Grading the Game

Quarterback

Jake Locker went out a winner in the Apple Cup last night with his best performance in more than half a season. It is amazing what a healthy Jake can do. He didn't play mistake free but that final TD pass wipes out the fourth down fumble and an interception in the end zone as far as I am concerned. Locker also had a long TD run of his own wiped out be a holding call which was undetectable in the replay. Washington has four weeks and 15 practices to get ready for a bowl game. It will be nice to see Jake at 100% for his last game. Grade A Minus

Running Backs

Chris Polk had his best day as a Husky in the Apple Cup. Sark kept feeding the beast and the beast responded with 284 yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns. Those 284 yards represented the second biggest rushing day in Husky football history by a running back. Jessie Callier has been great all season but last night he played like a freshman. His collision with Locker that caused the fumble is a real head scratcher. That is the second bad exchange between the two that has resulted in fumbles the last two games.  Grade A

Receivers

Jermaine Kearse was on last night and a lot of that had to do with a healthy Jake Locker being able to get him the ball int he right places to have success. Kearse had 6 catches for a whopping 178 yards and two TD's. Overall it was a great night for the Husky receivers who averaged a combined 17.1 yards per catch. Grade A

Offensive Line

These guys opened holes for the running backs and protected Jake Locker the entire evening. It was most likely their best game of the season as a unit. Sure their were too many penalties but I think a lot of that has to do with a pretty shoddy Pac 10 officiating crew. Can Larry Scott get that fixed in the off season?  Grade B Plus

Defensive Line

I thought this group played pretty well throughout the evening. Jeff Tuel isn't a very easy guy to coral but one telling stat is Tuel carried the ball 16 times for only 25 yards. That statistic represents a lot of empty downs for the Cougars. WSU was able to have more success in the second half and a lot of that had to do with good play calling and some serious momentum. Grade B Plus

Linebackers

I thought the trio did a good job in their last Pac 10 contest of the season. Mason Foster is indeed the best LB in the Pac 10.He had 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Cort Dennison as usual was out there giving 110% and making sure everyone was lining up correctly. Vic Aiyewa had another good game. Dennison and Aiyewa both had sacks.  Grade A

Secondary

Jeff Tuel was 25-35 for 298 yards and 2 TD's and one interception. A majority of the damage came in the second half as the Cougars rallied to tie the game at 28 in the fourth quarter. Nate Fellner an interception but dropped one that was a sure pick six in the first half which may have sparked a rout.  Fellner played pretty well and had nine tackles. One  player that keeps standing out to me is Quinton Richardson. Grade B

Special Teams

I didn't know that Kiel Rasp could throw the ball that well. His fake punt and pass to Kearse was the special teams play of the year. Rasp also punted the ball extremely well again. Folk was 5-5 in PAT's and was warming up to kick a game winner in the fourth quarter before the Huskies decided to go for it. Kick coverage was solid all afternoon. Grade A

Coaching

I thought Sark came out with a pretty good game plan. The Huskies drove the ball pretty well all game. When they needed a big play they were able to get one.

I thought Holt's defense did an outstanding job in the first half. They just shut the Cougars down until the Husky offense started making some mistakes which provided a spark for WSU. If it is 17-0 or 21-0 at the half this unit could have coasted easily to a win. The Cougs rallied in the second half with a good mix of run and pass that kept the Huskies off balance. Overall I thought the entire defense played pretty well.

The most important thing about yesterday is the win. The Huskies have won three in a row after being given up for dead after the Oregon game. The 6-6 Huskies finish 5-4 in conference which is good for a third place finish. That was a pretty good stretch of coaching and motivation over the last third of the season. Grade A Minus

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