We’ll provide you with some random thoughts and observations
from today’s Husky-Huskers game at Husky Stadium.
Fifteen minutes to play. A few fans have left, but the majority
seem to be hanging in here. Locker’s still behind center. I can’t
emphasize enough what a tough day the pride of Ferndale is having.
Looking toward campus, the fans are starting to stream out of the
stadium now. I’m going to shut ‘er down, and try to get down on the
field for the final minutes. It’ll be interesting to hear Sark and
Jake’s take on this one. With 13 minutes left, Locker’s passed for
71 yards. The former Heisman Trophy candidate has completed 4 of 18
passes and has been intercepted twice.
Locker just hit Jermaine Kearse for a 45-yard TD pass. But it
comes of the heels of an 80-yard TD run by Nebraska QB Martinez. So
we’re three plays into the third quarter and there’s been two TDs.
Score: Nebraska 35, UW 21.
Maybe Locker will bust loose this half? Even if he does, the UW
defense needs to figure out a way to stop Nebraska.
Old school: Looks like all of the Huskers are
wearing high-top black shoes. Nice. They always said black shoes
make you look slower, but Roy Helu Jr. just looked pretty fast on a
65-yard TD burst down the sidelines. Nebraska 42, UW 21. (The
drive: 4 plays, 76 yards, 1:43 time of possession). So that’s three
TDs in seven plays this half.
Hey, a stop: Washington just forced Nebraska to
punt for only the third time.
More of the same: If there’s been any knocks
about Jake Locker as a QB, it’s his throwing accuracy. He just
missed a wide open Jermaine Kearse on a deep route. He aired it out
60 yards, but a wide-open Kearse could not get to run under it.
Then he overshot a quick screen and topped it off by throwing an
interception that was returned 31 yards for an interception. The
ball was poorly thrown, behind his intended receiver. Nebraska 49,
UW 21, 8:21. You know, if this was an NFL game the boo-birds would
be out, calling for a quarterback change.
Fast and the Furious: Washington’s getting a
taste of how quick and physical the Nebraska defense is. Their
running backs can’t get to the outside and Locker’s throwing more
balls off his back foot because of the Huskers’ pass rush.
Sea of Red: Seeing all of these thousands —
some say as many as 20,000 Nebraska fans are in the crowd — gives
you an idea why the Big 10 liked the idea of adding the Cornhuskers
to the conference. Northwestern, Indiana and Illinois will now have
a chance to sellout a home football game.
So much for a BCS Bowl: Nobody expected
Washington win 10 or 11 games and earn a trip to a BCS Bowl this
year. Now, the question is whether the Huskies will be able to get
to six or seven wins and earn a trip to a lesser bowl. At the start
of the season, I thought they might get to eight, or even nine,
wins and wind up in the Holiday Bowl. Hard to say that now,
although I have to keep reminding myself the Huskies are playing
Nebraska, which could be a BCS-calibre team.
End of quarter: Nebraska 49, UW 21. Official
Washington’s going to need more breaks — another fumble
recovery, interception or special teams play … something — in order
to hang wit the Huskers. And Locker’s play is perplexing. Clearly,
Washington’s plan was to try and run the ball and control the
clock. It worked on the 80-yard drive. But, somehow, Washington’s
got to loosen the Huskers up with the pass. Maybe Nebraska’s taking
away the passing game. Jermaine Kearse has been the target of just
It is a great day. After all of that rain on Friday, I was
prepared for the worst when I woke up. But it’s a sunny,
shirt-sleeve kind of day. Probably 100 boats, or more, are anchored
off the shore in Lake Washington. It’s a good day to impress
recruits. An upset victory might be enough to sway some kids. Right
now, Mariners’ CEO Howard Lincoln probably has a better
chance of becoming a standup comedian than the Huskies do of
winning this game.
I just lost, somehow, all of my game posts. Man, they were
enlightening, too. Oh well, UW just got a big break when they
stripped the Nebraska backup QB and came up with the fumble. Polk
scores from 6 yards out and the Huskies are back within a
touchdown: Nebraska 21, UW 14, 5:06 left in half.
Nebraska negated that momentum with a quick TD to go up 28-14
and that’s the halftime score.
The game started bad for Washington’s Jake Locker, and it hasn’t
gotten much better. Locker threw an interception on the UW’s first
possession that led to a two-play 48-yard drive — a 24-yard run and
then a 24-yard pass from Taylor Martinez to Mike McNeill for the
TD. A 55-yard pass set up the Huskers’ next TD to make it
14-0 with 10:45 left in the first quarter.
Suddenly I was filled with Week 3 memories from September, 2008.
You remember that day? Oklahoma steamed over the Huskies 55-14 at
But Washington regrouped and marched 80 yards. They passed just
once and pretty much just pounded it at the Huskers. Locker capped
the impressive drive with a 7-yard scramble for the TD.
The crowd noise seemed to bother Nebraska for the next couple
series, and Washington’s offense bogged down against a defense
that’s as good as advertised. The Cornhuskers started grinding
itupfront out and Martinez — boy he is quick — started making
things happen with his feet and with his arm.
Locker’s Heisman Trophy chances are taking another big hit. He’s
thrown for just 20 yards. He’s 2-for-10 with the interception.
Nebraska has out-gained the UW 247-123.
There’s a little over 14 minutes on the clock and the stadiums’
starting to fill up. The west end zone is a sea of red. And, wow,
just noticed the east end zone beneath the large video scoreboard
is about 3/4ths red. They’re saying there’s as many as 20,000
Nebraska fans at today’s game. No wonder the Big Ten liked the idea
of adding Nebraska to the conference. Schools like Indiana,
Northwestern and Illinois now have a chance of selling out a home
Just took a closer look as the Star Spangled Banner was played
and there’s red everywhere. Behind the Nebraska bench on the south
side, way up high on the north side above the Don James Center.
reported that UW coach Steve Sarkisian said Reggie Bush looked like
an idiot with the way he handled the Heisman Trophy bru-ha-ha.
Haven’t had a chance to read what Sark put up on the gohuskies.com
Website after that report.
Who’s Gonna Win?
Like a lot of you, I’ve over-analyzed this game. No way
Washington’s offensive line can handle Nebraska’s defense? But the
Cornhuskers haven’t faced a team as good as Washington. The No. 8
Huskers beat Western Kentucky (49-10) and Idaho (38-17). And the
stadium’s going to be loud. Will Nebraska freshman QB Taylor
Martinez handle the noise and the pressure? Will Jake Locker take
the team on his shoulders and play like a Heisman Trophy winner?
Can Washington’s receivers get loose against a pair of the best
cornerbacks in the country in Prince Amukamarfa and Alfonzo
Dennard? Has Washington been sitting on anything
strategically, saving it for this game? I doubt it, but we’ll find
The pick: Hesitantly because I think Washington has a chance if
things break right early, but I’m going with Nebraska, 31-22.
Huskers are just too dominant up front on both sides of the
In Case You Missed It
Hansville’s Joi Niemeyer, a student at the UW and former North
Kitsap and Kingston athlete, is among
Playboy’s girls of the Pac-10.
HOF for Benji
Benji Olson, the South Kitsap who became Washington’s only
two-time first-team AP All-American, will be inducted into the
Husky Hall of Fame on Oct. 29. Olson, a guard, went on to play 10
years in the NFL for the Tennessee Titans.