Week One Matchup Rundown: Boise State vs. Washington

Elise Ledesma | The Arbiter

As the Boise State Broncos are set to face the University of Washington on Sept. 2, all eyes are on the first week of Bronco football. 

As one of the most anticipated games of the Boise State football season, there are many highly exciting aspects of this matchup. Fans should be especially excited to see how everything plays out. 


The Broncos new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Bush Hamdan, will lead the offensive squad and Taylen Green in the first game back to the Broncos as a coach. 

Hamdan has an extensive history, one that is deeply rooted in both Boise State University, as well as the University of Washington. 

Hamdan spent his collegiate career as a Bronco quarterback from 2006-2008, and was the recipient of the Bronco Excellence Award following his senior season.

After his time at Boise State, Hamdan coached for a myriad of different organizations including University of Maryland, Arkansas State, University of Florida, Sacramento State, the Atlanta Falcons and most notably the University of Washington. 

The former Bronco is no stranger to UW football. Hamdan was a former He has worked as the offensive quality control coach in 2015,  the wide receivers/pass game coordinator in 2016 and as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2018-2019. 

With Hamdan’s experience being a part of the Huskies program, there is no doubt there is much anticipation for this highly exciting matchup between these two pacific northwest teams. 


This matchup is seen as a must win match for the Broncos this season. 

The Huskies have been ranked ten in AP poll and 11 in the AFCA coaches poll. Whereas Boise State just missed the top-25 as they tallied only 17 votes.

As the season is laid out for the Broncos, the Huskies are undoubtedly one of their strongest matchups in the season and if the Broncos can pull off an upset, it would be a strong argument as to why the Broncos should be ranked. 


The University of Washington is set to leave their coveted Pac-12 conference for The Big-10 at the beginning of the 2024 season. A win against a Big-10-bound team would be huge for Boise State. 

The major moves that college football and college athletics have seen in the recent months, and better part of the last year, have led to confusion as to where the Mountain West fits in the national scope.. 

Questions surround the potential for a merger between the Mountain West Conference and Pac-12. A win against the Huskies would be a huge part of the Broncos resume when going into realignment talks

What to Watch For

Boise State currently sits as a 14.5 point underdog with a 59 point spread according to DraftKings, but despite the point spread, there are some key players to look for on both teams. 

Taylen Green, the sophomore quarterback for the Broncos, will have all eyes on him. This all around dynamic athlete, potential to be one of the greatest Bronco quarterbacks and a dark horse for the Heisman Trophy, there is no limit to Green’s potential. 

Watching the running back dynamic duo, George Holani and Ashtyn Jeanty, in the season opener for the Broncos will be interesting as well.

Last season, the duo put up 2,018 yards rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns combined.

The running game will be dominant for the Broncos this season and most definitely in this matchup. The offense struggled a bit on the passing game last season, and though there seems to be improvement, sticking to a running game that is dominant is key in this matchup. 

Seyi Oladipo will be a fun new defensive player to watch in this matchup. Oladipo played minor roles as a hybrid safety in the last two seasons and garnered three interceptions in the last two seasons accompanied with the only pick-six of last season.

Michael Penix, quarterback for Washington, is scary for this Boise State defense. Penix will be testing a Boise State secondary that is in the process of rebuilding. After the loss of defensive end Scott Matlock, safety JL Skinner, and a losing a myriad of former defensive core players to the transfer portal, the defense will be on high alert for this matchup.

Husky wide receiver, Rome Odunze, is another key player to watchout for. 

This junior wide receiver had 1,145 receiving yards in the 2022 season, which is almost twice as much as Boise State’s leading receiver, Latrell Caples,  with 549 yards last season. 

The receiving core for the Huskies is dominant. Besides Odunze, the Huskies return Jalen McMillan who had 1,098 receiving yards last season. Even the Huskies third option in Ja’Lynn Polk had tremendous production last season with 694 yards. 

In order for the Broncos to have a chance at winning, the defense must step up and be dominant in covering Huskies’ wildly talented receiving core.

One thing on the Broncos side is the Huskies loss of three linebackers and their top safety in Alex Cook. 

BSU defense rebuilding amidst facing one of the best offensive teams in the BSU season

Defense is not a gelled group yet, we had a lot of transfers and of course Scott Matlock 

The Huskies will make plays regardless, but the focus will be on rattling the passing game as much as possible. Defensive end, Demitri Washington,  could have one of his best years, focus on trying to rattle the passing game, UW will make good plays either way 

Can Boise State pull off an upset? Will they get their first win in a season opener under Andy Avalos? 

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