Holiday Bowl: Washington Huskies Beat Nebraska Cornhuskers, 19-7

The Washington Huskies and Nebraska Cornhuskers square-off for the second time this season in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30. Nebraska won the first meeting in Seattle, 56-21

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Holiday Bowl, Washington Vs. Nebraska: Huskies Win The Battle In The Trenches

Washington quarterback Jake Locker will get plenty of publicity and credit for the Holiday Bowl as he capped his career with a win. Chris Polk was a workhorse on the ground for the Huskies, as well, carving up the Nebraska defense to the tune of 177 yards and a touchdown. But Washington didn't beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl because of either of those two. For the reason the Huskies prevailed, you need not look further than the lines, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

The Huskies were absolutely torched on the ground by Nebraska in September. Quarterback Taylor Martinez ran wild, Roy Helu Jr. was all over the place and Nebraska was over 300 yards rushing for the day. In order for the Huskies to have any shot on Thursday night in San Diego, they were going to need to stop the run.

Now that we can look back, check out what Nebraska did in the run game. The Huskers rushed for just 91 yards on the game, never finding the end zone on the ground. Martinez carried the ball 14 times for 23 yards, Helu Jr. carried 11 times for 34 yards and Rex Burkhead led the Huskers with 39 yards on 12 carries. What the Huskies saw was a Nebraska team that was unable to engineer drives through the air when its potent rushing attack was stymied.

The Washington defensive line deserves as much, if not more, praise than the skill players for the Holiday Bowl win. Guys like Alameda Ta'amu, who recovered a fumble early to set the tone, and Hau'oli Jamora were disruptive all night, abusing the Nebraska defensive end along the way. It was Ta'amu breaking through the Nebraska defensive line and forcing a hold in the end zone in the second half, giving the Huskies a safety. The entire defensive line manhandled Nebraska and was the biggest reason Washington came away with an impressive 19-7 victory.

So while much of the media praises Locker and Polk, give a little love to the big boys, Washington fans. Their work is a huge reason the Huskies are heading back to Seattle with a trophy on Friday.


Holiday Bowl, Washington Vs. Nebraska: Jake Locker Leads The Huskies To Victory, 19-7

In the final game of his college career, Jake Locker got himself a bowl victory. Aided heavily by the running game, and Chris Polk’s huge game on the ground, the senior signal-caller went out on a high note, bringing the Holiday Bowl trophy home to Montlake. After a dismal passing effort in the first half, in which Locker didn’t complete a pass, Locker used his legs to establish some kind of threat in the second, scampering for a 25-yard touchdown run that ended up being the dagger in the third quarter.

For all the praise Locker will get, it was the Washington defense that won this game. The Huskies, after watching Nebraska gain 533 yards of total offense in September, were flat dominant in the Holiday Bowl, holding Nebraska to just 185 total yards. Washington won the battle on both lines, but was especially dominant on the defensive end. It was that relentless pressure, aided by a hefty dose of blitz packages, that never allowed Nebraska to get into gear.

Locker finished the game 5-16 for 56 yards, adding 83 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Polk had another huge day, rushing for 177 yards and a touchdown. That 1-2 punch in the running game put the vaunted Nerbaska defense into a meat-grinder, spitting it out at the end of the game with skid marks all over it.

For Nebraska, it was tough sledding all the way around. Before leaving the game with an ankle injury, freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez wasn’t as sharp as the last time these two teams faced each other, rushing for 21 yards and throwing for 53 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Roy Helu Jr. added a team-high 58 yards on the ground.

The Huskies will now say goodbye to Locker, five years after he arrived. Polk, on the back of another impressive decision must also decide whether to leave early or stay around for another year. Just two years into the rebuilding process, however, Sarkisian has himself a signature season and a bowl win to boot.


