washington has always been talented, but I’m not entirely convinced they went from 4-8 in 2021 to natty contenders in 2023. I see this Huskies team a more top 20 than top 10, meaning our task at Husky stadium is only “very difficult” instead of “nigh-impossible”.
THAT BEING SAID
Teams get better. Which one got better(er) is the most important variable here, and the one we know the least about. Washington closed out their season strong and has returned several key players, most importantly Michael Penix Jr:
Despite my doubts about the entire Huskies team, this man is the real deal. I’ve been a believer since I saw him torch Ohio State with Indiana. He will have a minimum of 300 yards, pretty much no matter what happens.
This will be the Broncos 6th game on ABC. Their 5-1 record was only blemished by the very same Huskies in 2019. However, it’s essential to note that the Broncos are undefeated in road ABC games against top 10 teams at 1:30 MST (BYU 2021).
4. Familiar Faces
Former Fresno head coach Kalen DeBoer leads the Huskies with former Fresno coordinator Ryan Grubb running the offense. Mike Prater got a nice pull quote for this one:
It’s also worth noting that this is what happened the last time the Broncos went on the road to face a ranked Kalen DeBoer/Ryan Grubb team:
5. Let Us Remember the Good Times
Boise State – Won 1
Washington – Won 7
Best Name On Their Roster
There were quite a few solid contenders, but I’ll go with Sophomore WR Germie Bernard (as long as he washes his hands).
Best Picture On Their Roster
Anay Nagarajan was the winner today, mostly because I wouldn’t blink if you told me the sophomore was the 45 year old CEO of a fortune 500 company.
Players To Watch
Michael Penix Jr, QB
This one was too easy. Penix has Heisman potential and will be slinging it tomorrow. Fact is, I don’t think you have the option to *not* watch.
Rome Odunze, WR
The junior WR torched defenses to the tune of 1100 yards last season, and it wouldn’t shock me if he turned last year’s 3rd-team all-American to a first team this year. He will be a serious challenge.
Bralen Trice, EDGE
The preseason All-American EDGE led the nation with 70 QB hurries and racked up 10 sacks as well. We know Taylen can run around, but less duress is preferable for me.
Keys to Victory
Taylen Green, Pocket Passer
We don’t actually need Taylen throwing “from the pocket” to win, but I don’t see us winning this game if we can’t throw the ball. All the talk is around our defense vs. the juggernaut Husky offense, but I believe the matchup that matters most is our passing attack vs the Husky secondary. Maybe I’m just scarred from last year’s season opener, but I believe this year’s offense will tell me all I need to know about this team.
Coach Danielson pointed out in his pregame presser that secondary success has a lot to do with QB pressure. (Case in point: BYU last year following the losses of Tarlas and Bagnah)
Washington was elite in pass protection last year, can the Broncos find a way to force Penix into bad decisions?
This one is feels random, but hear me out. Yesterday, I watched Utah play Florida. The best player on the field? Utah’s punter. Seemingly no matter where he punted from, Florida seemingly always found themselves within their own 15, and often within their own 5. It was backbreaking for Florida and led to some easy scores for Utah after defensive stops. With some experience and another offseason under his belt, JFR could be a game-changer at punter.
As a rule, I never predict a loss. I can’t say I feel great, but like I said above, it depends a lot on Taylen Green and the new Bush Hamdan offense. And yet, I find myself envisioning a scenario where the Broncos keep it close late into the 4th. All out of 2nd chances, Taylen Green will make a play that will leave game analyst RGIII wondering if he’s on the field, snatching a victory for the good guys.
Boise State 31, Washington 27