Season Record: 7-5
We will have trouble passing. Nebraska has 2 great corners. We are down 3 defensive linemen. The Nebraska offensive line had great push the 1st go around. It will likely be the same this game. I only hope we don't get blown out again on national TV. I read on the boards where someone said, for us to win Jake has to have a super game. I would add that everyone else on the field will also have to have a super game. I don't think their lack of motivation having to play us again, combined with our exuberance to be there will have that great of an effect. Sure hope I am wrong.
Prediction: Nebraska 44, Washington 24.
Season record: 6-4
Walking out of the tunnel after the Nebraska debacle this season I tried to give a Cornhusker fan a complement by saying how impressive they looked. He shook his head and in all seriousness said "I don't know. I would have liked to see some more sustained drives." MORE SUSTAINED DRIVES!?!?! You just made my team look like a JV squad, scored 1,000 points, gained 2,000 yards, I'm giving you a complement and you insult me by acting as if you just lost the BCS championship game!?!?!? This is what we're up against, inflated expectations for both their players and fans. No matter what Nebraska players and fans tell themselves...they don't want to be here. No matter how many times their coaches tell them this is a different Husky team...they don't want to be here. The Cornheads think they should be playing in a BCS game and not against a team that they dismembered a few months earlier. Bowl history shows us that more often than not the team that WANTS to be there is the team that wins. Look at the bowl game upsets so far (NC State crushes #22 West Virginia, Iowa stuns #14 Missouri, Tulsa routs #24 Hawaii, FIU shocks Toledo.) The Huskies want to be here. This is their moment. This is Locker's moment. This is Sark's moment. This is the moment that Washington shows the college football world that Husky Football is relevant again. Locker wills the Dawgs in the All-Blacks to an epic victory and the nation stands back to say "now that's what the hype was all about."
Prediction: Washington 30, Nebraska 24
Season record: 8-4
Hard to see UW coming out on top in this one, but I think they will keep things closer and make it a better game than the 35-point drubbing they got at the hands of the Cornhuskers back in September. I think QB Jake Locker has a much better game and that the running game will be much more prominent this time around, but with Semisi Tokolahi out and the size of the Nebraska offensive line, I don't see how they keep Nebraska under 200 yards rushing.
Prediction: Nebraska 36, Washington 24
Season record: 7-5
There's so much that has changed for UW since their Sept. 18 matchup with Nebraska, but unfortunately one thing hasn't changed; NU's offensive line is still huge, and their running backs can still run to daylight. No question the Huskies will be more stout with Cort Dennison in the middle, and I expect Mason Foster and Nate Williams to have their usual big nights. But with injuries to Semisi Tokolahi, Chris Robinson and Talia Crichton, UW is woefully undermanned up front, and the Cornhuskers' OL hasn't gotten any smaller over time. Probably the opposite. I think UW keeps this one close because they are clearly the more motivated team of the two, but in the end they won't be able to stop them like UW wasn't able to stop KSU back in the 1999 Holiday Bowl. In the end the better team simply showed why they were better, and I expect history to repeat itself Thursday.
Prediction: Nebraska 27, Washington 21
Season record: 7-5
Washington cannot wait to play on the big stage again. And they also cannot wait to show the television audience (and the Nebraska Cornhuskers) that they are a much better team than the last time they faced each other. This will be a much better showing by Jake Locker this time, who will run more often than last game. The biggest question is how the injured UW defensive line will handle the mammoth Cornhusker offensive counterpart. If Nebraska can turn the ball over twice, Washington wins. I think this is what will happen. Locker runs for 65 yards and throws for 250 and the Huskies gain revenge.
Prediction: Washington 27, Nebraska 23
Season record: 9-3
At the end of the day football games are usually won in the trenches. Last time UW played Nebraska I predicted a win for the Dawgs. When I got inside the stadium, down on the field and got an up close and personal view of Nebraska's OL.......I took a huge gulp and new it was going to be a long day for UW's defensive line. Nebraska's OL weren't road graders, they were earth movers. This is going to be a tough game, no doubt about it. I expect Jake to have a big game but it just won't be enough.
Prediction: Nebraska 34, Washington 27
Season record: 8-4
How good was Nebraska last time they came to Seattle? VERY GOOD. However a lot of that had to do with the fact that Washington was horrible. The Huskies won't be horrible tonight. They will be prepared, and they will have a different defensive game plan. They won't slow Nebraska all the way, but they won't get trampled under foot with such veracity this game. Despite missing three defensive linemen, Holt will find a way to get enough guys to the point of attack to make key stops. Locker will go out in grand style, throwing for two scores and Polk will have 100 tough yards, just enough to offset the Cornhusker ground and pound.
Prediction: Washington 31, Nebraska 27