Las Vegas Bowl: The Good, The Bad and The Unknown

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies gave away the game late in the fourth quarter for the second-straight game and now face a number of serious questions heading into 2013.

Well, it was an up and down season for the Huskies, but once again, when the dust settled, they found themselves with the now comfortable record of 7-6. Consistency is something that every program strives for, but next eight months or so could be long for Husky fans as they have to wonder is the Huskies have stagnated after failing to pull off a very available win in the Las Vegas Bowl. A win over the Broncos and a 8-5 record would have been able to wash away some of the pain for the devastating Apple Cup loss, but unfortunately poor play from Keith Price and a late missed field goal from Travis Coons led to a loss that actually reminded fans of the Apple Cup as opposed to helping them forget it.

In the smaller picture, the game was a lot like many of the games the Huskies played this year, with the team coming out painfully slow but bouncing back with their running game and limiting their opponents offense. The formula almost worked, but ultimately came up just short because of some of the problems that have plagued them all season. It will now be very interesting to see how Steve Sarkisian and his staff adjust during the off-season before they open up against the same exact team next season.

The Good

Bishop Sankey - Sankey capped off one of the best seasons ever by a Husky running back with what was probably the best game of his career. Sankey almost single handedly carried the Huskies offense on his back and made big runs when they were there while also grinding out yards in tough situations.

Run defense - The Broncos didn't really attack the Huskies that much up front by running the ball, but when they did, there wasn't much there. The Broncos actually got a good portion of their rushing yards on scrambles by quarterback Joe Southwick as the Huskies slowed running back D.J. Harper most of the game.

Rematch - Rematches can really favor the team that lost the first game and the Huskies will have a long time to think about their frustration from losing to the Broncos in a game that they just let slip away. They will assuredly be more than motivated open up next season in Seattle against the team that made 2012 end on a sour note for them.

The Bad

No Pass rush - There may not have been a game this year that made the Huskies lack of pass rush on defense more obvious than this one. Southwick and his receivers weren't exactly deadly, but Southwick was simply able to just sit back in the pocket and wait until someone came open. This was especially painful on third downs early in the game where the Huskies just couldn't get off of the field.

Keith Price - Man, I really am tired of having to point out Price's poor play and I really feel bad for him, but I just don't see this team ever taking it to the next level unless they find someone better than him or he makes a vast improvement next season. He's not excelling at anything right now and he doesn't have the talent around him to mask his inabilities.

4th and 1 - Granted I have really only been talking to Husky fans, but I haven't talked to one person who thought that Boise State actually got a first down on that 4th and 1 on their game-winning drive. It would have been hard to get it overturned, but Sarkisian at least needed to demand a measurement. Losing a time out would have been tough, but they had the chance to end the game right then and there with a reversal and needed to pursue it.

The Unknown

Starting quarterback - I would bet that Keith Price will be starting in the 2013 opener, but I'm sure that his starting spot is going to be open for competition starting in the spring. It will be very hard to unseat a senior who has already started for two whole seasons, but fans are already clamoring to see Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist get a shot at starting.

Starting kicker - 2012 didn't end well for Travis Coons, missing crucial, makeable field goals in the fourth quarters of the Apple Cup and the Las Vegas Bowl that may have cost the Huskies the game. The Huskies are bringing in a heralded freshman next year in Cameron Van Winkle who I'm sure most Husky fans hope will put an end to the Coons era in Seattle.

How many wins? - The year that everyone has always been pointing to for Sarkisian is now finally on the way, but how many wins will Sarkisian need to get in 2013 to not just keep his job, but to also re-energize the program and fan base.

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