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A 'legendary' performance
Huskies snap 13-game losing streak on road
Malamute, 2 October 2010

Capping off a 10-play, 61-yard drive, Erik Folk kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired to give Washington a 32-31 victory over the 18th ranked USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The victory in Los Angeles snapped a 13-game losing streak on the road that dates back to November 2007.

Washington's defense played like a manada de novilleros en una novillada, giving up 298 yards rushing -- you know, the ˇOle! defense. (*) But UW outperformed 'SC on total offense, 537 yards to 484. Almost knocked of the game entirely, quarterback Jake Locker accounted for 420 yards of total offense.

Locker left the game for a couple of plays after being kneed in the helmet early in the fourth quarter. His knees buckled as teammates helped him to his feet, but he returned to lead the Huskies' memorable drive after being checked out for a possible concussion and cleared to play. (The photo of Locker and his dad was taken after last year's victory over USC. I purchased it from Replay Photos.)

With the ball on their own 24-yard line, behind the courageous leadership of Locker, in what was a repeat performance of last year's latch-ditch drive and victory over Troy, the Huskies -- trailing 31-29 -- marched down the field to give Folk a shot at a winning field-goal.

It wasn't easy.

On a critical 4th and 11, with about two minutes left on the clock, Locker completed an 18-yard pass to D'Andre Goodwin that carried to the Huskies' 41, and the drive was on its way.

Then Chris Polk, out of East Valley Redlands, burst up the middle for 26 yards. On a 3rd and 5, Locker bolted for 8 yards to the USC 20, and Polk added another 5 yards to the 15. USC Coach Lane Kiffin called two times outs in an attempt to ice Folk but, to no avail, as the steely kicker drew the ball in from the left hash for the one-point margin.

Commenting on the drive after the game, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said, “Jake is doing fine. He couldn't catch his breath and was a little woozy. On that fourth-down play, Jake just made it happen and it was a great play by D’Andre Goodwin.”

Sarkisian called Locker's performance on the game, "legendary." "Games like that are how legends are made," he added.

Kiffin called Locker's play phenomenal, that he was the worry all week, that he would play like that. "He is a great player and he showed why."

On center stage all night, Locker played to the purple shirts in the audience and to those of us rooting for him on national TV. He completed 24 of 40 passes -- despite numerous dropped passes -- for 310 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He also netted 110 yards rushing on 12 attempts. His passing efficiency on the game, which was 133.35, would have been a much higher absent all the drops.

Since he's playing on a team in a rebuilding mode, Locker's play at times makes for easy criticism, especially when he doesn't get the support he needs from his teammates, to wit the Nebraska game last week when his receivers were blanketed by the Blackshirts and he was the victim of a poor game plan and a strong pass rush.

All of the ridiculous hype from the media concerning Jake's so-called Heisman potential makes for the old straw man argument, but I have been through that one before with the "eastern mafia." (See "Heisman Jake: the Straw Man.")

Will Locker's dynamics against Troy silence his critics? Absolutely not, but I'll be back to answer the naysayers. I've got the stats on my side. ;-)

For a more detailed report on the game, reference Bob Condotta's article, "Washington Beats USC on last second FG."

(*) "manada de novilleros en una novillada: A gaggle of amateur bullfighters in a bullfight for amateurs...I think.

Figure 1. Locker's steady improvement in career passing efficiency over his last 17 games. (104.68 - 118.49). Call it the Sarkisian/Nussmeier effect.

 

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Washington 3 17 3 9 32
USC 7 14 7 3 31


Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
11:32 USC TD Allen Bradford 37-yard run. Joe Houston kick. USC, 7-0
7:52 UW FG Erik Folk 23-yard kick. USC, 7-3
2nd qtr        
14:04 UW TD Chris Polk 1-yard run. Folk kick. UW, 10-7
11:57 UW TD Jake Locker 44-yard pass to Devin Aguilar. Folk boot. UW, 17-7
9:08 USC TD Marc Tyler 4-yard run. Houston kick. UW, 17-14
2:35 USC TD Tyler 6-yard run. Houston boot. USC, 21-17
:35 UW FG Folk 41 yarder. USC, 21-20
3rd qtr
9:54 UW FG Folk 35-yard kick. UW, 23-21
4:44 USC TD Bradford 16-yard run. Houston kick. USC, 28-23
4th qtr
13:52 UW TD Keith Price 1-yard pass to Chris Izbicki; Price pass failed. UW, 29-28
10:00 USC FG Houston 27 yard boot. USC, 31-29
0:00 UW FG Folk 32-yard kick. UW, 32-31

 

Statistic UW USC
Total First Downs 28 26
  Rushing 11 14
  Passing 16 11
  Penalty 1 1
Total Net Yards 537 484
Net Yards Passing 311 186
Net Yards Rushing 226 298
Completions-att-int 25-41-0 14-20-0
Punts, yards, average 1-45, 45.0 2-74, 37.0
Sacks by (number, yards) 1-1 1-5
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 6-127-0 6-163-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 1-4-0 0-0-0
Kickoff Yards 7-451 6-378
Net Yards per kickoff 38.3 41.8
Average yards per kickoff 64.4 63.0
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 1 0
Third-down conversions 7 of 14 3 of 7
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 0-0-0 0-0-0
Penalties, no., Yards 5-36 5-48
Fumbles; number/lost 1-1 1-1
Time of Possession  30:00 30:00

Passing cmp att yds tds int
USC          
Matt Barkley (148.12) 14 20 186 0 0
           
Washington          
Jake Locker (133.35) 24 40 310 1 0
Keith Price (438.40) 1 1 1 1 0
           
USC Rushing No. yds tds long  
Allen Bradford 21 223 2 37  
Marc Tyler 14 60 2 9  
Ronald Johnson 2 17 0 10  
Matt Barkley 1 0 -1 0  
Dillon Baxter 1 0 -1 0  
           
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Jake Locker 12 110 0 54  
Chris Polk 13 92 1 26  
Jesse Callier 8 20 0 8  
Kevin Smith 1 3 0 3  
           
USC Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Ronald Johnson 6 109 0 26  
David Ausberry 3 40 0 16  
Marc Tyler 2 13 0 7  
Stanley Havili 2 10 0 8  
Jordan Cameron 1 14 0 14  
           
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
Devin Aguilar 5 83 1 44  
Jermaine Kearse 6 92 0 20  
Chris Polk 4 50 0 25  
D'Andre Goodwin 4 48 0 18  
Jesse Callier 3 20 0 15  
Cody Bruns 1 18 0 18  
Chris Izbicki 1 1 1 1  
Cody Habben 1 -1 0 0  
           
Punting        
'SC No. yds avg long tb
Jacob Harfman 2 74 37.0 42 1
           
Washington          
   
Kiel Rasp 1 45 45.0 45 1
Attendance: 82,796          

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

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