Holiday Bowl, Washington Vs. Nebraska: Huskies Fail On Fourth And Goal, Cornhuskers Have Life

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian loves to roll the dice. Facing fourth and goal from the one, Sarkisian gambled again, electing to go for the touchdown. A handoff to Chris Polk, a big stand by the Nebraska defense and a turnover on downs may have just given Nebraska a new lease on life.

Sarkisian went with the bread and butter near the goal-line, running inside the tackles on the left side of the line in hopes of finding the magic again. Nebraska was ready, using a good push from the defensive line and sure tackling to stuff Polk in a huge spot.

Polk has been unstoppable during the Holiday Bowl and is already over the 100-yard mark for the game. His 116 yards, and Washington’s 186 yards, on the ground are a big reason the Huskies hold a 17-7 lead over Nebraska. But it’s that one yard he didn’t get that could come into play late in the game.

With the fourth quarter just underway, Washington leads Nebraska, 17-7. Taylor Martinez has not returned from an injury suffered on Nebraska’s last drive, leaving the comeback up to Cody Green.


Holiday Bowl: Jake Locker Completes A Pass, Finds The End Zone On The Ground

Washington quarterback Jake Locker finally completed a pass in the Holiday Bowl, finding D’Andre Goodwin for 26 yards on 3rd and 8. For those keeping score at home, Locker went 31:15 without completing a pass in the bowl, but picked a perfect time to hit a receiver in stride. But that was just the beginning of the Locker show on the Huskies first drive.

On the next play, Locker faked the handoff to running back Chris Polk, electing to call his own number. He did the rest with his legs, scampering 25 yards and breaking through arm tackles en route to a touchdown. The Washington drive, aided by a facemask penalty on the kickoff, covered 53 yards in four plays, taking just 1:42 off the clock.

The Washington touchdown gives the Huskies a comfortable lead, up 10 over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 17-7. After an early 10 points, Washington had been unable to get anything going against the Nebraska defense before its quick-strike drive. It was, as they say, just what the doctor ordered for the Huskies coming out of the break.


Holiday Bowl: Washington Huskies Lead Nebraska Cornhuskers At The Half, 10-7

The Washington Huskies came out strong in the first half, stunning Nebraska en route to a 10-7 halftime lead. The Huskies lead the Nebraska Cornhuskers despite zero completions from Washington quarterback Jake Locker in the first half. Locker finished the half 0-8 against Nebraska’s lockdown secondary, pushing his total against Nebraska to 4-27 on the year.

The Huskies had a chance to stretch the lead just before the half, but kicker Eric Folk badly missed a field goal as time wound down, leaving Washington to settle for a 10-7 lead. Still, for a team that was blown-out in Seattle by this same team, Washington should have their heads held high going into the locker room.

Washington used the punishing running of Chris Polk to move the chains in the first half. Polk finished with 18 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown, providing the only offense Washington could speak for. Running back Jesse Callier led the way in the passing game, completing a throw-back pass to Locker for 17 yards, setting up a Polk touchdown run.

On the other side of the ball, Nebraska’s passing game fared better despite quarterback Taylor Martinez’s shaky start. Martinez finished the half with 51 yards and a touchdown through the air and 35 yards on the ground. Martinez’s five passes have found five different receivers, with Kyler Reed’s 15-yard score leading the way.

Stay tuned to the Holiday Bowl for what promises to be an exciting second half with the game up for grabs through the first 20 minutes.


Jake Locker Back In The Holiday Bowl After Sitting A Series

Take a deep breath, Washington fans. Quarterback Jake Locker is back in action after receiving a scare in the second quarter. Locker took a knee to the helmet and appeared to sustain a head injury, lying on the ground for some time before walking off the field. The word from Erin Andrews on the sideline is that Locker’s helmet came up over his head and raked his eyes, leaving him unable to reopen his eyes. It was not, according to the training staff, a concussion.

The Washington defense continues to play big despite a Nebraska touchdown in the second quarter. After Locker left the game, Nebraska forced the Huskies to punt and were starting to drive, but the Washington defense took over, intercepting Taylor Martinez on an under-thrown ball.

