The Washington Huskies let their fan base down all season long, and unfortunately, such was the case yet again on Saturday in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl.
Quarterback Keith Price, who opened the 2012 season as a Heisman Trophy candidate after throwing for 3,063 yards, 33 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2011, threw one more pick to end his disappointment of a year with a loss to Boise State, 28-26.
His junior season ended with totals of 2,728 yards, only 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
The Huskies faithful had been forced to suffer through their team’s loss in the Apple Cup to a Washington State team that finished their year with a 1-8 conference record.
The Las Vegas Bowl was perhaps even more heartbreaking. Price looked like he had finally put it together and sophomore running back Bishop Sankey stole the show with 205 rushing yards and a score on a whopping 30 carries. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound dynamo also caught six passes for another 74 yards.
But despite taking a 26-25 lead with only a few minutes remaining in the game, the third consecutive trip to the Las Vegas Bowl proved to be just as charming for Boise State.
It was the first, however, for starting quarterback Joe Southwick, who replaced the nation’s all-time winning quarterback in Kellen Moore. Moore graduated to the NFL, and now Southwick has moved into the ranks of bowl winners after 26-of-38 passes for 266 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Both of his scoring passes went to Holden Huff, and they were the only passes Huff caught all day.
Southwick had been criticized at times because, well, he was not Moore. He put it all together when he had to in leading a late, no-huddle drive that resulted in a game-winning field goal try from Michael Frisina, who finished 3-for-3 on the afternoon.
Of course, it was a mistake in the kicking game that left the Broncos behind in the first place. After scoring a touchdown early to go up 9-3, the extra point attempt by Frisina was blocked, keeping Boise from going up by seven.
The special teams breakdown nearly came back to bite coach Chris Petersen’s squad, but one of the nation’s elite programs over the last decade found a way to pull it out in the end.
Now, a Washington program that was supposed to be on the upswing must enter yet another offseason with a putrid taste in their mouths.