Shaking Off the Rust: Boise State falls to No.10 University of Washington 56-19

Photo by Elise Ledesma

The Broncos fell to no.10 Washington Huskies 19-56 to start off the 2023 season. 

Coming into the matchup, the Huskies were heavy favorites, understandably so. The Huskies dominated the Broncos in nearly every aspect of the game. 

Washington’s offense is much deeper. The team returned 15 starters, including potential heisman candidate quarterback, Michael Penix Jr.

Defying the odds wasn’t going to be a walk in the park for Boise State and that it wasn’t. 

Both teams started the contest trading off punts and both offenses kept quiet. Boise State’s defense stopped Huskies wide receiver, Ja’Lynn Polk, fairly quickly in the game and established control over the “weak defense vs. strong wide receiver core” narrative.  

The Broncos slowed down each possession and used up the play clock  with strategic possessions which led to very necessary plays executed by quarterback Taylen Green

One of Boise State’s biggest faults is the lack of offensive power in the wide receiver position. Green’s 40-yard pass to wide receiver changed that narrative and set the Broncos up for incredible field position at the Huskies 39-yard line. 

With valiant efforts and an incredible catch by Eric McAlister, the Broncos moved up the field to put Ashton Jeanty in a wonderful position to walk in for a 3-yard rush to notch the first touchdown of the game.

One of the biggest shocks early in the game was a missed extra-point kick by senior kicker, Jonah Dalmas. Dalmas was automatic last year and didn’t miss a single extra point kick last year. 

Though the Broncos held a 6-0 lead early in the game, the missed extra point is a huge hindrance.

The first quarter was fairly silent with just the Broncos having a 6-0 lead, but the Huskies responded quickly in the second quarter. 

The offensive powerhouse that is the University of Washington was quiet in the first quarter, the Huskies put up an underwhelming statline with just 89 yards, eight pass attempts and no touchdowns. 

The Broncos seemed to be holding their own against an incredibly good team, playing effectively on defense while also utilizing more pass options on the offense.

The second quarter was a completely different story, the Huskies put on a show and demonstrated why their team is ranked 10th in the nation. 

The offense had 16 pass completions, totaling 180 yards, 206 total yards and garnered 28 points in just the second quarter alone. 

Three different receivers in Ja’Lynn Polk, Jalen McMillan and Jack Westover scored a touchdown to round out four total touchdowns of the quarter.

Star Husky, McMillan, scored two touchdowns in the quarter, and gave the Broncos a run for their money. 

Broncos weakness in safety depth was discovered and completely exposed for most of the half by Penix. Redshirt senior safety, Alex Teubner, and redshirt junior safety, Rodney Robinson, were given a run for their money. 

Dalmas was the only Bronco in the second quarter to put points up on the board with two field goals. 

Entering halftime, the Broncos trailed 12-28. 

The Broncos are no stranger to incredible comebacks and fighting till the end to persevere, but the Huskies were a different beast. 

In the second half, the Broncos were outright outplayed, outfought and outscored. 

The Huskies went on to outscore the Broncos 7-28 in the second half. To go along with the tumultuous scoring deficit Boise State faced, Washington averaged 9.8 yards per attempt, 226 yards passing accompanied by 47 yards rushing.

Number tenth ranked in the nation, University of Washington, showed everyone what they are made of. 

With their powerful wide receiver core in Polk, McMillan and Odunze, accompanied by the Heisman hopeful Penix. The Huskies are an all around team that is hopeful to make a return to the College Football Playoffs (CFP) for the first time since 2016. 

The tough loss suffered by the Broncos was an opportunity to see where the Broncos lack, which is quite evident. 

With JL Skinner and Scott Matlock having left the program for the NFL, the defense did not show up; the loss of key defensive players was severely felt throughout the matchup. The secondary was much slower against the dominant receiving core of the Huskies and slipped up in coverage more than anticipated. 

The abundant new additions to the Boise secondary were thrown into a ring of fire during this contest and barely made it out alive. 

To go along with an unsteady secondary, wide receivers, Stefan Cobbs and Billy Bowens, were incredibly quiet in the game. Despite both being sixth-year players on the Bronco roster, neither of them had an impressionable game. 

Green had an underwhelming game as well. With one thrown touchdown, two interceptions and throwing 49% (19-39), the progress many hoped to see in the developing sophomore quarterback, fell short of the realty

Boise State will take on University of Central Florida at Albertsons Stadium on Sept. 9. at 5 p.m.

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