Fight Hunger Bowl: Preview, Predictions, TV info

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

What: Fight Hunger Bowl

Who: Brigham Young (8-4) vs. Washington (8-4. 5-4 Pac-12)

When: Friday, Dec. 27, 9:30 pm ET (ESPN)

Where: AT&T Park (40,184), San Francisco, Calif.

Opening Line: Washington -3

What matters: How is Washington going to play without its coach? There's a ton of talent on this Huskies roster, and it's a better team than its 8-4 record would have you believe -- its four losses are to Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and UCLA -- but Steve Sarkisian is gone. It's important to remember that these are college kids we're dealing with here, and sometimes it's hard to find motivation in a game that doesn't really mean anything when the guys coaching you probably won't be back next season. So whether or not the Huskies truly show up to this game will be a huge factor in how it plays out and how interesting it will be.

Who matters: Washington has talent on both sides of the ball, but the centerpiece of its offense when things are going well is running back Bishop Sankey. Sankey finished the regular season with 1,775 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. He rushed for 125 yards or more in nine of Washington's 12 games. The Huskies can also hurt you through the air thanks to quarterback Keith Price and his top targets Kevin Smith, Jaydon Mickens and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. And lest you think Washington can't play defense, there's also linebacker Shaq Thompson and defensive lineman Hau'oli Kikaha. Of course, BYU has plenty of talent too. Quarterback Taysom Hill accumulated 3,856 total yards and 28 total touchdowns this season. He also has talent around him in running back Jamaal Williams and receiver Cody Hoffman. And on the defensive side of the ball the Cougars have one of the best defensive players at any position in the country. Kyle Van Noy is just a big play waiting to happen on every single snap.

Matchup question: I'm in love with the idea of Bishop Sankey and the Washington offensive line going up against this BYU defensive front. The BYU run defense allowed only 3.82 yards per carry and nine touchdowns this season, and I've already shared Sankey's numbers. Odds are the team that wins this battle wins the game.

Prediction: BYU 27, Washington 24

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