Monday Morning QB’s Debate Las Vegas Bowl
Coming to work today I finally know what it means to be a Monday morning arm chair quarterback. In fact, the number of arm chair quarterbacks in my office alone is overwhelming and their intensity over Saturdays Las Vegas Bowl in which Washington destroyed Boise State 38-7 hit me like a ton of bricks.
Everyone has an opinion as to what went wrong for Boise State and most of it starts with head coach Bryan Harsin's decision to start Hank Bachmeier over Jaylon Henderson.
Why mess with mo-jo or the hot hand displayed by Henderson who had won four straight games including the Mountain West championship game in which he was named the offensive MVP?
Why start Bachmeier who hadn't played a down in six games over the red hot Henderson? Sure Henderson missed some practice Bowl week because of illness but Henderson would later say that wasn't why he didn't start, the plan was to play Bachmeier.
Why? Harsin isn't saying but I'm betting it's good old coaching 101. Henderson is a senior, Bachmeier is the future and a bowl game was just a bonus chance for a now healthy Bachmeier to get back into the swing of things.
But this loss was way more than just about who started at quarterback.
Boise State was bemoaning the fact they didn't get a Cotton Bowl but instead were relegated to another Vegas Bowl against a 7-5 team no less.
That attitude will get you beat...and it did. Harsin would say this loss was on the coaches but he wouldn't say what he felt the coaches did wrong.
Bowl games other than those with national title implications have always been won by the team with the most motivation. Other than we need to win this one for the seniors, Boise State players never seemed like this was a challenge they wanted to meet head on.
Washington was obviously the more motivated of the two. Not only Chris Petersen's final game but the Huskies weren't satisfied with their 7-5 record. Having lost those 5 games by a total of 19 points was the source of frustration for Washington players not of solace that they came close.
Washington came to Vegas with a purpose and that was to win. At 12-1 Boise State felt like they deserved better than Vegas and in the end the Broncos got more than they were mentally ready to handle.
Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey in a pregame interview continued to harp on the fact the Broncos didn't get a better bowl game. "We deserved a better bowl" said Apsey shortly before the Vegas Bowl kicked off.
Apsey was just saying out loud what many of the Broncos were feeling inside. I've always know that football is a mental game and that was never more obvious Saturday in sin city.
Washington was mentally prepared....Boise State was not.
Harsin is right...that is on the coaches.