Washington may soon make staff changes.
But soon-to-be Husky head coach Jimmy Lake wasn’t ready to address that on Saturday night.
“We’ll revisit this,” Lake said after Washington’s 38-7 win over Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl, when asked if staff changes are imminent. “We’re going to go celebrate here, celebrate with coach Petersen in the locker room, get these guys back to Seattle and their places and then we’ll revisit that in the future.”
UW’s o-line changes
Washington reshuffled its starting offensive line out of necessity Saturday.
With starting left tackle Trey Adams (NFL draft preparations) and right guard Jaxson Kirkland (injury) missing the Las Vegas Bowl, senior Jared Hilbers flipped from right tackle to left tackle, while sophomore Henry Bainivalu started his second consecutive game at right guard and senior Henry Roberts made his second career start at right tackle.
Hilbers — a 6-foot-7, 316-pound redshirt senior — started 11 games at left tackle last season before moving to the right side to start all 12 regular-season games this fall. A redshirt senior from Bellevue, Roberts last started against Cal in 2018.
The renovated Husky O-line was tasked with protecting quarterback Jacob Eason from Boise State pass-rusher Curtis Weaver, who racked up 18.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks this season.
“He’s a good player,” UW senior center Nick Harris said of Weaver on Friday. “He’s very productive. His stats speak for it. He plays sound defense. He’s never out of his gap. He knows his assignments. That’s kind of what I’ve seen from the whole defense.
“He’s a technician. He’s really good with his hands. He’s always, always scratching and clawing at the last minute of a play to make a play. So it’s going to be important for us to be consistent up front and make sure he doesn’t make late plays.”
Weaver finished the game with just two tackles and zero sacks. Eason was sacked three times in all, and the Huskies rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns.
Bachmeier starts at QB for Boise State
In a season where three different Boise State quarterbacks played significant snaps, maybe this was appropriate.
Redshirt senior Jaylon Henderson — who started the Broncos’ final four games (all wins) and accounted for 12 touchdowns with just two interceptions during that span — missed his team’s practices on Wednesday and Thursday with an illness and did not start in Saturday’s game.
The start went to true freshman Hank Bachmeier — who had not appeared in a game since Nov. 2. In seven games in the regular season, the 6-1, 202-pounder from Murrieta, Calif., completed 63.2% of his passes, throwing for 1,760 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
Bachmeier had little success on Saturday, completing 15 of 26 passes for 119 yards and two interceptions. Henderson added 48 passing yards and a touchdown in relief.
From Petersen to Harsin
Since taking the reins from Petersen in 2014, Bryan Harsin has gone 64-17 in six seasons as head coach at Boise State. The 43-year-old also hails from Boise and played quarterback for the Broncos from 1995 to 1999. He served as an assistant at Boise State from 2001 to 2010, spending the last five seasons as Petersen’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Since leaving for Seattle, Petersen has been impressed with Harsin’s ability to lead his former program.
“I know how hard it is to get a program up and stay there,” Petersen said during a news conference on Friday, with Harsin seated to his right. “He’s done a fabulous job with that. I have a lot of respect for what goes on over there, because I do know what goes on over there. In both places, there’s a lot of similarities. I think the administrations really support what we’re trying to do. And if they don’t, you’re not going to get it done. So it always starts there.
“The job to continue to dominate that conference has been super, super impressive. As long as we’re not playing them, I’m a fan. If we’re playing them, I’m out.”
Regardless of Saturday’s loss, Harsin remains a fan of Chris Petersen.
“It’s hard because I’m thinking about our team at the end of the game, thinking about our seniors and the season and what we were able to accomplish this year, and obviously we didn’t finish the way we wanted to,” Harsin said after the loss. “But when I got to midfield I think about Coach Peterson and what he’s meant to a lot of us on both staffs, to college football and he’s certainly the reason why a lot of us are in the position we are in today. I have tremendous respect for him, great appreciation for the opportunities I’ve had because of him. We are all very proud to have been part of his staffs and we wish him the very best.
“And he is one of the best in this profession when it comes down to it — not just wins and losses, but the type of character that he’s put on display for the last 15 years as a head coach, not just on our staffs but for everybody in college football.”