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2013 Fight Hunger - Washington 31, BYU 16

2013 Fight Hunger - Washington 31, BYU 16

2013-2014 Bowls - CFN's Preview & Prediction for the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl

Fight Hunger Bowl
Washington 31, BYU 16
Basically … The score might have been tight, but Washington had control in the first half thanks to two 11-yard touchdown runs from Bishop Sankey and a 100-yard kickoff return for a score from John Ross following a one-yard touchdown run from BYU QB Taysom Hill. It was all Huskies in the second half. UW scored ten unanswered points with Keith Price finding Austin Seferian-Jenkins for an 11-yard score in the third and Travis Coons hit a 45-yard field goal in the fourth, while the defense held the Cougars out of the end zone for the final 47 minutes. Justin Sorensen hit three field goals for BYU, all in the second quarter.

- BYU outgained Washington 473 yards to 319
- BYU QB Taysom Hill completed 25-of-48 passes for 288 yards and a pick, and he ran 29 times for 143 yards and a score.
- BYU WR Cody Hoffman caught 12 passes for 167 yards.
- Washington RB Bishop Sankey ran 21 times for 95 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for ten yards.
- Washington LB John Timu made 14 tackles with a sack and an interception.
- Washington CB Tre Watson made six tackles and broke up six passes.
- Washington DE Hau'oli Kikaha made nine tackles with three sacks and a forced fumble.
- Washington QB Keith Price completed 16-of-21 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown with a pick.
- Washington KR John Ross returned two kicks for 120 yards and a touchdown.

CFN PREVIEW

BYU (8-4) vs. Washington (8-4) Dec. 27, 9:30, ESPN

Here's The Deal … Washington last won nine games in 2000, when Marques Tuiasosopo was behind center. U-Dub will try to reach the mark in San Francisco, ironically enough, with Tuiasosopo acting as his alma mater's interim coach.

Steve Sarkisian didn't make it to the end of his fifth season in Seattle, opting on Dec. 2 to become the permanent successor to longtime friend Lane Kiffin at USC. While Chris Petersen has been hired to supplant Sark on Montlake, Tuiasosopo will coach the Huskies in the Fight Hunger Bowl. It's been an up-and-down year for Washington; Great at home, but vulnerable on the road. Hot in September, yet cold in October. Unbeaten versus unranked opponents, but winless against Top 25 teams. Hey, at least U-Dub won't be saddled with a middling 7-6 mark for a fourth consecutive year, having already won eight games.

BYU enters its finale battle-tested, well-traveled and a little weary. The Cougars have played games in just about every corner of the map, from Virginia to Nevada and from Wisconsin to Houston. In all, the season was a disappointment in Provo, with the team never scaling beyond average. Sure, there was the early upset of Texas, but BYU also lost to a bad Virginia team, fell to rival Utah in the Holy War and couldn't break through against ranked Wisconsin and Notre Dame. The best the Cougars can hope for now is to earn a fifth straight postseason win under Bronco Mendenhall.

Players to Watch: In a game that'll be littered with next-level stars, Washington RB Bishop Sankey will attempt to be the best of a very deep bunch. The Doak Walker Award finalist has rushed for 1,775 yards and 18 touchdowns on 306 carries in what was likely his final year as an amateur. He'll be going head-to-head with a BYU defense that's yielded just nine rushing touchdowns and is flush in gifted linebackers. Kyle Van Noy, in particular, is a dynamite playmaker, with a tremendous future on Sundays.

The Cougars will grind out yards on the ground as well, though their attack takes a two-pronged approach. BYU houses a pair of 1,200-yard rushers, QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams. Hill plays as if he's channeling former Kansas State bruiser Collin Klein, looking for someone to hit once he breaks containment. Williams is a big-play threat, averaging almost six yards per carry. For the Cougars to truly click, Hill needs to be a factor as a passer as well. He's been erratic through the air, which impacts the productivity of Cody Hoffman, a game-breaking receiver when he gets proper help.

Hoffman will be matched up with an underrated Washington secondary that ranks No. 12 nationally in pass efficiency defense. The Huskies are being spearheaded by sophomore CB Marcus Peters and S Sean Parker, both of whom will jump routes if Hill isn't decisive with his throws. If the depleted Washington staff is comfortable putting the defensive backs in man coverage, it'll allow the D to commit more troops to stopping the run. If BYU becomes predictable and unbalanced with the ball, as was often the case in 2013, it'll labor to move the chains on an athletic Husky defense.

Keith Price gives Washington an added dimension on offense that BYU doesn't have—a reliable, consistent passer. Price bounced back from an awful junior year to throw 20 touchdown passes and only five picks during the regular season. He's a heady veteran, who can be a de facto coach on the field for the Huskies now that Sarkisian is gone. Price has access to some terrific athletes on the outside, but TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is his most dangerous target. The Mackey Award winner is 6-6 and 276 pounds, with the soft hands and the athleticism to create matchup nightmares with any collection of linebackers in the country.

BYU will win if … the offense suddenly starts operating with more efficiency.

The Cougar offense has been brutal when it matters most, ranking 81st nationally on third-down conversions and 113th in red-zone touchdown percentage. Coordinator Robert Anae has taken a lot of the heat, but the players just haven't executed properly. Obviously, BYU needs to be successful on the ground to have any shot of bucking the regular season trend. If Hill and Williams can crank out chunk yards on first and second downs, it'll remove a lot of the pressure from a skittish passing attack. On third and at least seven this season, Hill has completed only 19-of-66 passes for no touchdowns and three picks, so these situations must avoided.

Washington will win if … it can hem in Hill and Williams and prevent long runs.

If the Huskies can slow down the Cougar ground game, they'll win … easily. Washington will need a big effort out of rising DT Danny Shelton and an ensemble of gifted linebackers, such as John Timu and Shaq Thompson. When U-Dub was pushed back on its heels in run defense during the regular season it rarely survived, getting gashed for more than 200 yards in losses to Oregon, Arizona State and UCLA. The Huskies have to force Hill out of his comfort zone by making his arm become every bit as important as his legs at AT&T Park.

What Will Happen: Washington will play with something to Petersen, who won't attend the game, but will be watching.

BYU is a tough assignment, a poor-man's Stanford because of its physicality on both sides of the ball. The Huskies, though, have more options on offense, namely a more complete quarterback and a better back in Sankey. That balance and diversity is what U-Dub will need to move the chains on a very salty and experienced Cougar D. Tuiasosopo will keep his guys energized and loose, offsetting the reality of a hollowed out staff from the one that coached the team in the Apple Cup.

Prediction: Washington 30 … BYU 24
Line: Washington -3 o/u: 60
Buy tickets for this game at TicketCity