Scores
BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION HOLIDAY BOWL

Final

(20) Nebraska 7

(10-4, 6-2 Big Ten)

Washington 19

(7-6, 5-4 Pac-12)

Coverage: ESPN

10:00 PM ET, December 30, 2010

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

1 2 3 4 T
#20NEB 0 7 0 07
WASH 10 0 7 219

Top Performers

Passing: T. Martinez (NEB) - 53 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Polk (WASH) - 34 CAR, 177 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: K. Reed (NEB) - 2 REC, 31 YDS, 1 TD

Washington stuns Nebraska for first bowl win since 2002

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Jake Locker ended his college career with a win that has the Washington Huskies headed back to respectability.

Locker bounced back from an injury he said looked worse than it was, scoring on a 25-yard run in the third quarter to help Washington to a 19-7 victory over punchless Nebraska (No. 18 BCS, No. 17 AP) in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Thursday night.

Tailback Chris Polk ran for 177 yards and a score as the Huskies (7-6) avenged a 56-21 loss to the Huskers (10-4) in Seattle on Sept. 18. The Cornhuskers piled up 533 yards of total offense in that game, including 383 rushing.

While Washington was a winner in its first bowl game since 2002, the Huskers came out flat in their second straight Holiday Bowl appearance. They were manhandled on both sides of the line and imploded with 12 penalties for 102 yards.

Washington outgained Nebraska 340 yards to 189, including 268 to 91 rushing.

"We just ran right at 'em," Polk said. "We knew we could win if we ran the way we know how to run. They couldn't stop it. We whupped a team that didn't respect us."

Locker, who passed up the NFL draft last spring to return for his senior season, capped the opening drive of the second half with a 25-yard scoring run to give Washington a 17-7 lead. He faked a handoff and then ran right, bouncing off a defender and staying on his feet to score.

"This is the experience that I came back for," Locker said. "It's been some frustrating years, but to go out this way and see this program off this way, I'm going to be their biggest fan from here on out. Every Saturday I'm going to be tuning in to watch the Huskies play. I'm proud to be part of this program."

The Huskies were 0-12 in 2008 before Steve Sarkisian took over as coach.

"This is why he came back," Sarkisian said about Locker. "The reality is, money is money, but these experiences last a lifetime. I'm happy for him. He has a huge heart. He's a humble young man."

Locker ran 13 times for 83 yards. Polk had 34 carries.

"We were a lot more confident and it showed tonight," Locker said.

"We're moving in the right direction," Sarkisian said.

Locker was shaken up in the second quarter when he scrambled, slid headfirst and was hit helmet-to-helmet by Nebraska safety Austin Cassidy. Locker was on the ground for a few minutes before walking off on his own power. He was replaced by Keith Price for the rest of the series, which ended when a fourth-down run by Chris Polk was stuffed.

Locker returned for the next series after safety Nate Fellner intercepted Taylor Martinez's pass.

"It probably looked worse than it really was," he said. "My helmet hit my nose and it was numb. I couldn't open my eyes. They asked me what was wrong, and I said, 'I can't see.' I couldn't feel my helmet down over my eyes. Everything was black."

The Huskies had to win their final three regular-season games to become bowl eligible. They got their first win in four trips to the Holiday Bowl.

Nebraska was coming off a 23-20 loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game in which it blew a 17-point lead.

"I'm embarrassed," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "I obviously didn't get them ready to play. I thought we were ready to play. I liked our plan. We didn't execute very well. Obviously we didn't play our best football. It starts with me."

Martinez limped off the field in the third quarter. He was replaced by Cody Green, who had a nice scramble deep in his own territory. But guard Ricky Henry was called for holding in the end zone for a safety, giving Washington a 19-7 lead.

Martinez missed the regular-season finale against Colorado because of injuries to his right ankle and left foot.

Nebraska played as bad a first half as possible and trailed just 10-7 at halftime.

The Huskers fumbled twice on the game's opening drive, once by Martinez as he was sacked, which was recovered by guard Keith Williams. Four plays later, Rex Burkhead took a direct snap, fumbled as he was hit by Victor Aiyewa, with Washington's Alameda Ta'amu recovering and returning it 14 yards to the Nebraska 21.

Polk scored three plays later, running in untouched from the 3.

The Huskies made it 10-0 on Erik Folk's 39-yard field goal.

The Huskers came back and salvaged a drive on which they were whistled for consecutive delay-of-game penalties. Martinez gained 20 yards on a keeper on third-and-13, and a late hit out of bounds by Nate Fellner gave the Huskers the ball at the 17. Three plays later, Martinez threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kyler Reed to pull to 10-7.

Folk was wide left on a 48-yard field goal try 2 seconds before halftime.

It was 48 degrees at kickoff, making it the coldest Holiday Bowl ever.

The 26 points tied for the fewest combined points in Holiday Bowl history. Iowa and BYU tied 13-13 in 1991.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NEB
WASH
1st Downs1421
Total Yards189340
Passing9872
Rushing91268
Penalties12-1023-30
3rd Down Conversions4-146-15
4th Down Conversions2-30-2
Turnovers20
Possession28:5631:04

Passing Leaders

NebraskaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Martinez7/9535.911
WashingtonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Locker5/16563.500

Rushing Leaders

NebraskaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Burkhead12393.3028
Helu Jr.11343.1016
WashingtonCARYDSAVGTDLG
Polk341775.2124
Locker13836.4125

Receiving Leaders

NebraskaRECYDSAVGTDLG
McNeill33311.0017
Reed23115.5116
WashingtonRECYDSAVGTDLG
Goodwin23015.0026
Polk22211.0011

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEBWASH
TD09:08Chris Polk 3 Yd Run (Erik Folk Kick) 07
FG01:29Erik Folk 39 Yd 010
SECOND QUARTERNEBWASH
TD10:24Kyler Reed 15 Yd Pass From Taylor Martinez (Alex Henery Kick) 710
THIRD QUARTERNEBWASH
TD13:18Jake Locker 25 Yd Run (Erik Folk Kick) 717
FOURTH QUARTERNEBWASH
SF13:38Penalty On - Team In End Zone 719

Research Notes

The Big 12 has struggled this bowl season. They are 1-4 in bowl games thus far. 0-2 against the Big Ten and their ranked teams are just 1-2 against unranked teams (ranked teams are 1-4 against unranked teams so far overall). The latest Big 12 victim was Nebraska, who lost by a 12 to a team they beat by 35 earlier in the year.
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