The Huskies and Broncos know each other well, because Washington’s coach is the greatest coach Boise State has ever had. This familiarity might enable Washington to keep pace with Boise State and get a very good read on what the Broncos are trying to do, but will it matter?
The Huskies are coming off a season in which they made it to a bowl game but did very little else. Washington had three defensive players taken in the early rounds of the NFL draft, but those players were great individually and not nearly as successful in working with their teammates or their coaches. Washington struggled in the first year of coach Chris Petersen’s tenure. A new system and a new way of doing things did not take with a number of the players on hand. This season, there should be some more continuity, but a number of last year’s starters have graduated. Washington is still going to have to work with relatively new players relative to the Petersen methodology. There’s not a lot of momentum in Seattle.
Boise State is the team with a lot of momentum here. The Broncos won the Mountain West championship and then upset Arizona to win the Fiesta Bowl, all in the first season for Bryan Harsin as head coach. Harsin was Petersen’s offensive coordinator at Boise State, so he’s clearly continued what Petersen started in Boise.
The line is -12.5 in a few places for Boise State, but in most places, the college football odds are at -12 points for the Broncos. This line seems a little bit low. If anyone shares the view that it is a little low, it’s for two reasons: One, offenses just aren’t trusted as much in season openers as they would be in other circumstances during the rest of a college football season. Two, the Broncos go to a new quarterback this season. Grant Hedrick led the offense last year, and got the team to the Fiesta Bowl. He then played really well in the Fiesta Bowl and led the Broncos to yet another huge accomplishment, as the program continues to move forward after former coach Chris Petersen – who happens to be Washington’s head coach – left the school. That last fact – Chris Petersen returning to Boise – is also likely a small factor in helping this line to remain as low as it is.
The Huskies have lost wide receiver John Ross for the season. Much earlier in the summer, they lost their one truly seasoned offensive lineman, Dexter Charles, with an injury. Cyler Miles, the quarterback last season, quit the team. This team’s offensive line is going to be green and untested at all five spots, which is the worst possible matchup against a defensive front four which is Boise State’s primary strength this season.
Boise State has no injuries to report at this time.
Handicapping The Game
The fact that Washington is so young and weak on its offensive line points to a lot of problems against Boise State’s defense. The matchups of strengths and weaknesses favor Boise State. Take the Broncos with your college football picks.
College Football Pick: Boise State -13 at BetOnline