Las Vegas Bowl – Oregon Ducks vs. Boise State Broncos
Date and Time: Saturday, December 16, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Opening Las Vegas Bowl Odds: Oregon -5
Las Vegas Bowl TV Coverage: ABC
Bryan Harsin probably made a lot of mistakes this year with the way he handled his quarterback situation at Boise State. The Broncos had a steady hand in Brett Rypien, but when he started to get a little on the inconsistent side, he turned the ball over to Kansas transfer Montell Cozart.
The fact of the matter is that Cozart was never the better quarterback, but he put up the better stats.
Instead of just settling on one quarterback, both men played much of the rest of the season, and both will be deployed in the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon.
The Ducks are likely to be in search of a new head coach by the time the Las Vegas Bowl kicks off. Willie Taggart is on the verge of taking the Florida State gig, and that will leave one of the richest schools in college football searching for a coach for a second straight season.
It's hard to say that there's a lot here to build off of, though. The talent that Taggart has had to work with at the U of O this year isn't nearly what Chip Kelly had, and the program feels like it has some rebuilding to do.
This, though, could be a stepping stone towards better things to come in the future for whomever will be next to lead the Quack Attack.
The Ducks looked darn good over the course of their first three games of the season. They blew out Southern Utah, Nebraska and Wyoming, dropping 168 points on the board in the process. Royce Freeman looked like he was going to be a Heisman Trophy candidate, and the Ducks were ranked in the Top 25.
A loss to Arizona State brought the team back down a notch, but things fell apart after Justin Herbert got injured in the Cal game.
Herbert went on to miss the entire month of October and the first half of November. In the games that Herbert played, the Ducks went 6-1 and averaged 52.1 points per game. In the games he was out, they were good for just 15.0 points per game and went 1-4.
Las Vegas Bowl Free Picks
With Herbert back in the fold, it's a wonder why the top NCAA football sportsbooks are lining the Ducks at just -5 in the Las Vegas Bowl. Surely, motivation could be a negative factor here for Oregon, but it's not like Boise State is going to be jumping for joy about playing in Sin City when it gets to visit here all the time against UNLV.
Herbert is the man who is going to be the catalyst in this game, though. He's going to be the leader of this team going forward, and it's going to be up to him to get this team on his back in preparation for this game. If Herbert comes out and slings the ball all over the yard against the Broncos the same way he did against most of the Pac-12 this season, this could end up being a no-contest.
This Boise State team is vastly overrated as a Top 25 team, and the rotating quarterbacks thing isn't going to help out in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Las Vegas Bowl ATS Pick: Oregon -5 at BookMaker.eu
Las Vegas Bowl Score Prediction: Oregon 49, Boise State 31