Fight Hunger Bowl College Football Betting Odds and Picks: Washington Huskies vs BYU Cougars

2013 Fight Hunger Bowl
Washington Huskies vs Brigham Young Cougars 

AT&T Park – San Francisco, California
Friday, December 27, 2013, 9:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Washington -3
Current Line: Washington -3
Opening Total: 59
Current Total: 60
Opening Money Line: Washington -145 / BYU +125
Current Money Line: Washington -150 / BYU +130

Washington is a slight favorite over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl Friday night in San Francisco.
Washington is a 3 point favorite over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl Friday night in San Francisco.

The 8-4 Washington Huskies take on the 8-4 Brigham Young Cougars in Friday’s Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. This is the ninth meeting between BYU and Washington. Each team has won 4 times in the series. The Cougars won the last meeting in Provo 23-17 to open the 2010 season.

Washington finished third in the Pac 12 North Division with a 5-4 record. The Huskies are making their fourth straight bowl appearance but have lost their last two bowl games. Washington lost to Boise State 28-26 in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl. Overall, the Huskies are 16-16-1 in bowl games. They have never played in this game before.

BYU is making their 9th straight bowl game appearance. The Cougars are 6-2 in their last 8 bowl games, and have won 4 straight including 23-6 over San Diego State last year in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. Overall, BYU is 13-17-1 in bowl games. BYU is also making their first post-season appearance in San Francisco. The Cougars are 5-3 in bowl games against current Pac 12 members.

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian left to take over the head coaching position at USC. He will be replaced in 2014 by Boise State coach Chris Petersen. Marques Tuiasosopo will serve as the interim coach for the bowl game.

The Huskies started off the season with four straight wins but then lost 3 straight. Washington has since won four of their last five.  The Huskies have home wins over Boise State 38-6, Idaho State 56-0, Arizona 31-13, California 41-17, Colorado 59-7 and Washington State 27-17 to close out the regular season. Washington also has road wins at Illinois 34-24 and Oregon State 69-27. Washington has road losses at Stanford 31-28, Arizona State 53-24, and at UCLA 41-31, along with a home loss against Oregon 45-24. The Huskies are 6-6 ATS and the total is 6-6 this season. Washington was an 17.5 point favorite against Washington State  and the total was 66.

Washington is outscoring teams 39-23 this season. The Huskies are #17 in scoring and #34 in points allowed nationally out of 125 FBS teams. Washington is #8 nationally in total offense at 514.3 yards per game, with 271.2 passing yards (#31 nationally) and 243.1 rushing yards (#14). On defense, the Huskies are allowing 381.5 yards per game including 221.8 passing and 159.8 rushing yards. The Huskies are +7 in turnovers with 22 takeaways. Washington is averaging 76 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 47. The Huskies are 101/203 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 85/225. Washington has forced 36 sacks and allowed 30. The Huskies are 51/57 scoring in the red zone with 43 touchdowns, and opponents are 35/43 with 26 touchdowns. Washington has allowed 2 kick returns for touchdowns and has three defensive touchdowns.

Quarterback Keith Price has completed 65.5% of his passes for 2,843 yards with 20 touchdowns and 5 interceptions along with 5 rushing touchdowns. He injured his shoulder in the UCLA game, and missed the Oregon State game. Price started against Washington State, and will start the bowl game. Freshman Cyler Miles started the Oregon State game. Miles has completed 64.3% of his passes for 412 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 21 carries for 170 yards.

Running back Bishop Sankey has 306 carries, 1,775 yards and 18 touchdowns, along with 25 catches, 298 yards and a touchdown. Dwayne Washington has 47 carries, 332 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with a touchdown catch. Deontae Cooper has 43 catches, 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jesse Callier has 36 carries, 189 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 9 catches for 53 yards.

Receiver Kevin Smith has 45 catches for 722 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jaydon Mickens has 62 catches, 681 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Kasen Williams had 29 catches for 421 yards and a touchdown. He is out for the season after suffering a gruesome broken leg and dislocated foot. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has 33 catches, 413 yards and 7 touchdowns. Joshua Perkins has only 5 catches, but 3 went for touchdowns. Two defensive backs are questionable Friday.

BYU is coached by Bronco Mendenhall. The Cougars have road losses at Virginia 19-16, Wisconsin 27-17, and Notre Dame 23-13, along with a home loss to Utah 20-13. BYU has home wins over Texas 40-21, Middle Tennessee 37-10, Georgia Tech 38-20, Boise State 37-20, and Idaho State 59-13, along with road wins at Utah State 31-14, Houston 47-46, and Nevada 28-23 to close out the regular season. The Cougars are 5-6-1 ATS and the total is 4-8 this season. BYU was a 15.5 point favorite over Nevada and the total was 66.

BYU is outscoring teams 31-21 this season. BYU is #52 in scoring and #22 in points allowed nationally. The Cougars are averaging 495.4 total yards (#14 nationally) including the #10 rushing attack in the country at 274.7 yards per game and also 220.8 passing yards. On defense, the Cougars are allowing 383.8 total yards per game including 226 passing yards and  157.8 rushing yards. The Cougars are +2 in turnovers with 22 takeaways. BYU is averaging 68 penalty yards per game, and opponents are averaging 42 . BYU has forced 24 sacks and allowed 33. The Cougars are 90/229 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 86/238. BYU is 43/53 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns and opponents are 35/43 with 22 touchdowns. The Cougars have a punt return for a touchdown and 3 pick sixes, but have allowed a kick return and a punt return for touchdowns plus a pick six.

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill has completed 54.1% of his passes for 2,645 yards with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He is also the leading rusher for the Cougars. Hill has 215 carries, 1,211 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Running back Jamaal Williams has 205 carries, 1,202 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with  18 catches for 125 yards. Paul Lasike has 58 carries, 341 yards and a touchdown. Algernon Brown has 48 carries for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 2 catches. Adam Hine has 37 carries for 219 yards and a touchdown, along with 2 catches. Michael Alisa has 32 carries, 99 yards and 3 touchdowns but is out for the season with a groin injury.

Receiver Cody Hoffman has 45 catches, 727 yards and 5 touchdowns. Skyler Ridley has 35 catches for 412 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mitch Mathews has 23 catches, 397 yards and 4 touchdowns. J.D. Falslev has 30 catches for 280 yards and 3  touchdown catches along with a punt return for a touchdown. Ross Apo has 14 catches, 204 yards and 3 touchdowns. Little used receivers Brett Thompson and Eric Thornton are both on the injury report, as is tight end Devin Mahina.  Five BYU defensive players are out indefinitely or for the season including 3 defensive backs.

Washington is 4-1 ATS in non-conference games and in December, 7-2 after failing to cover, 2-5 overall and on grass, 3-8 on grass, 1-4 against teams with winning records and 1-5 against FBS Independent teams.

BYU is 5-0 ATS in December and in neutral site games, 4-0 in bowl games, 6-1 in Friday games, 4-1-1 after failing to cover, 4-10 after a straight up win, 1-3-1 in non-conference games, 2-7 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 0-3-1 overall, and 0-4 after passing for less than 170 yards. The “home” team is 3-0-1 ATS in this series recently, and BYU is the designated home team.

Both of these teams have powerful running attacks and can score in bunches. Neither defense is that great, so this could be a shootout. Hill has improved a lot at quarterback for BYU especially in his passing. Price was a little shaky against Washington State but he has had almost a month to rest his injured shoulder and should be better. I like Washington to win by a late field goal.

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