With only 2 days remaining until kick off between the Washington Huskies and the #18 Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Huskies had their final practice as a team in San Diego, the location for the 2011 Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl. Wednesday’s team walk through is the only preparation left for Thursday night’s game.
“Well, I think the biggest thing we’d like to do is at least put our best foot forward. The press conference after that game (56-21 loss), my major disappointment was the fact we just didn’t play very well.” Sarkisian said. “I can live with the fact they played a very good football game against us, but I’d just like to think we can play better than we did. To have that opportunity again is one that I think we’re embracing.”
For the team, getting to the Holiday bowl in Jake’s final season and winning the last 3 games are signs that the Washington Football program is making strides in getting back to competing at the top of the conference. But, more importantly, the reward of a bowl game for the seniors is fitting for a group who has worked through 4-5 years of challenging times.
“I’m thankful for our senior class, and I’ve said this numerous times that for everything they’ve been through – the adversity on the field, off the field, the ups, the downs, the coaching change and four and five years of it, and to what we went through this year – I’m appreciative of the fact they came to work every day with a great mindset and set a real tone for this football program as we move forward. This is a great reward for them to be able to play in a bowl game before their career was over, and they’ll always be part of this family.”
The Huskies, 6-6, were 3rd place in the competitive Pac 10 this year with a 5-4 league record, and Nebraska was runner up in their conference. Because both Oregon and Stanford made BCS bowls, Arizona and Washington were selected for the Alamo and Holiday Bowls and rounded out the conference bowl appearances for the season. Nebraska, on the other hand, lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game for the right to represent the conference in a BCS game, so at 10-3 they find themselves at the Holiday Bowl for a second consecutive year.
The game will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN3.com at 7:00 p.m., Thursday Night from San Diego.