LAS VEGAS — The last two times Boise State played in the Las Vegas Bowl, there were other places the Broncos wanted to be. Not so on Saturday, when the smallest player on the team came up big in a 28-26 victory over Washington.
After two straight blowouts in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Broncos had to work hard for a win sealed by a 27-yard field goal by 5-foot-5 Michael Frisina with 1:16 left. It left them feeling good about a game and a season when, unlike the last two years, there was hardly any talk about Boise State being in a BCS game.
“The most satisfying thing about this season was each week you’d see us get just a little bit better,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “These guys, they don’t go through the motions. They have a chip on their shoulder.”
The win capped another strong year for the No. 20 Broncos (11-2), who had to overcome a 205-yard rushing game by Bishop Sankey against their normally stingy defense. Sankey also had 74 yards receiving, giving him 279 of Washington’s 447 yards from scrimmage.
But it was Frisina who came up with the biggest game of his career in his final game. He kicked three field goals, including the first game winner he could ever recall booting.
“It’s every kicker’s dream to win a big game with a field goal,” Frisina said. “For this one to come on the last game of my career, you couldn’t ask for anything more.’
Washington (7-6) had taken the lead for the first time on a 38-yard field goal by Travis Coons with 4:09 left when No. 20 Boise State got a big kickoff return by freshman Shane Williams-Rhodes to the Washington 42. Joe Southwick guided the team to the 12 before Frisina hit the winning kick.
“I was just focused on what I had to do,” Frisina said. “I’m there as the insurance guy, I guess you’d say.”