Boise State - Washington TV viewer guide
Game day: August 31, 7 p.m. PT
Stadium: Husky Stadium - Seattle, Wash.
Boise State - Washington TV Information: Fox Sports 1
Story lines: Think the Dawgs will be motivated for this one? Not only will the Huskies be playing their first game in Husky Stadium in nearly two years, but they will also have a chance to get some comeuppance after a Boise State - Washington football finale in 2012, a 28-26 decision in favor of the Broncos at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.
Known for being one of the loudest and most intimidating places to play in college football, Husky Stadium will certainly be rocking for this 2013 opener between the Dawgs and the best team from the best coast not in the Pac-12. One thing, though—Washington’s digs will look much different, as renovations on the 93-year-old home for Husky football will be complete in time for the Aug. 31 lid-lifter. Gone is the track that used to encompass the football field. In are luxury suites, patio suites and permanent seating by the east end zone. Oh, but don't think that all these changes will make the place will be any less loud.
[Related: 2013 Washington football schedule]
Head coach Steve Sarkisian’s fifth year will be quarterback Keith Price’s last (and his fifth as well), one he hopes is much better than an up-and-down 2012 that started with a lot of hype and ended with an interception in the hands of Boise State’s Jeremy Ioane to seal Washington’s bowl game loss to the blue-clad Broncos. Price seemed to have found his groove over the spring, looking much more like his 2011 self, big grin and all. Will he be able to parlay that into a more successful 2013? Bishop Sankey will help his quarterback’s cause. Starting 2012 fall camp as the third running back on the depth chart, Sankey ended the 2012 campaign with the third-highest single-season rushing total in U-Dub history. He must be licking his lips to get another chance against the Broncos since he rushed for 205 yards against them in last season’s bowl game to break a Washington bowl-game record.
Same coach, same quarterback, same running back... different offense? That's right, the Huskies are looking to pick up the pace with a new no-huddle, up-tempo offense that Sark hopes will average 12 more plays per game in 2013. But when it comes time to play Boise State on September Eve, the attack might not be at full strength. Austin Seferian-Jenkins overcame his alcohol-related arrest in the off-season but broke his pinkie early on in fall camp, but Keith Price says the John Mackey Award candidate will be back for Boise State.
[Related: The new Husky Stadium homepage]
As big as this game is for the Huskies, it’s arguably even bigger for the Broncos. Since they don’t play in an automatic-qualifying conference for a BCS bowl berth, Boise State pretty much needs to run the table to earn a trip to one of the BCS bowl games (though Northern Illinois proved a non-AQ can get in with one loss). In any case, Washington is the biggest name on the Broncos’ schedule, and a road win in Seattle would keep their name in the national conversation.
Despite losing three of their five first-team all-Mountain West selections from 2012, the Broncos have plenty of veterans returning, including quarterback Joe Southwick, who, like Keith Price, will also be a redshirt senior (interestingly enough, both Price and Southwick earned top offensive scout honors for their teams during their redshirt seasons in 2009). He had tough shoes to fill in replacing Kellen Moore, but Southwick finished the season on a very strong note, throwing nine touchdown passes and zero picks over the last four games of the season. Boise State also boasts a promising running back in Jay Ajayi, the No. 2 guy last year who happened to set a program record in yards per carry for a single season with 6.68 per attempt. And to think that he has shed weight and gained explosiveness... watch out.
If nothing else, it would be great to see Deontae Cooper get on the field. Perhaps the most popular Husky there is right now, Cooper is coming back from a third ACL injury. So far, so good: Cooper scored a touchdown in Washington's first scrimmage of the fall.
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TOMORROW | 1:00pm PTLive