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Dr. Saturday

Fight Hunger Bowl: Washington or BYU’s rushing attack?

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Fight Hunger Bowl
Washington v. BYU
San Francisco, Ca.
Dec. 27, 2013

Plays, plays and more plays.

Both BYU and Washington have some of the most fast-paced offenses in the country. The Cougars average almost 85 plays per game; just Texas Tech and Cal run more. Washington clocks in with 80 plays per game. It's possible that we could see a 200 play game.

Both teams excel running the ball. Washington has Doak Walker finalist Bishop Sankey, while we all remember the hand-wringing that BYU brought upon Texas with it's 550-yard rushing performance against the Longhorns in September. Quarterback Taysom Hill ran for 259 yards that game, and both he and running back Jamaal Williams have over 1,200 yards on the ground for the season.

But if you're looking for a deciding factor here, it's Washington's efficiency versus BYU's. Both defenses give up about the same number of yards per play (4.9 for BYU and 5.0 for Washington), but Washington averages 6.5 yards per play on offense while BYU averages 5.9. That means that if Washington hits its average number of plays, BYU must run 91 plays to keep up.

Got all that? There's not a test, we promise. You just may want to be prepared on the off-chance this is a four-hour football game.

MASCOT FIGHT

Cats and dogs and all that. A husky is one of the toughest breeds of dogs around, but if this was a straight up battle with a cougar, we don't like the husky's chances. However, if this was an endurance race, this is all husky.

PREDICTIONS

Graham: Washington 31, BYU 24. Washington has a chance to notch its best season since 2000 and that's not something it's going to take lightly. Yes, losing coach Steve Sarkisian is a bad deal, but this team will stay motivated and see through what has already one of the best seasons in school history.

Nick: Washington 41, BYU 36. This is a BYU team that's been one of the most underrated teams in the country. This is a Washington team that played in one of the toughest conferences in the country and lost to the four best teams in that conference. The Huskies score the game-winning touchdown on a Statue of Liberty play that new coach Chris Petersen calls in from the suite he's watching from above.

Sam: Washington 27, BYU 23. Bishop Sankey trying to run the ball against a BYU front seven that allowed just nine rushing touchdowns is going to be a fantastic matchup. But beyond Sankey, UW has plenty of targets for Keith Price to utilize. If UW can avoid turnovers, they'll outlast the Cougars in a close one.

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