Friday, December 31, 2010
Instant analysis: Washington 19, Nebraska 7
By Ted Miller
Utterly shocking. And that is a tribute to Washington and coach Steve Sarkisian: No one saw a 19-7 victory over Nebraska in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday coming.
How the game was won: The Huskies won because they physically manhandled Nebraska in every facet. You know: The exact reverse of what happened on Sept. 18 during a 56-21 Cornhusker beatdown in Seattle that caused most folks to write this game off as the worst matchup of the bowl season. You just never know, even when you think you do.
Turning point: It looked like things were going to go as expected when Nebraska drove into Washington territory on its first possession. But then Rex Burkhead fumbled and Alameda Ta'amu recovered for Washington. The Huskies quickly scored a TD to go up 7-0, and the Cornhuskers never really made much of a challenge thereafter.
Stat of the game: 189. That's Nebraska's total yards. It had 533 in the first game. The Huskies outrushed the Cornhuskers 268 to 91. In the first game, the Cornhuskers outrushed the Huskies 383 to 175. Go figure.
Co-Players of the game: Washington running back Chris Polk had 177 yards on 34 carries with a TD, while, on defense, linebacker Mason Foster had 12 tackles and two sacks.
Unsung heroes of the game: There are two: Defensive coordinator Nick Holt and the Huskies offensive line. Both were maligned after the first game. And fairly so. And both came up big in the second game.
What it means: It means that Huskies QB Jake Locker goes out with a winning season -- 7-6 -- after a bowl victory, the Huskies first bowl win since 2000. It means the Huskies, who went 0-12 in 2008, are relevant again. It means the Huskies head into the offseason -- the post-Jake Locker Era -- riding a four-game winning streak.