Sep 8, 2007

Huskies to meet Boise State in a classic contest

Boise State charmed the world last year. The Huskies charmed no one. Now both meet in a classic matchup: the hot no-longer-underdogs versus the resurrecting champions of old. What to watch for, saith the Times:
UW coaches say BSU's O-line, which includes All-American candidate left tackle Ryan Clady, could be among the best in the country. UW's front four dominated Syracuse, getting seven sacks and holding the Orange to eight yards rushing, but they will be severely tested today in trying to penetrate the line and get to Broncos running back Ian Johnson, who ran for 1,713 yards last season....

Boise State is much more than gimmick plays, but deception is a major part of its game. Washington coaches say Boise State showed 35 formations on first down in the three games of film they studied from last year and this year.
Saith our neighbor at the Sports Report:
[Bronco QB Taylor] Tharp played well in mop-up duty last year, and played well in the home opener. By all accounts, he wasn’t the most talented of the QBs competing for the starting spot, but was chosen as a senior who will be counted on be steady. Can he rise to the occasion on the road?...

[Husky QB Jake Locker] obviously won’t be able to make it look that easy every week, as a redshirt freshman will stumble at points this year. One has to wonder if this week will be his true baptism against and experienced and well-coached team.
Like Jeff, I'm waffling on this one--so many variables, so many things to like, so many concerns on either side. The Broncos' 0-5 away record against BCS opponents sticks out, but then so does the fact that the Huskies haven't opened 2-0 since 2001.

Broncos 31, Huskies 20. Experience and discipline beats spunk. (That's what happened last night.)

Update: After an exciting first half in which the Huskies jumped out to a 24-10 lead, both teams hunkered down. Locker had bright moments, including a 58-yard TD, but was inconsistent overall. The best TD of the day was a halfback pass by Louis Rankin to Quintin Daniels in the first quarter. Bob Rondeau, Voice of the Huskies, flipped out, shouting that it was "Right out of the Bronco playbook!"

Hampered by turnovers, Boise State couldn't mount a rally, and that was all that was written by her.

Don't bet on sports.

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