Locker is back on the field, leading the way for the Huskies, after brief moments of panic in Husky nation. With four minutes to go in the second quarter, it’s UW on top, 10-7.


Holiday Bowl: Jake Locker Goes Down With A Head Injury

The worst case scenario is happening for the Washington Huskies as Jake Locker went down with an injury. Locker took a knee to the back of the head and was hit helmet-to-helmet, lying motionless on the turf for a prolonged period of time. It appeared he was knocked out, and may have had a concussion, but he did walk off the field under his own power.

Nebraska finally got on the board in the second quarter, finding the end zone when Taylor Martinez hit Kyler Reed for 15 yards and a touchdown. The Huskers drove 74 yards in 10 plays, capped by Martinez’s touchdown strike. With Washington Holding all the momentum, Nebraska desperately needed an answer and got it.

The word from Washington at the Holiday Bowl is that Locker will return. Keith Price finished the series, narrowly missing a streaking Jermaine Kearse from what looked like a sure touchdown. Locker shook-off trainers, grabbed his helmet and took his place near the coaches, appearing to tell them he was fine and ready to play.

In the second quarter, Washington leads Nebraska, 7-0.


Holiday Bowl: Washington Huskies Add Field Goal, Lead 10-0 After First Quarter

The Washington Huskies flew out of the gate, leaving the Nebraska Cornhuskers stunned, wondering what’s happened in the Holiday Bowl. Washington dashed out to a 7-0 lead, capitalizing on a Nebraska fumble to take the early lead. Washington added a field goal to cap an impressive first quarter, taking a 10-0 lead into the second frame.

The Huskies continue to dominate the line of scrimmage, using penetration to disrupt the Nebraska run game and keep freshman Taylor Martinez off-balance. On the other side of the ball, the Washington rushing attack has been the story as Chris Polk and Jake Locker have looked dominant early. Locker has yet to complete a pass, but the run game has kept the Huskies afloat, allowing them to thrive against a tough Nebraska defense. Jesse Callier did complete a pass, throwing back to Locker for 17 yards, setting up Polk’s touchdown.

The Music City Bowl is over on ESPN and the Holiday Bowl is finally available for viewers to see. Stay tuned to our StoryStream for more on the Holiday Bowl throughout the game.


Holiday Bowl: ESPNU Broadcasts The Game While ESPN Waits

There’s two ways to watch the Holiday Bowl right now. Since ESPN is in a holding pattern while the Music City Bowl finishes, it’s time to get creative. Since ESPN, ever the kind network, failed to mention it, viewers that receive ESPNU can see the game on that channel. In addition, viewers in Seattle can also find the game on ESPN3 through their cable provider. ESPN3, the online streaming version of ESPN can be found here.

The Huskies came storming out of the gate, turning Nebraska over and capitalizing right away with a touchdown. A throwback from Jesse Callier to Jake Locker set Washington up on the one-yard line. On the next play, Chris Polk finished the job, diving into the end zone for the touchdown and early seven point lead.

The Huskies are winning the battle at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, dominating each Nebraska front. The Cornhuskers look completely out of sorts early, plagued by fumbles and penalties.

Washington forced another fourth down on Nebraska’s second possession as the defense continues to hold strong early. It has been, to this point, the best start Washington could have ever imagined.

Stay tuned to our StoryStream for more updates throughout the game.


Holiday Bowl: ESPN Shows Music City Bowl; Huskies Lead, 7-0

The Washington Huskies and Nebraska Cornhuskers are off and running in the Holiday Bowl, but due to Thursday’s bowl games running late, it is not currently on ESPN. The Huskies kicked-off to open the game, giving Nebraska the ball first. ESPN will join the game in progress as soon as the Music City Bowl ends, whenever that may be.

The game was not delayed as the last game of the day. Washington recovered a fumble on the Nebraska’s first drive and are in prime field position to strike early. The did just that as Chris Polk found the end zone to take an early 7-0 lead with nine minutes to go in the first quarter.

