PROMISE TO GET SOME STUFF UP SOON — Lots of other post-game duties but I will have a few fresh things on here soon.
LOOKS LIKE UW IS GOING TO WIN IT — Huskies stop Nebraska on fourth down with 3:14 left and take over at their own 44.
Looks over, and looks like UW’s first winning season since 2002, first bowl win since the 2000 Rose, and first four-game winning streak since 2001.
And an amazing turnabout from September.
NEBRASKA CONVERTS FOURTH DOWN — And shows a little life. But its side of the stadium is almost empty. Heading back home early .
UW HOLDS, GETS BALL BACK — And this one feels over.
FOLK MISSES FIELD GOAL — UW stuck with a 19–7 lead after Folk’s second miss of the night. That leaves Nebraska with just a little breathing room with just under 10 minutes to play.
A faint “let’s go Huskers” chant arises but kind of like their team, their heart doesn’t really seem in it.
HUGE CHANGE THERE — UW gets a safety on a hold of Ta’amu in the end zone so the Huskies have a 19-7 lead and will get the ball on a free kick with 13:38 left to play. UW making everything go its way right now.
I now have to really pay attention to the game story so I may not be able to update this much the rest of the way.
UW STOPPED — Polk doesn’t make it on fourth down. Nebraska shows some life and has the ball at its own 1 with 14:57 to play.
THIRD QUARTER ENDS — UW up 17-7 and facing fourth down at the 1 after Locker stopped on third down.
UW has 187 yards rushing to 92 for Nebraska, the whole key to this one.
POLK OVER 100 YARDS YET AGAIN — And UW on the doorstep again for the kind of score that could really make it tough for Nebraska to come back.
Stunning how UW has dominated this game from the start, but also proof of how far the Huskies have come and the vagaries of college football.
UW WITH ANOTHER HUGE STOP — It’s about time to declare that UW’s second-half of the season defensive resurgance had some real substance as the Huskies again stop Nebraska, Foster with a huge third-down sack of Martinez. And after a bad punt, UW has the ball near midfield.
HUSKIES HOLD AGAIN — Ta’amu is also dominating inside and his sack of Martinez has the Huskies set up again in good field position after yet another Nebraska penalty on the punt. UW already at its own 47.
HUSKIES TAKE 17-7 LEAD — Two great plays by Locker get UW into the end zone. First, he hit Goodwin for 25 yards on a blitz, Goodwin beating safety Eric Hagg. Then Locker ran 25 yards for the score, running over Prince Amukmara and into the end zone.
Fantastic start to the second half for UW, with 13:18 to play in third quarter.
SARK SAYS LOCKER HAD HIS BELL RUNG — Am told that’s what he told Erin Andrews at halftime. But he passed some mandatory tests to return and is back out there as the second half begins.
HALFTIME MERCIFULLY OVER — Fun if you’re watching in the stands, probably, but a nightmare for those of us on deadline as the 25-minute half, concluding with a rousing fire show, is now over.
Both teams returning to the field.
We’ll see who makes what adjustments.
Nebraska dominated the second half of the first game, outscoring UW 28-7, scoring twice early to turn the game into a rout.
But as we’ve seen, so far nothing about the first game has been replicated in this one other than the Nebraska secondary shutting down UW’s passing game.
UW’s WRs simply have to get more physical off the line.
TACKLE STATS — Foster has eight, Williams four and Jamora three, all for a loss.
POLK WITH 86 YARDS IN FIRST HALF — On 18 carries. By far the best offensive player for the Huskies.
UW’s only reception is by Locker.
Nebraska has just 51 yards rushing on 27 carries (a change from the previous stat.)
HUSKIES LEAD 10-7 AT THE HALF — And ultimately it was a most unlikely first half as the teams are locked in a defensive struggle.
Nebraska has just 54 yards rushing and 51 passing, 105 total, and UW 102 rushing and just 16 passing (all on the Callier pass to Locker) for 118.
The two Nebraska turnovers are the difference but also indicative of just how well the UW defense has played in this game. It has by far been the best unit on the field overcoming its size disavantage up front with quickness and guile.
Hau’oli Jamora has been a standout, along with Victor Aiyewa and Mason Foster, though the entire line deserves credit for holding its own.
UW will get the ball first to start the second half, obviously a key time.
UW HAS THE BALL AT ITS OWN 30 — With 1;44 left and two time outs, so expect UW to be aggressive and try to score here.
And how about the rapidly maturing Hau’oli Jamora, dominating with his quickness right now.
HUSKY DEFENSE AGAIN COMES UP HUGE — Jamora with a sack of Martinez on third down and Nebraska has to punt with 1:53 left. Nebraska has just 105 yards at the moment, a far cry from the 533 in Seattle.
UW FORCED TO PUNT — Nebraska takes over at its own 36 with a running game that has done little with just 64 yards on 22 carries so far.
