Maaco Bowl Las Vegas Game Thread

There is supposed to be a light drizzle in tonights match up of the#10 ranked Boise State Broncos and the #19 ranked Utah Utes. Light drizzle may not be enough to create too many turnovers as it will probably be manageable enough to wipe the ball dry before each play.

Boise State will be led by Heisman finalist, south paw quarterback, Kellen Moore. Moore was impressive as a freshman last year and has only gotten better like a fast aging fine wine. In this game it will be no surprise that he will target his favorite downfield man Titus Young. Young has caught seven of his nine touchdowns for 40 yards or more; Young has drawn quite a bit of attention from pro scouts this year. Austin Pettis is also NFL bound and will be targeted frequently throughout this one as well.

Utah will start Terrance Cain and he will have his work cut out. There are many question marks across the board for the Utes heading in to this match up. Down the stretch, the Utes dropped games to #3 ranked TCU 47-7 as well as Notre Dame 28-3. They certainly have their work cut out if they even want to slow down a high octane Broncos offense this evening.

After the break here, we'll highlight some of tonights key-players.

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BOISE STATE BRONCOS KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

1. Kellen Moore - QB: As mentioned above, Moore was a Heisman finalist for 2010. A lot of folks disagreed with the outcome and thought that any three of the other guys (including Moore) were more worthy of receiving the honor. Moore has been nothing short of accurate this year. Although he doesn't possess an "NFL arm", he makes up for it with great decisions through the course of the game. Expect Moore to shine in his second career bowl game.

2. Titus Young - WR: Young could quite possibly be the most dangerous down field target in college football right now. Once he hits that second gear, if he is led just right with the pass, you can expect 6 on the board just about every single time. The Broncos should target him quite a bit. Some have speculated that he is the next Desean Jackson even.

3. Austin Pettis - WR: Pettis was the number one for Boise State in a few seasons but this year Young has stolen the spotlight just a bit. Pettis is the bigger target of the two as he stands 6'3". He should see plenty of action tonight as the Utes may try and neutralize Young. Pettis and Young both have 9 touchdowns on the year. Could tonight be the tie-breaker? I'd put money on it.

4. Doug Martin - RB: This is Martins first year with 1000 yards on the ground. Before he took over a majority of the snaps, Avery was inserted a bit more. Avery will most likely receive more playing time, but it may be due to the possibility of a blow out and it being his last year with Boise State.

5. Ryan Wintersywk - LB: Wintersywk is one of the solid pieces on the other side of the ball for the Broncos that helped them nearly go undefeated. He should be in the mix quite frequently this evening. Count on him being the leading tackler for tonights match up.

6. Jeron Johnson - S: Johnson is a bit small for his position. However, small doesn't always equal bad. Johnson has a solid skill-set. Not many gave Bob Sanders a chance but he, while healthy, did quite well for himself in the NFL.

 

UTAH UTES KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

1. Zane Taylor - C: He is the leader of the offensive line and it will be very important for him to conduct and help these younger players along the way tonight. Even if the Utes lose (which is fully expected), he can guide these guys in to next year with their heads held high as he leaves for greener pastures. The Utes will be part of the realignment as they join the "Pac 12" next year.

2. Eddie Wide - RB: Wide had over 1000 yards rushing last season but this year did not have quite as much luck. The Utes were a bit stronger on their offensive line from last year to present.

3. Brandon Burton - CB: Burton is by and large the best player on this Utes team. It's too bad there is only one of him in tonights match up as he will have his hands full trying to slow down either Young or Pettis, or possibly both. Burton is a very talented prospect and can make a name for himself in this evenings game.

 

Summary: I honestly don't believe that the Utes have nearly enough talent to keep up with the Broncos in this game. I expect this game to get out of control early. By the end of this one, we should see some of the non-starting seniors getting a crack at it. I would love to see a close game but I'm not keeping my fingers crossed.

Coverage: ESPN/ ESPN3

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