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12/22/2012 8:20 PM EST
Boise State wins Vegas Bowl, beating Washington
BOISE ST 28, WASHINGTON 26

By TIM DAHLBERG
AP Sports Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The last two times Boise State played in the
Las Vegas Bowl, there were other places the Broncos wanted to
be. Not so on Saturday, when the smallest player on the team
came up big in a 28-26 victory over Washington.



After two straight blowouts in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Broncos
had to work hard for a win sealed by a 27-yard field goal by
5-foot-5 Michael Frisina with 1:16 left. It left them feeling
good about a game and a season when, unlike the last two years,
there was hardly any talk about Boise State being in a BCS game.



"The most satisfying thing about this season was each week you'd
see us get just a little bit better," Boise State coach Chris
Petersen said. "These guys, they don't go through the motions.
They have a chip on their shoulder."



The win capped another strong year for the No. 20 Broncos
(11-2), who had to overcome a 205-yard rushing game by Bishop
Sankey against their normally stingy defense. Sankey also had 74
yards receiving, giving him 279 of Washington's 447 yards from
scrimmage.



But it was Frisina who came up with the biggest game of his
career in his final game. He kicked three field goals, including
the first game winner he could ever recall booting.



"It's every kicker's dream to win a big game with a field goal,"
Frisina said. "For this one to come on the last game of my
career, you couldn't ask for anything more.'



Washington (7-6) had taken the lead for the first time on a
38-yard field goal by Travis Coons with 4:09 left when No. 20
Boise State got a big kickoff return by freshman Shane
Williams-Rhodes to the Washington 42. Joe Southwick guided the
team to the 12 before Frisina hit the winning kick.



"I was just focused on what I had to do," Frisina said. "I'm
there as the insurance guy, I guess you'd say."



Boise State sealed the win when Jeremy Ioane intercepted Keith
Price's pass as the Huskies neared midfield.



"To their credit they found a way to win the game in the end,"
said Washington coach Steve Sarkisian. "Our inability to finish
is pretty blaring."



Sankey, who was third on the depth list when fall practice
began, rushed 30 times and caught six passes in the biggest game
of his career. He scored one touchdown and was the MVP of the
game, despite being on the losing side.



"There's a lot of mixed emotions going on," Sankey said. "The
MVP doesn't mean so much when you come out a loser."



Frisina was only 12 for 17 on field goals coming into the game,
but kicked three of them, including a 34-yarder to open the
scoring that was his first field goal over 30 yards for the
year.



Southwick, meanwhile, had another efficient game, completing 26
of 38 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns for a Boise State
team that struggled offensively through much of the season
before improving over its last three games.



"All year I knew I could play at this level," he said. "It's
just a lot of work, a lot of moving parts to put the puzzle
together. The last three games it's really showed. We've just
been executing at a high level in the offense."



Southwick, a junior who took over from the departing Kellen
Moore, also ran for 39 yards and had a punt that pinned
Washington by its goal line in the fourth quarter.



Boise State, which outscored Utah and Arizona State 82-24 in its
two previous Las Vegas Bowl wins, looked headed for a third
straight blowout when Holden Huff scored on a 34-yard pass with
5:25 left in the second quarter for an 18-3 lead. But Sankey
scored on a 26-yard run on Washington's next possession, and
Price scrambled for another score with 3 seconds left to make it
18-17 at halftime.



The teams traded long drives in the third quarter, with Boise
going 74 yards in 15 plays to open the second half, and
Washington responding with a 75 yard, 12 play drive. The Huskies
went for a 2-point conversion that would have tied it, but the
pass was incomplete



Sankey kept Washington in the game almost by himself in the
first half, scoring the first touchdown for the Huskies and
gaining huge chunks of yardage against the normally stingy
Bronco defense.



Of the 238 yards Washington gained in the half, Sankey had 178
of them. He ran 16 times for 130 yards and stretched out two
short passes for another 48 yards.



Boise State was playing without starting defensive end Demarcus
Lawrence, the team's sack leader. Lawrence was sent home
Thursday for violating unspecified team rules, his second
suspension of the season.



The two teams had met only once before, but they won't have to
wait long to meet again. They will play in the opener of
Washington's new stadium next August.

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