Congratulations to our University of Washington Huskies for pulling off the upset of the bowl season and for this program the decade in defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers 19-7 last night in a game that I may add was not as close as the score indicated.
Yes...this one is bigger to me than the "Whammy in Miami"! This 7-6 team is one of my all time favorite Husky football squads. They worked hard, they never gave up, and listen to this, they are on a four game winning streak entering 2011!
To all you Husky seniors...we love each and every one of you for sticking around during some tough times to be the one's who turned this whole mess around. We will carve your names in the hall of fame to preserve the memory of our devotion!
Quarterback - If you judge Jake Locker's last game solely by his passing statistics you might wonder why anyone in this world would consider giving him an "A" for last nights game. If you judge it by his ability to run the ball, execute an offense, and curiously his skills as a receiver the "Ferndale Flash" goes down as the man who directed one of the most stunning Washington upsets we will see in our lifetime. Jake willed this team to win and his ability to run the ball to pick up important first downs were key in last nights victory. Are you sure he isn't somehow related to Bob Schloredt? Grade A Minus
Running Backs - Chris Polk was dominating last night. The vaunted blackshirt defense had no answer for his power running game. He finished with 177 yards on 34 carries. If he returns next season expect that type of performance to be the norm in 2011. Jessie Callier didn't get a lot of carries last night but his pass to Jake Locker out of the Wildcat caught Nebraska napping. He was oh so close to completing another one for a TD but overthrew his target by a scant few feet. Grade A Plus Plus
Receivers - Nebraska shut these guys down the majority of the evening even though Jake seemed to have plenty of time in the backfield. What it all comes down to is their defensive backs are better than our receivers. Let me go on to say that the Nebraska defensive backfield just may be the best I have ever seen. One thing I and obviously the officials last night don't understand is the concept of defensive holding. It went on all night, every single play, and was only called once. A big physical TE would have helped a lot last night. Hope you are enjoying sitting on the bench in Missoula...Kavario. Grade C
Offensive Line - The holes for the running backs were there along with protection for Jake Locker the majority of the evening. These guys dominated a talented Nebraska front seven. I can't remember a Husky offensive line that played as well as this one did last night. I guess you would have to go back to the 90's to find a better performance. Grade A
Defensive Line - On paper Washington was supposed to be dominated by the Nebraska offensive line but it never happened. The middle was plugged the entire evening and the ends had the night of their lives sacking the Nebraska QB's. They even knocked Taylor Martinez out of the game! Hauoli Jamora was a force outside. He almost made most of us forget DTN with his perfromance. Alameda Ta'amu played like a first round draft choice. Kelani aldrich had the play of his career dropping a Husker back for a loss. This was Husky football. Somewhere up in heaven Jim Owens and Gil Dobie are smiling! Grade A Plus
Linebackers - What can you say about this trio? Mason Foster had his usual excellent game but Vic Aiyewa was a true force is his finale as a Husky. He went from being a questionable starter last spring to getting a chance for an NFL roster spot next fall. Cort Dennison was just terrific. This may have been his most complete game as a Husky. I love this kid and thank god we get one more year of his hard hitting leadership. Nobody cares more than Cort Dennison. Grade A Plus
Secondary - In the preview i noted that the Husky secondary had the ability to shut down the Nebraska passing game and they ended up doing that. Of course when I wrote that I never imagined the defense would hold Nebraska to under 200 yards on the night. Adam Long jumped put of the depth to make some big plays in the fourth quarter when Quinton Richardson went down with an injury. He was a big key in preserving the victory. Grade A
Special Teams - If this unit had a theme song it would be "Night and Day". Remember how horrible these guys were in September? They turned it around as the season went on and last night was the cherry on top of the sundae they have been building all season. Erik Folk missed two long FG's but other than that this unit played flawlessly. Hey Niles Paul...answer the phone...its ringing...or is that just the noise going on inside your head? I hate to single out one guy because everyone played well but how about that Princeton Fuimaono? That kid can lay some lumber. Grade B Plus
Coaching - Steve Sarkisian out coached Bo Pellini and Nick Holt did the same to his brother Carl. One big question that was asked after the WSU game is if Sark would prove to be the same type of bowl coach that DJ was. I think that question was answered affirmatively last night. I think the Pellini brothers are tremendous coaches...so beating this team led by those two guys is quite the feather in the old proverbial hat...or is it the proverbial feather...I have to ask Bugs Dodger for a ruling on that one.
Nick Holt was masterful in his schemes, calls, and motivation last night. He came into this game thin in crucial positions but Washington ended up being the superior team on defense last night. The real blackshirts had purple trim on their uniforms.
I saw a few negatives here and there. The final drive of the first half wasn't exactly managed very well. Going for seven on a fourth and one at the one yard line with a 10 point lead and not taking a sure three made me shake my head. Truth is Chris Polk just missed his hole on that one because the play was there. That all being said it just boils down to nitpicking after a victory that Husky fans will remember for decades. Grade A
Now my friends...sing a chorus of the greatest fight song in the history of the universe while you are having your Cheerios. I don't think any of you guys can do that without getting tears in you eyes.
Bow Down to Washington
Bow down to Washington,
Bow down to Washington,
Mighty are the men
Who wear the purple and the gold,
Joyfully we welcome them
Within the victors fold.
We will carve their names (names!)
In the Hall of Fame (fame!)
To preserve the memory of our devotion.
So heaven help the foes of Washington;
They're trembling at the feet
Of mighty Washington,
Our boys are there with bells (bells!),
Their fighting blood excels (excels!),
It's harder to push them over the line
Than pass the Dardanelles.
So victory's the cry of Washington
Our leather lungs together
With a Rah! Rah! Rah!
And o'er the land
The loyal band
Will sing the glory
Of Washington forever.
OK... One more time and I want it sung so loud that they can hear it in Lincoln!