No. 17 Nebraska and Washington will meet on December 30 for the second time this season at the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl in San Diego. These two teams played back in September with Taylor Martinez and Nebraska passing all over the Huskies defense. This seems to be a one-sided matchup if Nebraska’s offensive line shows up to play. Being able to give freshman Martinez a chance to step up in the pocket and either pass or run is key factor. Martinez has been prone to turnovers especially when he is rushed into making errant throws. In addition, Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead have consistently been able to contribute their share. There are some minor injuries to the Huskies defensive line, but things should clear up as the week progresses. I do not think this Huskies defense can match the raw speed, strength, and skill that the Cornhusker offense possesses. There is a lot of potential for this team.
As for the Cornhusker defense, the focus is Jake Locker and to stop the damage. Locker struggled in the loss to Nebraska, where he completed only 4 out of 20 passes for 71 yards. The Cornhuskers have to forget what they accomplished in September. Locker along with receiver Jermaine Kearse is still a viable duo. Many times, I have seen them hook up for a big play. But, many times that same connection has seemed to be missing. The Blackshirts will be fine if they keep everything in front of them forcing the opposing offense to take short plays. With that being said, I can see Locker just run into unforced turnovers.
If you ask the coaches and the players, they would tell you that this season has been a disappointment. For Washington, the health of Locker was a concern in a below average year. For Nebraska, it had a chance for the BCS and fell short to the Sooners. There really is not much to gain for the Cornhuskers from the Holiday Bowl, but a loss here would be a bitter end as to the membership of the Big 12 Conference. Unfortunately, Washington was the only Pac 10 team remaining and it fell to the Holiday Bowl. Look for this matchup to be a low scoring despite the fact of the offenses that can light it up time to time. Nebraska wins again, 24-13.
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Written by Darshan Patel