MAACO BOWL LAS VEGAS
3:30 PM ET, December 22, 2012
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
3:30 PM ET, December 22, 2012
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
LAS VEGAS -- The last two times Boise State played in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, there were other places the Broncos wanted to be. Not so on Saturday, when the smallest player on the team came up big in a 28-26 victory over Washington.
After two straight blowouts in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Broncos had to work hard for a win sealed by a 27-yard field goal by 5-foot-5 Michael Frisina with 1:16 left. It left them feeling good about a game and a season when, unlike the last two years, there was hardly any talk about Boise State being in a BCS game.
"The most satisfying thing about this season was each week you'd see us get just a little bit better," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. "These guys, they don't go through the motions. They have a chip on their shoulder."
The win capped another strong year for the No. 20 Broncos (11-2), who had to overcome a 205-yard rushing game by Bishop Sankey against their normally stingy defense. Sankey also had 74 yards receiving, giving him 279 of Washington's 447 yards from scrimmage.
But it was Frisina who came up with the biggest game of his career in his final game. He kicked three field goals, including the first game winner he could ever recall booting.
"It's every kicker's dream to win a big game with a field goal," Frisina said. "For this one to come on the last game of my career, you couldn't ask for anything more.'
Washington (7-6) had taken the lead for the first time on a 38-yard field goal by Travis Coons with 4:09 left when Boise State (No. 19 BCS, No. 20 AP) got a big kickoff return by freshman Shane Williams-Rhodes to the Washington 42. Joe Southwick guided the team to the 12 before Frisina hit the winning kick.
"I was just focused on what I had to do," Frisina said. "I'm there as the insurance guy, I guess you'd say."
"To their credit they found a way to win the game in the end," said Washington coach Steve Sarkisian. "Our inability to finish is pretty blaring."
Sankey, who was third on the depth list when fall practice began, rushed 30 times and caught six passes in the biggest game of his career. He scored one touchdown and was the MVP of the game, despite being on the losing side.
"There's a lot of mixed emotions going on," Sankey said. "The MVP doesn't mean so much when you come out a loser."
Frisina was only 12 for 17 on field goals coming into the game, but kicked three of them, including a 34-yarder to open the scoring that was his first field goal over 30 yards for the year.
Southwick, meanwhile, had another efficient game, completing 26 of 38 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns for a Boise State team that struggled offensively through much of the season before improving over its last three games.
"All year I knew I could play at this level," he said. "It's just a lot of work, a lot of moving parts to put the puzzle together. The last three games it's really showed. We've just been executing at a high level in the offense."
Southwick, a junior who took over from the departing Kellen Moore, also ran for 39 yards and had a punt that pinned Washington by its goal line in the fourth quarter.
Boise State, which outscored Utah and Arizona State 82-24 in its two previous Las Vegas Bowl wins, looked headed for a third straight blowout when Holden Huff scored on a 34-yard pass with 5:25 left in the second quarter for an 18-3 lead. But Sankey scored on a 26-yard run on Washington's next possession, and Price scrambled for another score with 3 seconds left to make it 18-17 at halftime.
The teams traded long drives in the third quarter, with Boise going 74 yards in 15 plays to open the second half, and Washington responding with a 75 yard, 12 play drive. The Huskies went for a 2-point conversion that would have tied it, but the pass was incomplete.
Sankey kept Washington in the game almost by himself in the first half, scoring the first touchdown for the Huskies and gaining huge chunks of yardage against the normally stingy Bronco defense.
Of the 238 yards Washington gained in the half, Sankey had 178 of them. He ran 16 times for 130 yards and stretched out two short passes for another 48 yards.
Boise State was playing without starting defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, the team's sack leader. Lawrence was sent home Thursday for violating unspecified team rules, his second suspension of the season.
The two teams had met only once before, but they won't have to wait long to meet again. They will play in the opener of Washington's new stadium next August.
It was over when... Washington quarterback Keith Price was intercepted in the final 30 seconds by Jeremy Ioane, ending a potentially game-winning drive.
Gameball goes to... Washington RB Bishop Sankey, who was the best player on the field. He rushed for 205 yards and a touchdown and caught six balls for 74 yards.
Stat of the game... 5-for-33: The layoff didn't affect either team's discipline. It was a clean game with a combined five penalties for 33 yards.
|3rd Down Conversions||8-18||7-19|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||2-2|
|FG||10:26||Michael Frisina 34 Yd||0||3|
|FG||04:47||Travis Coons 26 Yd||3||3|
|TD||00:15||Geraldo Boldewijn 16 Yd Pass From Joe Southwick (Pat Blocked)||3||9|
|FG||09:00||Michael Frisina 30 Yd||3||12|
|TD||05:25||Holden Huff 34 Yd Pass From Chris Potter (Two-Point Run Conversion Failed)||3||18|
|TD||04:42||Bishop Sankey 26 Yd Run (Travis Coons Kick)||10||18|
|TD||00:03||Keith Price 7 Yd Run (Travis Coons Kick)||17||18|
|TD||08:13||Holden Huff 1 Yd Pass From Joe Southwick (Michael Frisina Kick)||17||25|
|TD||02:28||Austin Seferian-Jenkins 6 Yd Pass From Keith Price (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)||23||25|
|FG||04:09||Travis Coons 38 Yd||26||25|
|FG||01:16||Michael Frisina 27 Yd||26||28|
Bishop Sankey rushed for a school bowl-record 205 yards in Washington's loss on Saturday. Sankey gained 116 of his 205 yards on rushes outside of the tackles, including his only touchdown of the game. Sankey was able to find lanes along the outside, averaging 7.5 yards before first contact on 13 rushes outside of the tackles.[+]
Bishop Sankey Rushing In/Out of Tackles
Boise State completed 7-of-13 passes thrown 15 yards or longer, including Chris Potter's 34-yard touchdown pass to Holden Huff in the second quarter on a WR throwback pass. Washington did not have the same success downfield, throwing two interceptions in seven attempts of this distance. Entering the game, Keith Price had not thrown an interception on a pass longer than 15 yards in 68 attempts this season.[+]
Throws of Longer Than 15 Yards
Joe Southwick completed 80 percent of his passes from inside of the pocket, including both of his touchdown passes. Keith Price, on the other hand, struggled from inside the pocket, throwing two interceptions and completing less than 55 percent of his passes.[+]
Passing Inside of the Pocket
ESPN Stats & Information