Nebraska Opponent Offensive Scouting Report
Team: Washington Huskies
Location: Seattle, Wash.
Colors: Purple & Gold
Head Coach: Steve Sarkisian (BYU, 1997), 6-8 in second season as head coach (all at Washington)
Offensive Coordinator/QBs:Doug Nusmeier
2010 Record: 1-1
National Ranking: Unranked
Series Record vs. Nebraska: Tied 3-3-1
Game Date: Saturday, Sept. 18
Game Time: 2:30 p.m. CT
Stadium: Husky Stadium (72,500)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Signal-Caller: Jake Locker (6-3, 230) was the hot preseason name in college football. The senior quarterback is a member of every major award watch list and was frequently named among the early favorites for the Heisman Trophy and as the possible No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Locker, who enters this week's matchup against the Cornhuskers with career totals of 5,929 passing yards and 1,595 rushing yards, opened the year 42-of-70 for 555 yards and five touchdowns over the first two games. Last week, he tossed four TD passes while helping UW roll off 27 straight points-after falling behind Syracuse 10-0 in the first quarter-on its way to a 41-20 victory.
On the Ground: Sophomore tailback Chris Polk (5-11, 214) quietly and effectively made easy work of opposing defenses last season and along with quarterback Jake Locker gives the Huskies what could be the top backfield in the Pac-10. As a freshman, Polk registered 1,113 yards on the ground with five rushing TDs. Over the first two weeks of the 2010 season, he has produced 209 yards on 36 carries (5.8 ypc). True freshman Jesse Callier (5-10, 205) is second on the team with 86 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Playing Catch: Junior WR Jermaine Kearse (6-2, 205) has shown explosive, big-play ability early in the season. After posting 50 catches for 866 yards (seventh in UW single-season history) and eight TDs last year, Kearse has made 14 receptions for 287 yards and four scores in the first two games of 2010. He had nine catches for 179 yards with three TDs last week against Syracuse and is averaging 20.5 yards per catch heading into this week's matchup in Seattle. Along with Kearse, Devin Aguilar (6-0, 188) is the only other Husky with at least four catches, grabbing 12 Locker passes for 138 yards and one score.
On the Line: All five players starting on the O-line last week started four or more games last year, including three with at least 11 starts-LT Senio Kelemete (6-4, 289), LG Ryan Tolar (6-5, 293) and RT Cody Habben (6-6, 290). C Drew Schafer (6-4, 281) started the final four contests last year and RG Gregory Christine (6-2, 288) was in the opening lineup for the first six games before a season-ending injury. The line has paved the way for 430.5 yards of total offense per game this season, including 151.5 yards per game on the ground.
Kicking It Around: Eric Folk hit 18-of-21 field-goal attempts and all 35 PATs in his first season as the Huskies' place-kicker in 2009. Through two games this year, Folk is a perfect 10, hitting all seven extra-point tries and three field-goal attempts. He hit a career-long 54-yard field goal against BYU in the opener.
Return Game: The Huskies have had only one punt return (for zero yards by WR Devin Aguilar) and seven kickoff returns through the first two games. Freshman Kevin Smith (6-0, 194) has three of the KORs, averaging 19.0 ypr including a long of 30 yards.
They Said It: "One of the big things for Jermaine Kearse coming into the year was yards after the catch. That's something we have been working on since spring ball and in training camp and how that showed up tonight, everything he was doing was after the catch." - Head Coach Steve Sarkisian following last week's win over Syracuse when Kearse had 179 receiving yards on nine catches, including three TDs.
***Washington returned 10 starters on offense this year after only losing left guard Ben Ossai from last year's 4-5 squad.
***UW's four wins in 2009 came one season after the Huskies suffered their first winless season (0-12) in school history.
***Locker recorded four TD passes last weekend against Syracuse, tying his career high. Locker also moved him into third place in career passing yardage and completions at UW, moving ahead of Damon Huard and Marques Tuiasosopo.
***With 179 receiving yards last week, WR Jermaine Kearse has now posted at least 100 yards in each of his last three games. His yards, catches (9) and touchdowns (3) against Syracuse were also career bests.
Washington Huskies 2010 Schedule
Sept. 4 at BYU, L, 17-23
Sept. 11 Syracuse, W, 41-20
Sept. 18 Nebraska, 2:30 p.m. CT
Oct. 2 at USC, 7 p.m. CT
Oct. 9 Arizona State
Oct. 16 Oregon State
Oct. 23 at Arizona
Oct. 30 Stanford
Nov. 6 at Oregon
Nov. 18 UCLA, 7 p.m. CT
Nov. 27 at California
Dec. 4 at Washington State