UW HAS IT BACK — Fellner picks off a bad Martinez pass at the 23. UW has it back with 5:22 to play. And Locker looks to be coming in.
LOCKER STANDING AT THE 50 — With his helmet on. Looks like he’ll play again.
UW STOPPED AT 43 — After Callier missed an open Kearse, Polk was stopped on fourth down and the Huskers have it at the 43 with 6:45 to play.
No word yet on Locker’s condition.
LOOKS LIKE IT WAS JARED CRICK WHO HIT LOCKER — Who is now walking to the sidelines.
LOCKER DOWN — Game may have taken a sudden turn as Locker is face down after taking a hit to the helmet on a three-yard run with 8:40 left.
NEBRASKA ON THE BOARD — Martinez hits Reed for a 15-yard TD pass as Taz Stevenson appeared to misjudge the ball, cutting the lead to 10-7 with 10:24 to play.
NEBRASKA MOVING — Martinez had a big third down run and a late hit on Fellner has Nebraska at the 17.
FIRST QUARTER ENDS WITH UW AHEAD 10-0 — Huskies have a 59-51 lead in yards — 42-36 on the ground and 17-15 passing.
UW TAKES 10-0 LEAD — Strong runs by Polk and Locker, each running over Nebraska defenders, got the Huskies into FG range and Folk made it from 38 yards out to put UW ahead 10-0 with 1:29 to play. Huskies simply better team in almost every area so far.
Only part of Nebraska’s team playing worth a darn is its secondary.
ANOTHER NEBRASKA THREE AND OUT — Taylor Martinez a mess so far with a second toss in desperation. UW again stops Nebraska and Huskers to punt.
UW GOES THREE AND OUT — Tight coverage on Kearse on third down leads to an incompletion and UW has to punt.
HUSKIES SPREADING FIELD A LOT ON OFFENSE — A lot of four-WR sets so far, though usually with Polk as a WR.
UW TAKES OVER AT ITS OWN 37 — A chance to take real control here.
NOW A THREE-AND-OUT FOR UW — Huskies are winning the battle at the line so far, a stunning turn from the first game. Hard to make big judgments yet, but maybe there is something to the theory that UW wanted to be here and Nebraska didn’t.
NEBRASKA NOW THREE PENALTIES AND TWO FUMBLES — In six minutes. A sloppy start and easy to surmise that they aren’t ready to play a game they didn’t really want to play.
HUSKIES OPENING IT UP EARLY — That Callier pass is one that the Huskies had been working on often in practices the last few weeks and they executed it to perfection. Callier played some HS QB so he’s not unfamiliar with throwing.
POLK SCORES ON PISTOL — That was a pistol formation that Polk scored out of on three yards away as UW strikes first, converting the turnover into points and going ahead 7-0 with 9:08 left. Exactly the start UW was hoping for.
UW FORCES TURNOVER — Big hit on Burkhead on the wildcat and uw now has the ball and Locker now has caught a pass from Callier down to the 5. UW has it going right now.
HUSKERS GET BIG FOURTH DOWN — Nebraska went for it at its own 45 and got four and now in UW territory.
48 DEGREES AT KICKOFF — So cold.
STEVENSON WEARING NO. 4 — On special teams.
HUSKIES TO KICK OFF — Game about a minute late. Niles Paul receiving for Nebraska so he’s healthy.
CAPTAINS MEETING — Game about to begin.
SEALS PARACHUTING INTO STADIUM — But no sign of Crofts. Actually, a cool sight as the Navy parachute team the Leapfrogs come into the stadium. This is the kind of stuff that brings the locals back every year, and why the game has 35,000 “season ticket” holders.
SARK AND THE DAWGFATHER — A good pic of the two together before the game: http://plixi.com/p/66764919
OH THE BAND IS ON THE FIELD — The UW band, that is, playing Tequila as I type this at 6:59. Game clock says 15:45.
HOOPS TEAM WATCHING IN THEIR ROOMS — Official word is the UW men’s hoops team is watching the Holiday Bowl in their rooms at their hotel in LA. Sounded as if there was a group outing planned initially to find a place to watch it but it was then decided the players preferred to watch in their rooms. So that’s what they are doing.
Lorenzo Romar is in San Diego recruiting at a big high school tournament here. No word on if he plans to stop by the Holiday Bowl (which frankly may not be all that easy to do).
KICKOFF MOVED BACK TO 7:15 — Nine minutes later than was planned due to the long-running game in front of it.
PRE-GAME — As I write this at 6:36, the Huskies are finishing up their pre-game warmups in their all-black. It ended with Jake Locker throwing about a 40-yard TD pass to Jermaine Kearse and the whole team following into the locker room in unison to a lot of applause from the UW fans who are here.
I sense it’s maybe 55-45 in favor or UW fans, but there is a significant portion of red so the UW fans will need to be full-throated.
Looked like Ryan Tolar was running with the ones at guard, an indication he’ll start. And Sean Parker was in uniform.