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Washington Vs. UCLA: Jake Locker Returns, Huskies Prepare For Blackout

Gameday comes a few days early in Seattle this week as the Washington Huskies host the UCLA Bruins at Husky Stadium on ESPN tonight. Washington quarterback Jake Locker is back in action this week, cleared by the medical staff after sitting out the Huskies' game against Oregon nearly two weeks ago. Locker reportedly suffered a broken rib during the Dawgs' loss to Stanford in Seattle.

Tonight marks the end of the Jake Locker era in Seattle, at least in the home games department. Locker will be playing his final game at Husky Stadium as the Huskies celebrate senior night. They hope to send Locker off in style, with a win on national TV over the Bruins. After a few days of gamesmanship, Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian announced Locker was cleared to play, and would do so, on his Twitter account.

Jake Locker is cleared to play! Let's make sure Husky Stadium is rockin' for the the entire nation to see. Go Dawgs!less than a minute ago via Echofon

 

In addition to the senior night festivities, Washington wants to amp up the crowd and the players. The Huskies called for a blackout at Husky Stadium this week and will wear all-black uniforms tonight. Black t-shirts were passed out to fans throughout the week and season ticket holders were urged to wear black. UW went further, even painting the end zones black. You can find pictures of the end zone on Bob Condotta's blog at the Seattle Times.

The Huskies must win tonight to keep the possibility of a bowl alive. In fact, Washington must win the next three games -- against UCLA, Cal and Washington State -- to become bowl eligible for the first time in Locker's career. The goal for the UW quarterback in his senior season was a bowl game, so it's do or die time for the Huskies.

Check out Washington and UCLA tonight at 5 p.m. on ESPN.