QB Jake Locker, playing in his last regular season game, overcame two costly turnovers deep in Cougar territory to hit WR Jermaine Kearse for a 24-yard touchdown with just 44 seconds remaining and the Husky defense was able to hold off a last-ditch effort by the Cougars to tie things up.
Locker and the Husky offense totaled 571 yards, including 315 on the ground, and drew first blood when Polk went over for the first of his two touchdowns midway through the first quarter, putting Washington up 7-0.
Late in the second quarter, Locker got it going on the ground, running from one side of the field to the other and outracing the Cougars defense for a seven-yard score and the Huskies appeared poised to pull away until Locker threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off by Washington State freshman DB Deone Buchanan in the endzone.
That's when Cougar QB Jeff Tuel, playing in his first Apple Cup, caught fire, hitting five straight passes, finishing when the sophomore signal-caller hit junior wide receiver Jared Karstetter from five yards out with just 28 seconds left on the clock, sending the teams to the locker room with the Huskies leading 14-7.
On Washington's first possession of the second half, Locker drilled a perfect pass to Kearse who then outraced the rest of the Washington State secondary for a 66-yard score.
The Cougars answered right away when Tuel hit wide receiver Daniel Blackledge, who had a huge night, for a 14-yard touchdown, to inch closer yet again.
Washington then drove down to the Washington State three, following Polk's 72-yard run, but two penalties led to a fourth-down play that Locker fumbled and Cougar defensive end Kevin Kooyman took it back 37 yards to the Washington State 49.
Washington then held the Cougars on fourth and one and on the very first play, Polk took it over right tackle 57-yards for what seemed to be the go-ahead score.
However, the Cougars did not give up getting a one-yard touchdown from Tuel on a quarterback sneak and then Tuel hooked up with freshman wide receiver Marquess Wilson from 16 yards out to tie things up at 28 with 4:26 left in the game.
Washington then drove 88 yards in nine plays, capping the scoring when Locker hit Kearse for the game-winner.
Polk's 284 yards is the second most in program history, behind only Corey Dillon's 296, and he becomes only the third Husky running back to rush for back-to-back, 1,000-yard seasons.
On the night, Locker completed 14 of 22 attempts for 226 yards, the two touchdowns and the one interception.
Kearse was the big receiver for the Huskies, hauling in six receptions for 178 yards and the two touchdowns, going over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.
Defensively, LB Mason Foster led the Dawgs with 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks, while Alameda Ta'amu had five tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and safety Nathan Fellner totaled six tackles and one interception.
Washington, now 6-6, will wait to find out which bowl game they get selected by, but many expect them to head to San Diego to take part in the Holiday Bowl which will be held on December 30th.
Huskies Are Bowl Bound
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