Washington vs Boise State
Notes: Boise State has lost the three season opening games to Ole Miss, Washington and Michigan State by an average margin of defeat of 19.3 points per game.
Quarterback Cyler Myles has left the team and retired from football due to injuries.
Of the Huskies 8 wins in 2014, the only team that Washington defeated with a winning record was Eastern Washington-an FCS opponent. The combined record of the Huskies victories was 37-63 or .370% and in order to make a move in the PAC-12 this season, Washington must step up against tougher competition. The team averaged 188.6 rushing yards per game which ranked 40th overall in the nation. In 2014, the offensive line allowed 28 sacks as a unit and must protect the quarterback for the Huskies to have a successful season. Washington averaged 200 passing yards per game. In four of the Huskies six losses, the team failed to throw for over 190 yards per game.
Defensively, the team excelled with an aggressive style of play that allowed the Huskies to have a +12 in turnover margin ratio last year. The was solid up front led by nose tackle Danny Shelton and had 52 total sacks which was 2nd best behind Utah in the country. The weakness of the defense last year was the secondary which allowed 287 passing yards per game (120th overall) to their opponents and gave up over 300 yards passing in 7 of their last 9 games of the year. Entering 2015, the team will be without Dannny Shelton (9 sacks), Hau’oli Kikaha (19 sacks) and Shaq Thompson (81 tackles-3rd leading tackler). The team will start 6 sophmores on the defensive side of the ball and must learn quickly in order to compete in the PAC-12.
The Broncos were 7-0 at home last year and defeated their opponents by an average margin of victory of 18 points per game last year. Boise State was very balanced in 2014, rushing for 214 yards per game (29th overall) and passing for 280 yards per game (23rd overall). In both defeats last year, the Broncos rushed for under 140 rushing yards per game. In the loss to Ole Miss, Boise State rushed for 135 yards and in the road loss to Air Force, the team rushed for 97 total rushing yards. The offensive line allowed 28 sacks last year and will look to rebound from a mediocre 2014 season.
Defensively, Boise State will look to start quickly against the Huskies on their home field. Last year, the team relied on a solid defensive front that recorded 47 sacks as a unit which was the 4th best mark in the nation. In the last two victories of the year to Fresno State and Arizona, the Broncos recorded 12 total sacks in both of those games. The team was very opportunistic in creating turnovers and ended the 2014 season with a +7 in turnover margin. The weakness of the defense last year was the secondary. The team allowed 233 passing yards per game which ranked 74th overall in the country. In the last two victories of 2014, the team allowed over 330 yards passing to opposing quarterbacks.
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Joseph Lisi a former ABC Sports college football researcher, is the owner of www.GOFORTHE2.COM. He is a member if the FWAA (Football Writers Association Of America), Maxwell Football Club and is currently the content editor at www.2FiveSports.com. He contributes regularly to www.Sid-Rosenberg.com and has been a featured guest every Tuesday night from 10:30-11:30pm EST on Yahoo Sports Radio With Ken Thomson (www.sportsxradio.com).
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