No. 23 Boise State hangs on to beat Chris Petersen, Washington


Boise State never loses at Bronco Stadium, no matter what sideline Chris Petersen paces. The 23rd-ranked Broncos survived a visit from their former coach and his Washington Huskies, 16-13, on Friday night.

Boise State held a commanding yet far-too-close 16-0 lead at halftime, holding the Huskies to 58 yards of total offense yet keeping the visitors in the game thanks to a turnover on downs and an interception in Washington territory.

Inevitably, the Huskies crawled back in the game in the second half… somehow. Cameron Van Winkle put Washington on the scoreboard with a 40-yard field goal with 3:10 remaining in the third quarter, and then Dane Pettis pulled the club within six on a 76-yard punt return less than 90 seconds later.

Van Winkle knocked in a 28-yarder midway through the fourth and had a chance to send the game to overtime, but his 46-yard try at the 21-second mark sailed wide right.

Washington remained in the game despite an offense that failed to get anything going nearly the entire night. The Huskies gained only 179 yards on the entire night – they did not have a play travel farther than 13 yards from scrimmage until their final possession – including a 185-29 deficit on the ground. True freshman Jake Browning earned the start (the first true freshman to ever start an opening game for a Petersen-coached team) and played all but a few snaps; he displayed poise beyond what showed up on the box sheet, completing 20-of-34 passes for 150 yards with an interception.

Browning did, however, take a sack when Washington had marched to the Boise State 29 on the game’s final drive that cost the Huskies their final timeout and 10 yards Van Winkle could have used on his fateful miss.

Boise State also played a first-time starter at quarterback – and he wasn’t much better than Browning. Sophomore Ryan Finley hit on 16-of-26 passes for a pedestrian 129 yards and an interception. Jeremy McNichols led all rushers with 24 carries for 89 yards and both of the Broncos’ touchdowns, but gained only 19 yards on his 10 second half carries. The Broncos gained only 100 yards of offense in the second half (excluding the final time-killing possession), saw two of its seven possessions lose yardage, and watched its most promising drive, a 43-yard jaunt, end in a Kelsey Young fumble at the Washington 32.

In all, Boise State committed two turnovers and got stuffed on a 4th-and-1 inside Washington territory. Those are the types of mistakes required to keep a team that averages just 3.14 yards per play and does not score an offensive touchdown in the game down to its final snap. And, ironically enough, they’re the types of mistakes Boise State did not make when Coach Pete was on the home sideline, not the visitor’s.

No. 23 Boise State handling Washington through one half

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No. 23 Boise State has controlled Pac-12 vistor Washington through one half, leading 16-0. And it isn’t really that close.

Jay Ajayi-replacement Jeremy McNichols has carried the load for the Broncos so far, scoring on a seven-yard run with 3:12 to go in the first quarter and again on a one-yard plunge at the 10:26 mark of the second quarter. He’s rushed 14 times for 70 yards so far. Stanford transfer Kelsey Young has added 42 yards on nine carries and quarterback Ryan Finley has completed 11-of-17 throws for 79 yards.

True freshman Jake Browning earned the start for Washington. He hit five of his first six throws for 29 yards, but his seventh landed in the arms of Boise’s Darian Washington, giving the Broncos the ball at Washington’s 24-yard line. The Huskies emerged unscathed, though, after McNichols was stoned on a 4th-and-1 at the Washington 15.

Boise State had scored on 49 straight red zone trips, 40 of them touchdowns, until then. The Broncos also squandered another scoring opportunity when Finley was intercepted by Kevin King at the Washington 12 late in the second quarter.

Boise added a 24-yard Tyler Rausa field goal with three seconds left before half to give us our 16-0 score.

Browning completed 7-of-11 passes for 41 yards and that interception; Washington has been out-rushed 153-17 thus far.

Chronic hip issue forces UW Huskies QB Cyler Miles to retire


Back in March Washington confirmed that Cyler Miles had taken what was described as a “voluntary leave of absence, with a subsequent report stating that the starting quarterback would not play for the Huskies at all in 2015.

As it turns out, Miles won’t — or for any other team, for that matter.

In a press release, UW announced that Miles has been forced to retire from the sport of football because of a chronic hip condition. The release stated that “[m]edical personnel have advised Miles that it would be against his best interest to continue to play on the injury, which has persisted throughout his career.”

According to the school, Miles will remain enrolled at UW on scholarship. That scholarship will not count against the 85-man limit.

“I am pleased that Cyler will remain committed to the pursuit of his UW degree, even though his injuries will keep him from competing on the football field,” head coach Chris Petersen said in a statement. “We will continue to support him and wish him the best in this next phase of his life.”

After missing the 2014 opener because of a suspension related to an offseason incident, Miles started 12 of the next 13 games for the Huskies.  He played in a total of 20 games during his Huskies career.

“I am grateful to Coach Petersen and his staff for all the opportunities I have been given here at Washington,” Miles said. “I am disappointed that my hip injuries will not allow me to continue playing, but I am committed to earning my UW degree and will leave the program with many great friendships and valuable lessons learned.”

With Miles out of the picture, it leaves the Huskies UW with three options at the quarterback position: Jake BrowningK.J. Carta-Samuels and Jeff Lindquist.  Lindquist, a redshirt junior, started the 2014 opener in place of Miles, while Carta-Samuels, a four-star 2014 recruit who took a redshirt as a true freshman, and Browning, a four-star member of this year’s class who is an early enrollee, have never thrown a pass at the collegiate level.

Washington adds JuCo quarterback

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Washington has “confirmed” the signing of City College of San Francisco quarterback Tony Rodriguez, adding a bit of depth to a position that needs it.

“We’re really happy that we were able to find Tony,” head coach Chris Petersen said in a statement. “He’ll add an immediate boost to the competition at the quarterback position this fall.”

A native of Stockton, Calif., Rodriguez threw for 2,382 yards and 18 touchdowns against a scant four picks while connecting on 164-of-279 throws (58.7 percent) for the 11-2 Rams. He was named Bay 6 Conference MVP and the Offensive Player of the Year on the Region I All-California JuCo team.

Rodriguez will be a true junior in 2015 and figures to slide into the competition to replace the enigmatic Cyler Miles, who took a “voluntary leave of absence” in March. He’ll compete with rising junior Jeff Lindquist, who completed 10 of his 30 throws in last season, and freshmen K.J. Carta-Samuels and Jake Browning.

It would benefit Petersen and the Huskies to find a quarterback quickly. Washington opens at Boise State on Friday, Sept. 4.

Washington loses WR John Ross to injury, CB Jermaine Kelly to transfer

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Washington wide receiver John Ross will miss the 2015 season after suffering a leg injury during spring practice, head coach Chris Petersen announced Thursday evening.

Ross played in 13 games in 2014, snaring 17 receptions for 371 yards and four touchdowns in three starts as a wide receiver while also garnering four starts at cornerback. He also logged three kickoff returns for touchdowns as the Huskies’ top return man; his seven scores came from an average of 75 yards out.

The Long Beach, Calif., native will redshirt in 2015 and have two seasons of eligibility waiting upon his return.

U-Dub also announced cornerback Jermaine Kelly will leave the program and explore his options elsewhere.