Saturday, December 05, 2009

ESPN: Washington Stomps California

Jake Locker accounted for five touchdowns in Washington's 42-10 bludgeoning of California, so now the question is was that a big goodbye or a big signpost for things to come in 2010?  Locker completed 19 of 23 passes for 248 yards with three touchdowns and he ran 14 times for 77 yards and two scores in an impressive dual-threat performance that stunned the 19th-ranked Bears.  If Locker comes back for the 2010 season, the Huskies should be highly competitive in the conference. If Locker opts to enter the NFL draft, things get a bit more murky.  Speaking of murky, Cal's bowl situation now becomes that. At 8-4 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-10, it is now tied with USC for fifth place.

That means the Emerald Bowl most likely will choose between the Bears and Trojans. Cal has the Bay Area tie-in, but it played in the bowl a year ago. USC continues to be USC, even if it is no longer playing like that.  And after Cal's terrible effort at Washington, the Emerald Bowl might go for USC, which likely would send Cal to the Poinsettia Bowl (Oregon State likely is the Las Vegas Bowl pick). And Cal might prefer going on the road to a warm-weather game anyway.  As for this game, great effort on both sides of the ball by Washington, and a lot of credit for that goes to head coach Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Nick Holt.  Both teams were coming off rivalry-game wins, but Cal had a bye last weekend and it seemed to play without focus or fire while the Huskies had both.

Sark got his team ready to play. Cal coach Jeff Tedford is likely scratching his head over his team's middling effort.  A year after going 0-12, the Huskies went 5-7 -- a game short of bowl eligibility -- in Sarkisian's first year.

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