The Monday Morning Wash - Happy Holiday Bowl for Washington

We love college football up in the Pacific Northwest and the one thing we love the most about it is a hard hitting defense that leaves our opponents black and blue. Win or lose over the last 50 years the motto was if you play Washington you are going to feel it the next few days. We have missed that over most of the last decade but last Thursday's performance against Nebraska harkened back to the days of Owens, James, and Lambright.

Washington mauled Nebraska all night long and it was a beautiful thing to watch. This was true Husky football and thank you very much to Steve Sarkisian, Nick Holt, all the assistants, players, and everyone associated with the football program for bringing it back.

The Huskies bottled up and stymied the Cornhuskers. A defense that gave up 56 points and nearly 600 yards earlier this season against the same team held the vaunted Nebraska attack to less than 200 in the rematch. It was an impressive performance and it highlights the style of play this team will try to achieve in seasons going forward.

Offensively the Huskies brought their lunch pails to work. They hammered the Cornhusker defense the majority of the evening. Locker in his final game turned in a gritty performance as he willed his team to victory. "This is the experience I came back for,"  said Locker. Chris Polk was magnificent as usual in his Holiday Bowl MVP performance. "This is exactly what I came to college for." said Polk. .

This was a team win. It was a blue collar win. It was a win that marks the return of Washington football to the post season and increased national relevance in the future. This was Husky football played in its truest form.

Game Factoids

The Washington defense had an amazing 11 tackles for loss that included 5 sacks, one interception, and a fumble recovery.

Chris Polk had 199 all purpose yards.

Washington outgained Nebraska 340 to only 189.

Washington ran the ball 52 times averaging 5.4 yards per carry.

ESPN

I have watched the game a couple more times since Thursday and the first thing that pops into my mind is wouldn't it be great to be able to watch the first quarter? I can't believe that a good portion of the first half was preempted by an earlier game and interrupted by a Women's basketball game. Is this the best ESPN can do? Hopefully they will air a replay so we have the opportunity to record the game from start to finish.

Another pet peave I have with ESPN is that their broadcast teams just kind of show up for the game. It was pretty evident that Chris Fowler did not put in much work getting to know the two teams prior to the game.

Recruiting

The dead period ends on January 3rd and the Washington coaches will be back on the road recruiting the final pieces to finish the 2011 class. The Huskies have 20 known commitments as of this morning and are expected to take as many as 7-8 more. Expect some new names to pop up over the next week or two. You just never know who this staff is in on.

James Sample from Sacramento's Grant HS reportedly is going to announce where he is going to go to school at the Army All American game this coming weekend. He has been a Washington lean for some time so it wouldn't be a surprise if he picks the Huskies during the game. OSU and ASU are his other two finalists.

Basketball

The Washington basketball game swept its opening series in LA over the holiday weekend. Up next are the Oregon schools at home starting on Thursday.

Cal back coming out early

California running back Shane Vereen says he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Vereen announced his decision, saying the time was right for him to try the NFL.

Coaching Carousel

Randy Edsall has accepted the head coaching position at the University of Maryland. Edsall coached his last game for the other Huskies yesterday losing to Oklahoma 48-20 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Pittsburgh fired football coach Mike Haywood on Saturday, saying he could not continue in the job he held for only 2 weeks because of his arrest on a domestic violence charge.

Jim Harbaugh reportedly is being pursued by Michigan, the 49ers, and the Bronco's. He also has a contract on his desk to remain at Stanford and earn over $3 million per year. Could the Orange Bowl be his last game as coach of the Cardinal?

Charlie Weis is headed to Florida as an offensive coordinator. The former Notre Dame coach spent the past year on the staff of the Kansas City Chiefs.

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