Nebraska struggled to find its offense against a motivated Washington Huskie defense in a 19-7 loss to the Huskies in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Washington jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead after an early NU miscue on its first drive of the game, a Rex Burkhead fumble. Washington took over at the 21 yard line and three plays later, Chris Polk’s ran it in from three-yards out to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead. Erik Folk’s 39-yard field goal with 1:29 left in the opening quarter, put UW up ten.
Nebraska put together its only successful drive of the night with a 10-play, 74-yard drive capped by Taylor Martinez’s 15-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Kyler Reed. With the catch, Reed set the NU tight end single-season scoring record with his eighth touchdown grab of the year.
That was it for the bright spots. NU managed just 156 total yards in the game, after rolling up 533 yards in the first meeting with the Huskies this season in Seattle. In that game, three Huskers rushed for more than 100 yards among NU’s 383 team rushing yards. Thursday night, NU managed just 91 rushing yards as a team.
Martinez gained 66 yards, but lost 43 yards to net just 23 yards for the game. Martinez completed 7-of-9 passes for 53 yards with one touchdown, but also threw an interception on the night. He left the game after being sacked for a fifth time re-injuring his ankle. Cody Green finished the game 3-for-12 through the air for 45 yards.
Washington turned the tables on NU by amassing 268 yards on the ground, including 177 yards on 34 carries from Polk. The Huskies stretched their lead to 17-7 early in the third quarter on a 25-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jake Locker, who added 83 rushing yards on the night, but was only 5 of 16 for 56 yards and didn’t complete a pass until a minute and a half into the third quarter. In the two games, Locker was just 9 of 36 for 127 yards.
Nebraska committed 12 penalties for 102 yards, fumbled threes times with one lost, and threw one interception. NU’s penalties and yardage were the most by a Husker team in its 47 all-time bowl games. NU finishes the Big 12 era with a 10-4 record.