Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jake Locker leads shocking Huskies win over Trojans 32-31

By Kshell

For the second straight year the Huskies shocked the Trojans behind a game winning field goal by Erik Folk. The difference in this upset is the Huskies won on the road. In fact I can list the number of wins on one hand in L.A. in the last 50 years. The Huskies defeated them in 1964, 1980, 1991, 1996 and now 2010. For a team just two years ago who was 0-12 and hadn't won a road game since November of 2007 vs Stanford to win at USC is shocking. This Washington team just two weeks ago looked destined for another 9th place finish in the conference. Jake Locker had appeared to have cost himself the #1 pick overall well he and the team responded in L.A.

The game didn't start off very well for the Dawgs. USC marched down the field for an easy touchdown when Allen Bradford rushed up the middle for 37 yard touchdown. Then the Huskies stumbled in the redzone when Jake Locker missed a wide open Chris Polk but Erik Folk would get points on the board to make the game 7-3.

The second quarter would erupt with some fireworks. Jake Locker would hit some big passes which would set up a Chris Polk touchdown run. Then on the next series Locker on a play action pass would go deep to Devin Aguilar for a 44 yard touchdown to give the Huskies a 17-7. USC would respond with another rushing touchdown this time by Marc Tyler.

Jake Locker would bust a run 55 yards but then fumble the ball out of the endzone for a USC touchback. USC would take advantage with another rushing touchdown by Marc Tyler giving him two on the game. USC would take a 21-17 lead at this point. Erik Folk would end the half with a 41 yard field goal to cut the lead to 21-20 at halftime.

The Huskies in years past have struggled in the second half especially on the road. Not this game. The Huskies didn't punt until 7 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter would march down the field but settle for another field goal in the redzone to take the lead 23-21. USC would then respond with a touchdown yet again by Allen Bradford rushing for 16 yards to give USC a 28-23 lead.

The Huskies would trail heading into the 4th quarter and Jake Locker would hit several big passes. He would hit avoid the sack and hit Cody Bruns for an 18 yard pass on 3rd and 17 to extend the drive. Then after getting hit with a penalty would hit Kearse on a screen on 3rd and 12 to set up another first down. Jake would have some key runs as well. On 3rd and 1 from the two yard line Locker would keep the ball getting the first down but was knocked out temporarily with a concussion. So on first and goal from the one yard line expecting a run the Huskies would call a pass and Keith Price would hit Chris Izbicki for a one yard touchdown. That was Izbicki's first catch since the BYU game and before that pass Price was 1 for 1 for three yards in his career. The Huskies would lead 29-28.

USC would drive down the field but stall in the red zone to take the lead 31-29. Their kicker Joe Houston before the game was just 1 for 4 kicking on the year. The Huskies would have several key drops on what was thought to be the final drive of the game. Locker hit Polk which could have been a touchdown on the wheel route and he dropped the pass, then facing 3rd and 9 Locker hit Kearse who dropped the pass. The ball was at midfield the Huskies went for it and Locker hit Aguilar who also dropped the pass. USC up two points with the ball and 5:30 to go couldn't grind the clock out. Electing to pass on third down the pass was incomplete which set up Joe Houston from 40 yards out. He would miss the kick having the kick hit the uprights. The Huskies had new life.

After a key drop by Kearse, Locker and the Huskies were facing a 4th and 10 from its own 23 Locker would hit Goodwin for an 18 yard gain. On the next play Chris Polk would bust a run for 26 yards up the middle to the USC 33 yard line. Polk again would rush for 6 yards and then another yard setting up a crucial 3rd and 3. Jake turned the corner for an 8 yard run to get the first down. Lane Kiffin electing to sit on his three timeouts Washington ran the clock down to 3 seconds just like last year. Folk hit the kick and there was no doubt about it he drilled the 32 yard field goal which set the Husky sideline off. The Huskies needed this win as they improve to 2-2 and 1-0 in Pac-10 play.

Jake Locker was the player of the game passing 25 of 41 for 318 yards with a touchdown and no picks. He would also run for 111 yards on the day. Chris Polk would have 92 yards rushing on just 13 carries and a touchdown. USC Allen Bradford would carry the ball 21 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns.


- I had complained the past about the Huskies lack of finding ways to win but they found a way to win today. In a game where they almost allowed 300 yards rushing and when Keith Price had to throw for a key touchdown in the 4th quarter they won the game.

- The Huskies offense for the first time all year showed how explosive they can be. Racking up over 500 yards of total offense. Racking up over 200 yards on the ground. The Huskies scored just 32 points but probably left over 20 on the board.

- Jake Locker came up huge. His body language was amazing. Despite having seven dropped passes and most of those were crucial drops he never got down on his teamates and kept delivering. His heisman hopes all but dead but most importantly he showed why people were so high on him going into the year.

- Rolling Jake out was terrific. Jake isn't a pocket quarterback use his mobility to our advantage. Locker on the roll outs is very dangerous and it helps the offensive line protect him better. Locker was sacked just once and very rarely hurried.

- Kudos to the offensive line for giving Jake Locker plenty of time and Chris Polk ran some tough yards. Jesse Callier stats are misleading given how he lost 10 yards on that one run.

- Glad to see Jake Locker running again. After not running much the first two games he ran for over 70 yards against Nebraska and today had over 110 yards rushing. Locker threw for 300 and ran for 100+ plus had a 60% completion percentage despite all the dropped passes. This was clearly Lockers best game. Shows how great Locker is that even in an amazing game he still has room to improve the skills on Locker are simply amazing.

- Defensively was pretty bad back to back games of giving up over 290 yards on the ground. On the positive side the defense allowed just 3 points in the 4th and on back to back drives were tough when they needed to be.

- First time since 1996 and 1997 UW has won back to back years vs the Trojans. Steve Sarkisian is now 2-0 vs the Trojans. Huge win for the Dawgs considering they had been shut out two of the last three trips to the Coliseum.

Well guys I'm still in shock that the dawgs pulled this win out. In my opinion this was a bigger upset than last years game and unlike last year this was not a fluke. The Huskies could have played better and still won. USC couldn't stop the Huskies offense. Next weeks game is huge at home vs Arizona State(2-3). It feels good to get that road monkey off our back though! WOOF! WOOF!

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