The game can currently be seen on ESPN3 while Tennessee and North Carolina continue to play. The Music City Bowl is headed to overtime after a wild, ridiculous finish that saw the worst clock management in the history of bowl games. Keep an eye on ESPN3 for the game until the Music City Bowl finally wraps up.

Stay with our StoryStream as we update the happenings in the Holiday Bowl.


Holiday Bowl Time And TV Information

Looking to find the Holiday Bowl on TV? Living in a cave and have no idea when the game even takes place? Good news! We’ve got you covered with all the Holiday Bowl information ahead of tonight’s game.

Who: The Nebraska Cornhuskers battle the Washington Huskies for the second time this season. Nebraska won the first meeting, dropping the Huskies in Seattle, 56-21.

What: The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. Formerly known as the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, Bridgepoint Education took over the sponsorship and naming rights, giving us a new and improved Holiday Bowl. The Holiday Bowl is the Pac-10’s third bowl tie-in behind the Rose Bowl — vacant this year with Oregon in the BCS Championship Game — and Alamo Bowl.

When: 7 p.m. PST on Dec. 30 (today).

Where: San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers. Qualcomm is the site of two bowl games this season: The Poinsettia Bowl and Holiday Bowl. If you’re not in San Diego, you can find the game on ESPN at 7 p.m.

Why: Because they can? Washington gets a rematch, Nebraska gets a chance to end the season on a positive and we all get to watch more college football. Can’t think of a better reason than that.

For more on the Holiday Bowl and live updates during the game, stay tuned to our StoryStream for all the action.


Holiday Bowl, Nebraska Vs. Washington: Taylor Martinez, Roy Helu Jr. Lead Potent Nebraska Rushing Attack

The Washington Huskies struggled to contain dynamic Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez the last time these two teams met. In September, Nebraska rolled to an easy 56-21 victory with Martinez leading the charge. The freshman quarterback threw for 150 yards and a touchdown while adding another 137 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, including an 80-yard scamper to open the second half.

When healthy, Martinez can be as dangerous as any dual-threat quarterback in the nation. He finished the year with 1578 yards and nine touchdown through the air, with another 942 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. Add Roy Helu Jr.’s 1211 yards and 11 touchdowns in the run game and you have a potent Cornhusker attack.

Nebraska racked-up an eye-popping 383 yards and six touchdowns on the ground against the Huskies in September as the Huskies could not stop anything on defense. Three Nebraska players were over the century mark, with Helu adding 110 yards and two touchdowns to Martinez’s prolific day.

Can the Huskies slow Nebraska down? To give Jake Locker and the Washington offense a chance, defensive coordinator Nick Holt has to figure out a way to stop the run and force Martinez to throw the ball.

The Huskies and Cornhuskers hit the field in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN.


Holiday Bowl Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers, Washington Huskies Hit The Field For Round Two

For the second time in 2010, the Washington Huskies and Nebraska Cornhuskers will do battle on the gridiron. This time around, the stakes are higher. The Huskies and Huskers hit the field in San Diego for the ever prestigious Holiday Bowl, with Washington quarterback Jake Locker looking to avenge a 4-20 performance against Nebraska in September.

The vaunted Nebraska defense, ranked 8th in the nation in points allowed, features a defensive backfield loaded with NFL-caliber talent. Prince Amukamara steals the show for the Huskers, but the Blackshirt defense has plenty of talent to go around. Dejon Gomes is a ball-hawk in the defensive backfield, someone Locker has to account for as he tries to move the Washington offense.

The Huskies will have some help, though. Running back Chris Polk has been a tank in 2010, inviting contact as he punishes defenders after contact. Polk ran for 1238 yards and eight touchdowns in 2010, including 284 yards and two scores in the Apple Cup. Throw change-of-pace back Jesse Callier’s 424 yards in there and Washington has the ability to provide a balanced attack to keep the Nebraska defense on their toes.

