WASHINGTON TAILBACK EARNS MVP HONORS
Sophomore Bishop Sankey is the first player on a losing team to win the MVP award at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. He rushed 30 times for 205 yards and a TD and made six catches for 74 yards. His 279 yards from scrimmage accounted for 62.4 percent of the Huskies offense.
Hes strong. Thats what we saw all year, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. I was worried about that going in. At the end of the season when you play on a short bowl schedule, its very hard to get a lot of work at tackling.
Sankey became the sixth running back to rush for 100 yards against the Broncos this season. The Huskies made it clear from the first series that they were going to ride Sankey as far as he could take them.
That was about the plan, quite honestly, coach Steve Sarkisian said. Bishop was terrific tonight with his touches and the way he played the game.
Said Sankey: Im feeling disappointed. Theres a lot of mixed emotions going. The MVP trophy doesnt really mean as much if you come out a loser.
POTTER SHINES IN FINALE
Boise State senior wide receiver Chris Potter made a career-high nine catches for 55 yards. He also tossed his first career touchdown pass, a 34-yard strike to redshirt freshman tight end Holden Huff.
The Broncos used their no-huddle offense extensively.
When we go no-huddle offense, its pretty much open all over the field, Potter said. We knew a lot of guys were going to step up and need to make plays.
The Broncos ran at least three plays on which Potter was supposed to throw two double passes and a reverse pass. He was unable to make the throw on two of them.
Potter finished his career 4-of-8 for 81 yards as a passer. The former high school quarterback was thrilled to get his first TD pass in his last game.
It was a pretty tight window, but (the defenders) both bit a little bit, Potter said. So when they were turning to run, Holden was looking back at me but neither of them were looking at me. So I thought if I could throw it in that tight window he could probably catch it and wed at least get the first down. And then he ended up rolling right in the end zone, so I was pretty excited.
Boise State senior cornerback Jamar Taylor made an interception in the MAACO Bowl for the second straight year his team-high fourth of the season. The second-quarter play set up a field goal.
Perhaps more importantly, Taylor poked the ball out of the hands of wide receiver Jaydon Mickens on third-and-8 from the Boise State 20-yard line in the fourth quarter. That forced Washington to kick a field goal for a 26-25 lead instead of potentially scoring a touchdown.
BRONCOS SUSPENDLAWRENCE, ROBERSON
Boise State played without All-Mountain West first-team defensive end Demarcus Lawrence for the second time because of a team-rules violation. Lawrence, who previously was suspended for the UNLV game, was sent home Thursday for violating team rules.
The sophomore leads the Mountain West with 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. His penalty is for one game, Petersen said.
Sophomore Tyler Horn, who had played tackle to help replace injured senior Mike Atkinson, moved back to end and started in Lawrences place.
Senior long snapper Chris Roberson did not make the trip because of a violation of team rules. It was his third suspension covering four games this season. Sophomore Kevin Keane started those games.
Boise State absorbed at least 15 player suspensions during the 2012 season involving at least a dozen players. Petersen didnt provide a timeline for decisions on three players who were suspended indefinitely defensive lineman Jeff Worthy, safety Lee Hightower and tight end Hayden Plinke.
TIGHT END COMMITS
Jake Roh (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) of Chaparral High in Scottsdale, Ariz., called Boise State coaches Saturday morning to deliver his oral commitment for the 2013 recruiting class.
Roh also visited Iowa, Washington State, Duke and San Diego State, he said. He was recruited as an athlete but Boise State projects him as a tight end. Others saw him as an outside linebacker. He played receiver and outside linebacker at Chaparral.
It was the place that had the most opportunity, Roh said of Boise State. The coaches are the best in the nation, probably, from peoples opinions. It just felt right. The offense is perfect. The coaches are great. Theyre known for developing players. Its a program that has been on the rise.
GOOD CROWD, LOW SALES
The crowd of 33,217 was the eighth largest in MAACO Bowl history. It looked like each school had about 10,000 to 12,000 fans.
Boise State distributed 3,575 tickets, which included player and band comps. The school distributed about 5,000 tickets last year.
The Mountain West required Boise State to generate $225,000 in ticket revenue, which meant it needed to sell 4,091 to avoid a shortfall. The school came up about $75,000 short. The problem is that many Broncos fans buy their tickets from other sources.
Boise State was the home team and wore its black pants, blue jerseys and matte-black helmets. Conference USA provided the game officials. Boise State won the coin toss and deferred. Senior special-teamer Hazen Moss returned after missing four games with an injury. Boise States captains were linebackers J.C. Percy and Tommy Smith, Taylor and tailback D.J. Harper. Boise State allowed 17 points in the first half. The Broncos set a school record this year with seven first-half shutouts and outscored their opponents 253-57. Boise State wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn made a career-high five catches. Sophomore defensive end Beau Martin made 1.5 sacks, more than he had during the regular season (one). Boise State is the first school to win three straight MAACO Bowls (in its 21st year). Percy ranks second in MAACO Bowl history with 17 tackles made Saturday. USCs Troy Polamalu made 20 tackles in a 2001 loss to Utah.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat