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So long, Jake?
Locker gives his Elway impression in a virtuoso performance
Malamute, 6 December 2009

In what could very well be his last game at Husky Stadium, Jake Locker threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more to lead Washington to an upset victory over California, 42-10.

In a memorable performance, the red-shirt Junior completed 19 out of 23 passes for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns with no picks. Locker's passing efficiency rating of 216.23 was his best single-game rating over his career at Washington. He also ran for 77 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

His touchdown passes went for 40, 21, and 13 yards, while his scoring runs were 19 and 2 yards. Chris Polk went in from 10 yards out in the fourth quarter, and ended up with 94 yards rushing on the night.

Jermaine Kearse led all receivers, hauling in 7 passes for 147 yards and 1 touchdown, the latter coming on the 40-yard strike down the middle from Locker in the first quarter.

Locker's TD pass was set up on a trick play featuring Cody Bruns, who took off on an end around and tossed a sideline pass to Kearse for 38 yards. And, after Jake's pass, the Huskies were off and running, 7-0, at the 7:45 mark in the first quarter.

Cal fought back with a field goal that narrowed the score to 7-3 at the end of the first quarter; this concluded a 6-play, 58-yard drive highlighted by 50-yard run, courtesy of Shane Vereen. Vereen ended up with 92 yards rushing on the night.

In the second quarter, Locker posted his two touchdown runs to give UW a 21-3 lead at the intermission.

Locker threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter, and Polk's touchdown run in the fourth quarter brought the scoring to its final ending, 42-10.

Cal quarterback Kevin Riley hit Nyan Boateng with a 22-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter for the Bears' only touchdown.

Steve Sarkisian's Sark-mobile, with its Elway transmission, went full throttle against Cal, posting 463 total yards and controlling time of possession 33:40 to 26:20. Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Nick Holt's Holt-mobile was cranked up too, holding Cal to just 296 total yards.

Criticisms by internet posters leveled against Sarkisian and Holt, which blamed them for decisions they made in games UW almost won and, possibly could have won (for example, games against Notre Dame, Arizona State and UCLA), have been shelved for at least nine months.

The two coaches are riding high and deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the Huskies turnaround this year. Their 5-7 record certainly trumps last year's 0-12 disaster, coming under the leadership of former coach Tyrone Willingham. 

Washington's outstanding performance in the Apple Cup plus the "relentless" effort against Cal just might be looked back upon as significant cornerstones in its rebuilding effort.

----------

With all the talk about the Huskies' tough schedule this season, it should be noted that the Dawgs played five conference games at home, with four of them on the road. The Huskies ended up winning five out of seven home games, four of them against conference opponents. UW hasn't won a conference game on the road since it beat Stanford, 27-9, in November 2007.

Next season, only six of Washington's twelve games will be at home, with the Dawgs playing five suicidal league games on the road -- a horrifying thought, indeed. Round-robin scheduling in the Pac-10 needs to come to an end.

Among all the other considerations, ranging from finances to a possible injury, will the 2010 conference schedule have an impact on Locker's decision to either to play for pay on Sundays or stay another year with the Huskies?

It could be another thing for him to think about since he's acknowledged the thought of what could be next year will be one of the factors that "is definitely going to weigh in the decision."

Note -- my comparisons of Locker with John Elway only relate to Elway's playing days at Stanford and not to his career with the Pros. 

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
California 3 0 7 0 10
Washington 7 14 14 7 42


Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
7:45 UW TD Jake Locker 40-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse; Erik Folk kick. UW, 7-0
5:46 Cal FG Vince D'Amato 29-yard boot. UW, 7-3
2nd qtr
10:50 UW TD Locker 19-yard run; Folk kick. UW, 14-3
1:12 UW TD Locker 2-yard run UW, 21-3
3rd qtr
12:41 UW TD Locker 21-yard pass to Devin Aguilar; Folk kick. UW, 28-3
10:09 Cal TD Kevin Riley 22-yard pass to Nyan Boateng; D'Amato kick. UW, 28-10
7:41 UW TD Locker 13-yard pass to Aguilar; Folk kick. UW, 35-10
4th qtr
3:23 UW TD Chris Polk 10-yard run; Folk kick. UW, 42-10

 

Statistic Cal UW
Total First Downs 14 25
  Rushing 4 11
  Passing 10 12
  Penalty 0 2
Total Net Yards 296 463
Net Yards Passing 215 286
Net Yards Rushing 81 177
Completions-att-int 14-32-0 20-24-0
Punts, yards, average 5-221, 44.2 5-173, 34.6
Sacks by (number, yards) 2-10 5-35
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 7-141-0 3-77-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 1-14-0 2-28-0
Kickoff Yards 3-178 7-396
Net Yards per kickoff 33.7 36.4
Average yards per kickoff 59.3 56.6
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 0 0
Third-down conversions 2-12 2-10
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 0-0-0 0-0-0
Penalties, no., Yards 5-45 2-10
Fumbles; number/lost 3-2 2-0
Time of Possession  26:20 33:40

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Cal          
Kevin Riley (110.5) 14 32 215 1 0
           
Washington          
Jake Locker (216.23) 19 23 248 3 0
Cody Bruns (419.20) 1 1 38 0 0
           
Cal Rushing No. yds tds long  
Shane Vereen 16 92 0 50  
Isi Sofele 2 2 0 2  
Covaughn Deboski 1 -5 0 0  
Kevin Riley 10 -8 0 11  
           
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Jake Locker 14 77 2 19  
Chris Polk 22 94 1 18  
Curtis Shaw 1 3 0 3  
Willie Griffin 2 3 0 3  
           
Cal Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Marvin Jones 6 107 0 38  
Shane Verene 3 25 0 13  
Nyan Boateng 2 35 1 22  
Skylar Curran 1 32 0 32  
Jeremy Ross 1 12 0 12  
Anthony Miller 1 4 0 4  
           
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
James Johnson 2 16 0 9  
Kavario Middleton 3 42 0 25  
Devin Aguilar 5 72 2 21  
Chris Polk 2 10 0 5  
Jermaine Kearse 7 147 1 40  
Chris Izbicki 1 -1 0 0  
           
Punting        
Cal No. yds avg long tb
Brian Anger 5 221 44.2 51 0
           
Washington          
   
Will Mahan 5 173 34.6 52 0
Attendance: 62,334          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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