Notes From MAACO Bowl Las Vegas XXI
Sankey becomes first MVP from
losing team in game's history.
LAS VEGAS - No. 20/15 Boise State defeated Washington 28-26 to become the first team in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas (MBLV) history to win three straight appearances and also to be undefeated after making more than two appearances. The only other team to have multiple appearances in the game and be undefeated is hometown program UNLV, which is 2-0 all-time in the bowl.
Washington running back Bishop Sankey became the first player in history from a losing team to win the Rossi T. Ralenkotter Most Valuable Player Award. The sophomore finished with 205 net rushing yards on 30 carries, including one for a touchdown, to go with 74 yards on six receptions.
Sankey's 205 net rushing yards ranked second in MBLV history, trailing only Utah's Mike Anderson, who gained 254 yards on 34 carries (2 TDs) to help the Utes nip Fresno State 17-16 in 1999. Sankey's 30 carries were the fifth-most in the event's history.
Sankey became the seventh running back in the game's 21-year history to earn MVP honors. He joined the likes of future NFL backs Doug Martin (Boise State 2011), Marshawn Lynch (Cal 2005), Steven Jackson (Oregon State 2003) and Mike Anderson (Utah 1999).
Boise State won the game on a 27-yard field goal by Michael Frisina with 1:16 remaining on the clock. Frisina made all three of his field-goal attempts as part of a record five made field goals by both teams in the game (UW's Travis Coons made two of his three attempts on the day). The six overall attempts tied the bowl record, which had done twice before.
With a 12:30 pm PT kickoff, the 2012 version was the first day MBLV since UCLA downed New Mexico 27-13 on Christmas Day 2002. It was also the sixth Saturday kickoff in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas history and the first since 2008.
Boise State improved to 9-4 all-time in bowl games since moving up to FBS in 1996. Head Coach Chris Petersen became the second man to win three MBLV trips, joining BYU's Bronco Mendenhall, who won three of his five-straight trips the game from 2005-09.
Washington, which fell to 16-16-1 all-time in bowl games, played its first-ever football game in the state of Nevada and became the ninth Pac-12 Conference school to appear in a MBLV (only Stanford, Washington State and Colorado have not).
With the Broncos' victory, the Mountain West improved to 9-5 in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas appearances while the Pac-12 dropped to 5-7. The nine wins are four more than any other conference has claimed in the annual event.
The attendance of 33,217 ranked as the eighth-most in MBLV history and the 16th-largest crowd for a college football game in Sam Boyd Stadium history. It marked the eighth consecutive year that the game attracted a crowd of more than 32,000.
UW head coach Steve Sarkisian dropped to 0-2 coaching in the MBLV. He was also on the 2001 USC staff that lost to Utah 10-6.
Boise State's win evened the all-time series between the schools at 1-1. Washington had won the only previous meeting, 24-10, on Sept. 8, 2007. Coincidentally, the two teams will meet again to open next season on Aug. 31, 2013. It will mark the second time that the MBLV featured a matchup that also pit the same two teams in the very next game as UNLV defeated Arkansas 31-14 in 2000 and then opened the 2001 season with a 14-10 loss to the Razorbacks in Little Rock.
Bronco LB J.C. Percy posted the second-most tackles in MBLV history behind only former USC star Troy Polamalu's 20 in 2001 in a loss to Utah. On the other side, UW linebacker John Timu tied two others for the third-most in the game's history.