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Stick A Fork In Jake Locker's Heisman Trophy Hopes

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It took just three weeks and two losses for expectations for University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker to plummet from Heisman Trophy to .500 quarterback. After a debilitating thumping at the hands of the University of Nebraska, it won’t be long beforte ESPN pundits pretend they never hyped Locker as a legi Heisman Trophy candidate.

No need to sugarcoat it: Jake Locker was not a good player on Saturday. 4-20 passing, 71 yards, 2 interceptions, one giant defeat. Certainly, Nebraska looked like a top 5 team. But Heisman Trophy winners make plays against top 5 teams.

Greg Johns of the Seattle PI writes

It was a Heisman-like performance by the quarterback Saturday at Husky Stadium, the three rushing touchdowns and another through the air in a convincing victory on ABC regional television.

Unfortunately for Jake Locker, the Heisman numbers were put up by the opposing quarterback, Nebraska redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez, in a 56-21 runaway by the visitors.

Andy Hutchins of SB Nation writes that Locker’s Heisman hopes have been "euthanized"…

This early in the college football season, it’s hard to definitively bury or anoint players as Heisman candidates. And yet, Jake Locker sure did his darnedest to shovel six feet of dirt on his trendy campaign.

Washington got rolled by Nebraska, a faster, bigger, more talented squad. Locker’s contributions, however, were less "heroic in defeat" and more "HAHAHA." Locker completed four of 20 passes for 71 yards, the worst marks in completion percentage and yards per attempt of his four-year career, and threw two interceptions for the first time since October 2009. He compiled just 130 yards of total offense, the sort of pitifully low number that gets darkhorse Heisman campaigns euthanized.

Andre Stepankowsky of The Daily News writes that Locker would have been booed off the field on Sundays.

As for Locker, he may have been booed off the field had he been an NFL quarterback. One should start wondering about Sarkisian’s decision to make him a traditional drop-back, pocket QB. The Huskies two-play, 78-yard touchdown drive early in the third quarter was the result of a Locker planned run and a rollout that froze the Nebraska secondary and freed up Kearse. Locker is among the best athletes on the field; limiting him as a runner, taking a dimension away from him, seems to make little sense. It’s like asking Babe Ruth to be a singles hitter.

Clearly, Locker will have to play better if Washington is going to be bowl eligible.

Art Thiel of the Seattle PI writes...

To find a big game played so poorly by a local star, longtime Seattle sports fans probably would have to go back to 1978 in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, when the Sonics' Dennis Johnson missed all 14 field goal attempts.

Locker had himself the football-passing equivalent of an oh-fer.

Dennis Dodd of writes that the performance was so bad it jeopardizes Locker’s draft stock as well as his Heisman hopes.

The assumption that Locker is going to be the slam-dunk, No. 1 overall draft choice next spring now is laughable. It was beyond having sub-par personnel around him in Saturday’s 56-21 loss to Nebraska. It was beyond facing a quality defense.

That is exactly what Locker is going to be facing when he is drafted by some cellar-dweller. He will not have all the weapons around him. He will have to make plays by himself while suffering growing pains. Saturday, then, has to scare some NFL teams and put a damper on the Washington season.

Have no fear, though: is still up and running.