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Game of the Day: Washington at Boise State

Washington Huskies at Boise State Broncos (-12, 55.5)

Washington coach Chris Petersen makes his highly anticipated return to the Blue Turf when the Huskies visit No. 24 Boise State in Friday’s season-opening contest. Petersen went 92-12 in eight seasons as the Broncos’ coach before departing for Washington and squares off against second-year Boise State coach Bryan Harsin, his offensive coordinator with the Broncos from 2006-10.

Boise State is 92-4 at home since the start of the 2000 season and Petersen is well aware of the atmosphere inside the 36,387-seat stadium. “It’s a great place to play, unbelievable home-field advantage,” Petersen told reporters. “The size of the stadium has nothing to do with it. Those are very passionate fans and a really good place to play a college football game.” The Broncos went 12-2 in the first season of the post-Petersen era and are viewed as having the best shot of teams outside the Power Five conferences to reach a major bowl game. The Huskies went 8-6 in Petersen’s first season and are rebuilding on defense after losing several key players.

TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Boise State -12.

LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Broncos as 10.5-point faves but that has been moved to -12. The total opened at 57 but has come down to 55.5.


WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with a 24 percent chance of thunderstorms.

WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Broncos are bringing back 17 starters from a 2014 squad that won 12 games, and they are the favorite to repeat as Mountain West Champions. They have a tough schedule though, opening the season at home against Washington, and playing BYU at Provo in Week 2.” Jesse Schule.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Certainly a great Friday night matchup with Chris Peterson heading back to his old stomping grounds — the handicapper has to decide who has the edge in that matchup. We haven’t had many pros interested in this game but the public is always eager to back Boise as we have around 75 percent of our spread handle on the home squad. The early action came in on the under but it’s moving back up to the original number, and there will be plenty of bettors backing the over on the Smurf Turf as kickoff approaches.” Odds consultant from BookMaker.

ABOUT WASHINGTON (2014: 8-6 SU, 7-7 ATS, 4-10 O/U): Petersen has declined to reveal his starting quarterback with the candidates being junior Jeff Lindquist (10-for-30, 162 yards last season), true freshman Jake Browning and redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels. Senior receiver Jaydon Mickens ranks sixth in school history with 145 receptions – one behind fifth-place Austin Seferian-Jenkins – and sophomore Lavon Coleman (565 yards in 2014) will be the main ball carrier. Four Huskies defenders were selected among the first 44 selections of the 2015 NFL Draft and players like senior linebacker Travis Feeney (191 career tackles) and sophomore safety Budda Baker (started every game as a true freshman) will be counted on to lead the unit.

ABOUT BOISE STATE (2014: 12-2 SU, 8-6 ATS, 10-4 O/U): Sophomore quarterback Ryan Finley makes his first career start after going 12-for-27 as a backup last season. The bigger concern is replacing all-everything running back Jay Ajayi (school records of 1,823 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2014) and the trio of sophomore Jeremy McNichols, senior Kelsey Young and junior Devan Demas will all see action in the opener. The defense is loaded with standouts in junior defensive end Kamalei Correa (12 sacks last season), junior middle linebacker Tanner Vallejo (team-best 100 tackles), senior cornerback Donte Deayon (13 career interceptions, six in 2014) and senior safety Darian Thompson (14 career picks, seven in 2014).


* Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last five Friday games.
* Broncos are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games.
* Under is 9-2 in Huskies last 11 games in September.
* Over is 8-1 in Broncos last nine games overall.

CONSENSUS: This game is split down the middle.