It isn’t often that two football teams, from different conferences no less, face off in two consecutive games. However, Boise State will open the 2013 season in Seattle against the Washington Huskies, the same team they faced in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas last December.
The Broncos defeated Washington 28-26 to finish off the season ranked 15th in the coaches poll and 19th in the Bowl Championship Series with a 10-2 record.
With every season opener, expectations are set for every football season. This season, it will be the job of redshirt senior quarterback Joe Southwick to lead the Broncos away from the MAACO Bowl and on to greener pastures. Boise State has played in, and won, the last three MAACO Bowls with victories against Utah in 2010, Arizona State in 2011 and Washington most recently in 2012.
Southwick took over the offense last season, starting 13 games for the Broncos under center. Following the opening day road loss to Michigan State, Southwick steadily improved his productivity. Southwick gained 20 points on his completion percentage to finish the season at 68 percent.
“Joe did as nice a job of any player I’ve been around in a long time because of how the season started for him and for us,” Boise State head coach Chris Petersen said to the incumbent media at the 2013 Mountain West media days in Las Vegas. “It wasn’t terrible. It’s less than a handful of passes that we need to happen.
Running Back In Action
Not only is Southwick primed to have a breakout final campaign as the Broncos quarterback, but explosive running back Jay Ajayi is healthy once again. Ajayi emerged as the next great Boise State tailback after his breakout 2012 season.
Ajayi missed the entire 2011 season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in practice. Most running backs are considered damaged goods following an ACL tear, but Ajayi has solidified himself as a major offensive weapon for the Broncos.
“Everybody wants to anoint him as the next Walter Payton already and he’s had a few carries (82 rushes for 548 yards in 2012),” Petersen said. “He’s got a lot of potential. He’s got a knee injury that’s going to hopefully stay healthy.”
Washington stars Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams faced legal trouble this offseason, but Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian allowed both to attend fall practices. Sefarian-Jenkins served a day in jail on July 31 for a driving under the influence charge he pled guilty to, while Williams was fined and received a misdemeanor after being pulled over for speeding and investigation of driving under the influence.
It’s still unknown whether Sarkisian will allow either falling star to play in the Huskies’ home opener, but all signs point to the two being on the field.
Boise State didn’t start of the 2012 season quite like it wanted to and this year’s season opener will be more revealing than the last. Can Joe Southwick quarterback his offense to a BCS bowl? He won’t be able to dawg the question after his trip to Seattle.