Can Washington step-up in the Holiday Bowl and get revenge for that 56-21 loss in Seattle or will it be all Nebraska yet again. We’ll find out tonight at 7 p.m. in San Diego as the Huskies and Cornhuskers square-off again. Tune in live to ESPN and follow our StoryStream throughout the game for live updates.


Holiday Bowl: Washington Huskies To Wear Black Jerseys Again

For the second time this season, the Washington Huskies will take the field wearing black. As a reward to the players, Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian decided to go with the black jerseys again, hoping the sharp look of the dark uniforms will serve as motivation for the Huskies in the Holiday Bowl. Washington unveiled the jerseys against UCLA on Nov. 18 in a 24-7 win.

Speaking at the bowl luncheon on Wednesday, Sarkisian elaborated on the black jersey choice.

“We kind of talk about it, get a feel for it. The players generally have an idea of what they would like and then I have an idea of what I like, and it’s really not a hand vote or a silent vote, we just kind of talk about it, pick something and go with it. I wanted to wear that and they were in agreeance. Thought it would be kind of fitting wearing it down here.’’

It is a bit ironic Washington will be wearing black while facing a Nebraska defense know throughout the college football universe as the “Blackshirts.” Nebraska defensive starters are awarded Blackshirts each year as use them as a badge of honor, vowing to live up to the reputation of fearsome Nebraska defenses.

Washington will not only be wearing black as a reward, but also as a marketing and branding tool. A different jersey and different style, broadcast for the world to see on national TV, means more money in the pocket of the athletic department, giving them a new sales opportunity that deviates from the traditional purple and gold. It does, however, fly in the face of tradition, leading some to wonder whether the Huskies are abandoning their roots.

The Huskies hit the field in their black uniforms for the Holiday Bowl on Thursday at 7 p.m.


Holiday Bowl: Niles Paul Thinks Washington Huskies Talk Too Much

Trash talk is a big part of football, with players engaging in plenty of healthy barking before and during games. For Nebraska wide receiver Niles Paul, the trash talk serves as motivation, and the Washington Huskies served as great motivators the last time these two teams met. In the Holiday Bowl, Paul expects the Huskies will provide Nebraska players with plenty of incentive throughout the game, just as they did in September.

Speaking to the Seattle Times Bob Condotta, Paul had this to say about the brash nature of the Huskies.

“They talked a lot of trash, a lot of trash. Before the game, during the game, after we led, after we were leading. They were non-stop. They kept going.’’

He went on to say that it was "way more than most teams, more than any team I’ve been around. It has to be like a mental thing or something. But we held our mental composure and did what we were supposed to do.’’

Despite getting smacked around in Seattle, the Huskies were, apparently, content to keep barking until the very end. I gotta hand it to them, at least they were incredibly persistent. On Thursday in San Diego, with the Huskies desperately seeking a bowl win, Paul is likely correct in his assumption that the trash talk will be flowing all game. We’ll see which team has the actions to back up their words, however.

Washington and Nebraska hit the field in the Holiday bowl on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m.


Holiday Bowl: Bill Walton Over-Hypes Game At Bowl Luncheon

With just one day left until the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, the media barrage and ceremonies leading up to the game are winding to a close. On Wednesday, Holiday Bowl Grand Marshal Bill Walton took to the podium in front of the media, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Washington Huskies to extol the virtues of the game, perhaps going to far in his praise for the bowl.

Walton said the Holiday Bowl was “not a ponzi-scheme bowl,” whatever that may mean. In a moment of great hyperbole, the NBA legend broke down what the game means to both the Huskers and Huskies, saying "to the victors go the ultimate spoils and to the vanquished go life’s hardest lessons. They will be with you forever.’’

Is the Holiday Bowl actually make or break for the teams and players? After all, this is yet another meaningless exhibition, as many college bowls are. For the Huskies, sure, you could make the argument Thursday’s matchup with Nebraska is huge for the program. A win validates the rebuilding process the Washington program has endured over the last decade and gives head coach Steve Sarkisian recruiting ammo.

