Which Jake Locker will we see over the rest of the season?
In a college football season that has been full of surprises, the Washington Huskies have been no exception—with both good and bad surprises along the way. As each has gone by, the Huskies have seemed like a different team.
Against BYU, they showed an average defense and an offense who couldn't perform in the clutch.
Against Nebraska, they were outclassed by a much stronger team, and even head coach Steve Sarkisian questioned their "competitiveness" in the second half.
Against Syracuse, they showed a dynamic offense and a shutdown defense against a weaker opponent.
Against USC, their offense played very well, and their defense played just well enough to win.
Against Arizona State, the defense played great in the second half, but the offense was nowhere to be found.
Against Oregon State, the offense again was dynamic and played extremely well. The defense played great at times and did not give up any big plays.
In sum, it is really difficult to get a read on which team the Huskies really are. Are they a dynamic, well-executed offensive team? Is the defense an attacking team with good defense against the run and pass? Are they an average team overachieving? Or are they a talented team underachieving?
In looking at three of the games (OSU, BYU, USC), the Dawgs played very solid games, and scored on two out of three game winning drives in the fourth quarter. On the flip side, if you look at Nebraska and Arizona State, the Huskies seemed lost, and didn't execute well on both offense or defense.
In a great illustration of the Huskies season, let's look at Jake Locker's passing stats this season. He was a Heisman candidate before the Nebraska game and now isn't discussed as much. However, despite that, it's worth noting his 132.56 quarterback rating this season.
BYU — 20-for-37 266yds; 1 TD (Loss)
Syracuse — 22-for-33, 289yds; 4 TDs (Win)
Nebraska — 4-for-20 71yds; 1 TD, 2 INT (Loss)
USC — 24-for-40 310yds; 1 TD (Win)
ASU — 23-for-38 209yds; 1 TD; 1 INT (Loss)
OSU — 21-for-35 286yds; 5 TD; 1 INT (Win)
With Locker's statistics looking that good, it seems like either the Huskies should have a better record or that there's been some inconsistency when Locker has produced those stats. In BYU, ASU and obviously Nebraska, Locker was not able to get the key yards when his team needed them. However, in two of the last three games, he did exactly that, and they won.
After going 1-2 in their first three games, the Huskies then went 2-1 in their next three. Sitting at .500, with six more Pac-10 games to go, the Huskies control their own destiny. If the Nebraska/ASU Huskies show up again, Jake Locker will complete his Husky career without a single postseason appearance. However, If the USC/OSU Huskies show up week after week, the Dawgs will return to the postseason for the first time since 2002!