Fight Hunger Bowl, 6:30 p.m. at San Francisco
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Farewell? In addition to the 17 players honored during UW’s senior ceremony before the Apple Cup, running back Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins could be playing in their final game for the Huskies. Both are considering leaving school early to enter the NFL draft. Sankey set the UW season record with 1,775 yards rushing during the regular season, and Seferian-Jenkins was named the John Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end. The deadline is Jan. 15 for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft.
Petersen out of sight: Chris Petersen, introduced as UW’s new coach on Dec. 9, is not scheduled to attend the Fight Hunger Bowl. He will formally take the reins after the bowl game. “He’s been outstanding in staying out of the way and respecting the situation, but also lending a hand, too, if he could help at all,” UW interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo said Thursday. “He’s been very open, and he’s been very kind.”
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Veteran experience: BYU defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna had a hand in BYU’s last victory over UW to open the 2010 season when he deflected a Jake Locker fourth-down pass to help preserve the Cougars’ 23-17 victory in Provo, Utah. Manumaleuna also had a hand in BYU’s 17-16 victory over UCLA in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl. Yes, 2007. Manumaleuna is a seventh-year senior, having served a two-year church mission in 2008-09 and missing most of the 2012 season with a knee injury.
Bowling over: The Huskies are playing in their fourth consecutive bowl game, seeking their first bowl win since a 19-7 victory over Nebraska in the 2010 Holiday Bowl. UW is 1-3 in bowl games since Tuiasosopo’s senior season, when he led the Huskies to a victory over Purdue in the 2001 Rose Bowl. UW was, of course, winless in 2008, the final year of the Tyrone Willingham era. According to UW research, the Huskies are just the second team in the last 50 years of major college football to have gone from a winless season to four bowl games within five seasons. The only other program to accomplish that feat is Florida (winless in 1979; bowl games in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983).
Prediction: Washington 28, BYU 24
Adam Jude, The Seattle Times