Washington Huskies (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. BYU Cougars (8-4 SU, 5-6-1 ATS)
College Football: Fight Hunger Bowl
Date and Time: December 27. 9:30 p.m. EST.
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA.
by Wilson, Pro Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UW -3/BYU +3
Over/Under Total: 58.5
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The Fight Hunger Bowl will kick off on ESPN for a national broadcast two days after Christmas in San Francisco. The BYU Cougars and the Washington Huskies are two well-known high caliber football programs which should make for an exciting holiday bowl season matchup. BYU brings in a traditional run and gun offense while UW boasts one of the nations best RBs in junior Bishop Sankey. The Cougars also have an explosive offense behind key players sophomore RB Jamaal Williams who rushed for a career high 219 yards on 15 carries in the Cougars last regular season win over Nevada; BYU QB Taysom Hill is arguably one of the top passers and running QBs in the nation. Hill will match up well with UW QB Keith Price who also is flight of foot and a dynamic play makerthis bowl game features a lot of great athletes and has all the potential to be a classic.
BYU and UW have faced each other eight times dating back to 1985 when the Cougars beat UW 31-3 in Provo. The last meeting between these teams was a season opener in 2010 with BYU coming out on top 23-17 again in Provo, Utah. However, the series is split at 4 win each which makes this bowl game the rubber match and the first time the two teams have met in a bowl game.
The Cougars have played some top ranked opponents in Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Virginia which all were losses but they played well enough to be in each of the games. BYUs notable wins were over the Texas Longhorns and the University of Houston Cougars. The Huskies really do not have a notable win over a top opponent this season but they did compete in a tougher than usual Pac-12 Conference against teams ranked in the top 25 for most of the season in UCLA, Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State which all beat the Huskies quite easily. It will be interesting to see how the Huskies defense will defend the high powered BYU attack. UWs defense allowed way too many points this season giving up more than 30 points in all four of their losses and two of those games they allowed 53 and 59 points. Defense will be the main preparatory focus for the Huskies as they get ready for this contest.
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This bowl game will no doubt be entertaining and have plenty of big name players who will make it a fun game to attend or watch on ESPN. Both schools travel well and have a large national following. The Huskies are in the middle of a transition with new Head Coach Chris Petersen arriving from Boise State and they will be looking to get him started with a bowl victory. BYU will press the Huskys defensive secondary which must step up and slow down the pass. I believe the Cougars are the more balanced team offensively but the Huskies match up really well with their marquee players in Price and Sankey.
Both teams will move the ball well, it will be a battle between defenses; whoever gets the ball last will likely get the win in this game. I like the QB and RB match up in this contest as they are all great players who compete on every snap. The odds makers are posting the Huskies as -3 favs early. I like the Huskies to win on a last minute drive where they run play-action and Price tosses a pass to a wide open Sankey. Huskies win 28-24! Luck to ya.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: UW 28, BYU 24.
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