No. 10 Washington faces early test from Mountain West favorite Boise State

No. 10 Washington vs. Boise State, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

Line: Washington by 14 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Washington leads 3-2.


Washington begins the year with its highest AP Top 25 preseason ranking since 2018. The Huskies bring back QB Michael Penix Jr. and arguably one of the most dynamic offenses in the country with preseason all-American WR Rome Odunze and a glut of skill position stars. But Boise State is no pushover for a season opener. The Broncos are the preseason favorites in the Mountain West Conference and bring back dynamic dual-threat QB Taylen Green, workhorse RB George Holani and standout LB DJ Schramm.


Can Boise State’s secondary slow down Washington’s pass game? Penix led the country in passing and brings back Odunze, Jalen McMillan and Ja’Lynn Polk, his top three pass catchers. That trio combined for 195 receptions and 22 touchdown catches last season. Boise State had the sixth best defense in the country last season and fifth best at stopping the pass, giving up 167.7 yards per game.


Boise State: Holani. The best way to try and control Washington’s potent offense may be to keep it off the field. Holani rushed for a career-best 1,157 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Broncos, but one of his worst games came against a Pac-12 opponent when he was held to nine yards on 13 carries by Oregon State. Boise State is 13-1 under coach Andy Avalos when rushing for at least 140 yards.

Washington: RB Dillon Johnson. With all the stars on Washington’s offense, running back is the one position of uncertainty after starter Cam Davis was lost for the season to a leg injury in fall camp. Johnson, a transfer from Mississippi State, will get first crack at taking the starter role but there will be several running backs getting chances in Washington’s backfield.


The matchup marks the 10-year anniversary of the reopening of Husky Stadium following major renovations. On Aug. 31, 2013, Washington beat Boise State 38-6. ... Boise State is 5-1 all-time in games broadcast by ABC. Its lone loss came in the 2019 Las Vegas Bowl against -- Washington. It was the final game of Chris Petersen’s coaching career with the Huskies. ... In the past 10 seasons Boise State is 5-5 against Pac-12 opponents.


AP college football: and