By Chris Fetters, DawgMan.com
Three players to watch
Bishop Sankey, RB: Sankey came from a true freshman season backing up NFL-bound Chris Polk to producing his own 1000-yard season in 2012. Sankey was one of five 1000-yard rushers in the Pac-12 this year, joining a pretty elite class (Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, Oregon's Kenjon Barner, UCLA's Johnathan Franklin and Stanford's Stepfan Taylor).
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE: Sankey's fellow sophomore was one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. He finished with 63 catches for 791 yards.
Desmond Trufant, CB: Defensively, the top Husky is the senior Trufant, who led UW's secondary to a massive improvement in their pass defense, going from 92nd nationally last year to 16th. Trufant was Washington's only first-team All-Pac-12 performer.
Desmond Trufant was Washington's only first-team All-Pac-12 player.
Washington's secondary went from a liability in 2011 to an unquestioned strength in 2012. They gave up nearly 100 yards per game less through the air than a year ago.
The Huskies' defense also became a very opportunistic one, forcing 32 turnovers this season -- including 19 in the last five games.
Keeping on the defensive theme, the Huskies did a good job of getting off the field on third down compared to a year ago. In 2011 they were allowing offenses to complete third downs by a rate of nearly 50 percent -- in 2012 that percentage went down to 37 percent.
Important thing you may not know
During the last five games Washington did an incredible job of not allowing turnovers to dictate sudden-change situations to put them in a hole. They gave up the ball nine times, but those turnovers resulted in only 11 points for the opposition.
On the flip side, half the top 10 most penalized teams this year came from the Pac-12, and Washington was one of the worst. They were flagged a school record 106 times for 959 yards, an average of nearly nine penalties for 80 yards a game.
What Washington must do to win
Clearly Washington has to stick to the basics -- run the ball, stop the run, force turnovers, play mistake-free special teams and win the battle of third down. With both defenses playing well and both offenses spotty at best, the game certainly looks to be a low-scoring affair.
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The Huskies have to avoid coming out slow and not allow Boise State to dictate the pace and tone of the game. UW quarterback Keith Price needs to continue to make smart decisions and step in and through the pocket, instead of to the side and toward the sidelines.
The Huskies' defensive line has to force pressure on Boise State to create third-and-long situations. the Broncos have been converting at a 45 percent clip, so UW has to put a dent in that to give its offense more chances to score.