By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
The Boise State football team will play Washington in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas on Dec. 22 — a preview of the 2013 season opener in Seattle.
The AP No. 20 Broncos (10-2, 7-1 Mountain West) and Huskies (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) haven’t met since 2007, when the Broncos lost at Husky Stadium.
The game begins at 1:30 p.m. MST and airs on ESPN.
This will be the Broncos’ third straight trip to the MAACO Bowl. They beat Utah and Arizona State the past two seasons.
Washington has had an up-and-down season. The Huskies beat Stanford and Oregon State, two top-20 teams, and won four straight games late in the season. However, they also lost to rival Washington State in the regular-season finale Nov. 23 in Pullman.
The Huskies feature a familiar face on the sideline. Their defensive coordinator is Justin Wilcox, who was the Broncos’ coordinator from 2006 to 2009 — winning two Fiesta Bowls. Wilcox coached at Tennessee in 2010-11.
This will be Washington’s first appearance in Nevada, which was a factor in the team’s selection over Arizona (New Mexico Bowl) and Arizona State (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl).
The Broncos and Huskies meet Aug. 31, 2013, for the re-opening of renovated Husky Stadium. They also will meet in 2015 in Boise.
Here are a few comments from Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, posted on the school website:
— "We are really excited to be headed to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. It's a great destination for not only our football team but for our fans and for Husky faithful to come support us. It's a tremendous bowl game, one that's got a great deal of history in our conference and people going to play it."
— “Boise State is a tremendous opponent, one that's been good for many, many years. We're excited about the opportunity to prepare for them and play against them."
— "I think it can become one of those classic rivalries that get set up. Everybody loves a good rematch, you know? Somebody's going to win and somebody's going to lose this first one. Then we are going to come back nine months later to see who can win the second one."
Here’s the statement from Boise State coach Chris Petersen released by the school:
“We are excited to return to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and face the University of Washington. Coach Sarkisian and his staff do an excellent job in preparing their team and we look forward to the challenge of playing a Pac-12 opponent for the second straight year.”
Boise State is one of 10 teams nationally to play in 10 or more consecutive bowl games. This will mark the 11th straight appearance. Boise State has a three-game winning streak in bowl games, and an 8-4 bowl record as an FBS member.
Ticket and fan information is available here.
AP No. 18 Utah State (10-2) will face Toledo (9-3) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 15 at Bronco Stadium. Utah State won the WAC championship. The Aggies lost to Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last year.
The game begins at 2:30 p.m. and airs on ESPN.
MAC champion Northern Illinois will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl. The Huskies jumped the Broncos in the final Bowl Championship Series standings to earn the automatic berth.
Northern Illinois is No. 15. Boise State is No. 19.
The Broncos did not even come close to cracking the top 16. Their score was .2513 — well behind No. 16 Nebraska (.3264). The Broncos also did not pass No. 17 UCLA or No. 18 Michigan.
The Broncos were 31st in the BCS computers. Northern Illinois was 19th.
Here are the full standings.
The other BCS matchups:
Rose — No. 6 Stanford vs. Wisconsin
Fiesta — No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Kansas State
Sugar — No. 3 Florida vs. No. 21 Louisville
BCS National Championship Game — No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama
Boise State announced its team awards Sunday. Here are the winners:
Pat Fuller Memorial (Academic Achievement): TE Chandler Koch
Ultimate Rebar: LB Chris Santini
Iron Bronco: CB Jamar Taylor
Bronco Ambassador: Chris Potter
Offensive Scout Player of the Year: QB Nick Patti
Defensive Scout Player of the Year: LB Ben Weaver
Special Teams Scout Player of the Year: S Chanceller James
Hammer Award: LB Blake Renaud
Special Teams Player of the Year: S Dillon Lukehart
Outstanding Offensive Lineman: OT Charles Leno Jr.
Outstanding Defensive Lineman: DE Demarcus Lawrence
Most Valuable Offensive Player: RB D.J. Harper
Most Valuable Defensive Player: LB J.C. Percy
Denny Erickson Valor Award: DT Mike Atkinson
Bronco Excellence: LB Tommy Smith and WR Mitch Burroughs
Here is my blog post with all of today’s poll information.