But Nebraska? After being shafted due to bowl politics, the Huskers were rewarded with a rematch against a Washington squad they thoroughly whipped in September. Nebraska came within inches of a BCS bowl, and instead fell all the way to the Holiday Bowl in the end. Make or break? Not so much.

We’ll see if the game itself lives up to the hype on Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.


Rickey Thenarse Cited For DUI Early Sunday Morning, Status For Holiday Bowl Unclear

Just hours after walking in a graduation ceremony at Nebraska, safety Rickey Thenarse was stopped by police and cited for driving under the influence early Sunday morning. Thenarse is the second player to be charged with a DUI since the season ended, joining Baker Steinkuhler.

According to a report from Husker Extra, Thenarse was spotted by police just after 2 a.m. and was found to have a blood alcohol content of .11, over the .08 legal limit.

Officers contacted Thenarse shortly after 2 a.m. on O Street between 14th Street and Centennial Mall when they found his maroon 1998 Oldsmobile 88 stopped in the middle of traffic, said Lincoln Police Sgt. Jason Stille.

His blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.11 percent, according to police reports

Thenarse began the year as the Cornhuskers’ starting safety before falling to second on the depth chart as the season progressed. He finished the regular season in 2010 with 34 tackles and an interception.

With the Holiday Bowl just under two weeks away, on Dec. 30 in San Diego, Thenarse’s status is unclear.


Holiday Bowl: Nebraska To Lose Money, Washington Hoping To Break Even

Outside of the major BCS bowls, a trip to a bowl game means a financial burden on many of the schools involved. Such is the case in the Holiday Bowl, where the Nebraska Cornhuskers are forecasting a loss while the Washington Huskies are simply hoping to break even. Bowl games can be great for a program and are a reward for the players involved, but it all comes at a price.

The Holiday bowl pays out $4.2 million in total, split down the middle and awarded to each team. The schools, however, won’t see that money in full, instead handing the check over to the Pac-10 and Big 12 to be shared amongst each conference’s members. All the bowl money earned goes into a pot, including the lucrative BCS money, and is spread across each conference according to a revenue sharing model. For the Pac-10, it means the six teams that failed to make a bowl will receive a financial windfall while sitting at home, free of the expenses that come along with a bowl appearance.

For Nebraska, the expenses involved with traveling the team, paying bonuses to the coaching staff and bringing the band along for the ride outweigh the revenue doled-out by the bowl itself. Nebraska is using the opportunity to reward all those involved in the program, even spending somewhere around $150,000 to bring the band.

“Right now, we’re going to probably lose money on this bowl,” the school’s athletic director said Tuesday, noting how Chancellor Harvey Perlman supported the approximate $150,000 cost of flying the band to the game.

The Washington Huskies, on the other hand, were given an expense allowance that totaled just over $1 million. Having a second BCS team — Oregon is in the BCS National Championship and Stanford in the Orange Bowl — means more money for each team in the conference, totaling between $250,000 and $400,000. Still, with the expenses involved in a trip to San Diego so high, the Huskies have a modest goal of simply breaking even this bowl season. While it may seem like just another road trip, playing in a bowl game means increased obligations and, with them, increased team expenses (via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times).

The biggest expense, Woodward says, is housing. The team will travel to San Diego on Dec. 23 (the bowls require teams to arrive by a prearranged date).

Washington has to pay rent for the field at which it will practice (the University of San Diego), as well as meals for players.

The Huskies are bringing a traveling delegation of around 500 people. From players, coaches, support staff, athletic department employees and, like Nebraska, the band, Washington has a significant number of mouths to feed during its week-long stay in California. The experience and positive publicity that comes with playing in a bowl game could be a game-changer for Washington, but it does mean taking a short-term hit in the process.

The Huskies and Cornhuskers square-off again in San Diego on Dec. 30 in the Holiday Bowl. Unlike when they met in Sept., this game comes at a significantly higher cost to each team.

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