Tag Archives: holiday bowl

Commentary: Jake Awaits Imminent Culmination of Football Dream

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It has been 5 long collegiate seasons leading up to this moment, a stint that saw 2 different head coaches, ambitious schedules against stiff opponents and various physical setbacks. The road undoubtedly hasn’t been easy, and for Jake’s last 5 years it never went as scripted, either. The years of his college career was a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, an exhibit of perseverance, faith and character.

That ride ended the way it should have: on a Holiday Bowl high note. The loyal Senior deserved to taste the peak of success, and it was fitting that he was able to experience an impressive winning streak at the end of his last season along with sweet redemption in the biggest game of his college career. The storybook ending was tailor made for the determined leader who never waned in his approach or in his confidence.

Since that brisk December evening in San Diego, Jake has been front and center in every sports publication across the nation and a topic of every pundit and proclaimed expert from print, radio and t.v. There have been special articles worthy of a clip and save as well as t.v. productions that have provided a glimpse of who Jake Locker the person really is. Without question, Jake has been one of the most talked about pro prospects over the last 4 months. 

From the Senior Bowl to the Combine and from his Pro-day to a myriad of individual team workouts, there have been countless interviews, evaluations and auditions. All of it has been a journey to today, the start of the 2011 NFL Draft. As most people would have wilted under such a glaring light, Jake has embraced it with the same appreciative and positive attitude that has carried him throughout the last half-decade.

“It’s been fun, a dream come true and an opportunity. I’m lucky I get to experience it,” Jake has simply stated.

The over-analyzed portions of draft previews are soon to be just a memory and the dream of becoming a professional quarterback in the NFL will start to come into focus–a realization that could be as soon as tonight if he is taken in the first round. Regardless of what happens during the draft one thing is for sure: the winding path to today has brought a great opportunity, a well deserved and promising new beginning of what will likely be a bright NFL future.

Huskies Heading South for the Holiday

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In what was a highly anticipated announcement for the University of Washington and their fans, the Huskies were selected to play in the  Holiday Bowl vs. the Nebraska Cornhuskers, a December 30th contest that will act as a rematch of the two teams.

The Huskers (10-3) traveled to Seattle in September and beat the Huskies soundly, 56-21, so it will be another great opportunity to play what many consider a top-10 caliber team. Nebraska is currently ranked 18th in the country, and although the task is tall, Jake and the team are looking forward to proving they are better than their performance earlier in the year.

 ”I just think from anybody who plays sports and is competitive, anytime you have the opportunity to go out and improve on a performance or a game that you didn’t do your best in individually and as a group it’s always a good opportunity and it’s something that all competitors hope for, I think,” Jake said.

This is the second Holiday Bowl in a row for the Huskers, as they played the Arizona Wildcats last year. They won that game emphatically, 33-0. Conversely, the bowl game is the first for the Huskies since 2002, a loss suffered vs. Purdue in the Sun Bowl.

Nebraska is coming off a tough loss to Oklahoma, 23-20, in the Big 12 Championship game, while Washington won the Apple Cup against their rival WSU, 35-28, on Saturday.

Jake, Huskies Take Apple Cup; Bowl Game Awaits

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One of the main reasons Jake came back to play at UW for his senior year was to be able to enjoy a postseason bowl game with his teammates. After a 35-28 win in Pullman over the Washington State Cougars, that mission has been accomplished.

Jake hit Jermaine Kearse for a 27  yard touchdown pass on a picture perfect fade route with 44 seconds left to break a 28-28 tie, lifting the Huskies to their third consecutive victory and third place in the uber competitive Pac-10 conference. With the win Washington ends the regular season with a 6-6 record, qualifying them for their first bowl game in 8 years.

 ”It’s something I had always hoped I would enjoy before I left here and it’s awesome to be a part of,” Jake said of getting to a bowl game. “It could be in Seattle I don’t care. It’s something that will be cool to be a part of. And to be honest I don’t know what comes along with it or what it is all about but I’m looking forward to it.”

The Huskies were led by a history making performance from Chris Polk, a 29 carry, 284 yard outing that included a 57 yard touchdown jaunt and numerous lengthy runs that helped keep Washington ahead of a surging Washington State team. Polk’s biggest run may have come on 4th and 1 of the game-winning drive, a 15 yard burst that led the Huskies to the final touchdown.

Jake  finished the game with 14 of 22 passing for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns, and had 9 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He also had a highlight worthy, 77 yard touchdown dash called back on a holding penalty in the first half.

For the complete box score, click here.

The Huskies now await word on which bowl game they will be heading to and who they will be playing. The most likely scenarios have Washington being selected by either the Alamo Bowl or Holiday Bowl, games that will bring a top tier, Big 12 opponent.