The Huskies flirtation with the record books of infamy is finally over.
The Huskies forgot any risk of becoming the first Pac-10 team with a 16 game losing streak by turning in a convincing win over Idaho, 42-23. With that win came even more expectations placed squarely on the back of freshmen head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Locker may have been the most important Husky in ending the nation’s longest college football win drought, and he spent the majority of the game showing that he can be this teams leader.
Known more for his legs than his arm, Locker threw for 253 yards, completing 17 of 25 passes and scoring three touchdowns through the air.
His accuracy and decision making showed marked improvement over the last two years behind center, with a full 20 percent raise in accuracy over his initial year with the team. He also showed more poise in the pocket, only running with the ball six times.
Locker’s favorite targets throughout the game were wide receivers D’Andre Goodwin and rookie standout James Johnson.
Goodwin ended the day with 83 yards receiving, while Johnson made his catches count with a touchdown. In all however, nine different huskies were on the receiving end of a pass.
Throughout the first half, the Huskies defense displayed characteristics of a bend-don’t-break unit. Three times the Vandals were allowed into Husky territory, and each time they were allowed only a field goal.
That’s not to say it was all their doing. The Vandals offense repeatedly shot itself in the foot with penalties of all sorts, starting with their first drive. After their initial play, a ten yard run, the Vandals were called for three penalties in a row, giving them a first and 35 situation that they weren’t able to convert.
However, in the second half the defense began to crack a bit. Touchdown rushes of four and six yards by DeMaundray Woolridge weren’t early enough to keep the game close, but were more than enough to send UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt into a frenzy on the sideline.
In the end, however, the team was able to avoid passing the Oregon Ducks for the most lossess ever suffered in a season by a Pac-10 team. They still share a part of the infamy, but the team can be content knowing they were able to save their school from a blemish they wouldn’t be able to erase. They also destroyed the longest active losing streak in the NCAA.
Regardless of certain second half miscues, the Huskies should be happy to take this win while they could get it. Next week they play USC, ranked third in associated press polling.
Sarkisian was the offensive coordinator at USC for the last several years before accepting the head coaching job at Washington, and Holt held that defensive coordinator position with the Trojans last year. The Huskies will undoubtedly be underdogs in that game in Southern California.
Now that these dogs have met a taste for victory, Locker and the rest of the pack can be expected to fight even harder for more wins.