In a game with nary a field goal to be had, the Washington Huskies won the Apple Cup. Five touchdowns and 571 yards later, here we are: 6-6 overall, 5-4 in conference (good for 3rd in the Pac-10), and headed to the Holiday Bowl.
What a turnaround! From 3-6 and left-for-dead to the sunny skies and sandy beaches of San Diego!
Major propers, first of all, to Chris Polk. He was a raging cyclone in tallying up 284 yards on 29 carries; I mean the Cougar defense might as well have just stayed home. The only reason we didn’t just crush the battle of first downs was because so many of our plays were just too big.
More kudos to Steve “Big Balls” Sarkisian, as the Dawgs were 3 for 4 on 4th downs, including a huge conversion on that final drive. Let’s face it, if we would’ve given the ball back at that point, there was no doubt the Cougs would’ve taken it down the field on us. Their offense really got it going in the second half.
Finally, big ups to Jermaine Kearse who caught 6 balls for 178 yards and 2 huge touchdowns (including the game-winner where he had to leap over a defender to bring it in).
I’m choosing to accentuate the positive in the wake of finding out that we have to play Nebraska once again. Yes, I knew going in that we’d be killed by whoever we played in the Holiday Bowl, but at least give me a NEW way of being killed! The dismantling we saw in Husky Stadium earlier this season is not something I feel much like re-living.
On the plus side, look at it from the Nebraska perspective: this is the big Fuck You from the Big-12 as the Huskers leave for the Big-10 next year. Not only do they lose the Big-12 Championship Game – the last one they’re likely to ever play – but they fall to the Holiday Bowl and are forced to play a team they’ve already played. If it wasn’t for San Diego being San Diego, I would anticipate that this would be the lowest-travelled-to bowl in their school’s history for a disappointed fanbase who was looking at the BCS as a certainty the last time these two schools played one another.
Maybe the fact that this game will be a total downer for their school will actually be an asset for the Huskies. Maybe instead of losing by 35, we’ll only lose by 28! Hell yeah!