Early in the season, Nebraska finished with 533 total yards in defeating Washington 56-21 in Seattle. The Huskers actually had three rushers top 100 yards on the ground.
Last night was a different story in the Holiday Bowl. UW manhandled the Huskers, limiting Nebraska to only 189 total yards in the 19-7 win.
Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt said, "They were embarrassed the first time. And they just said it wasn't us that first game. We weren't ready to play. I didn't get them ready to play. But they were ready to play (this game), and this is what happens."
UW running back Chris Polk went 11 carries for 59 yards in the first matchup. Last night, Polk went for 177 yards on 34 attempts. That’s pretty stout.
Sark explained, “I think we are playing the brand of football that we always thought we could. It just took us a little longer than maybe we all wanted to. But we are running the football and playing defense, and it's a physical brand of football and it's something we always wanted to play and we are just there now."
After the game, Sark said, "We're on our way." He later added, "Exactly where we're going, that's for us. We don't have to tell everybody our map. They'll beat us to the treasure before we get there. But we're moving in the right direction."
"Through it all, our defense was fantastic, really responded to the challenge. Great plan by Nick (Holt) and the guys. Just proud of our offensive line and our running game to create some movement and control the football game. All in all, it was a fantastic effort."
Washington AD Scott Woodward must be proud of the coaching staff. Woodward said earlier in the week that UW has changed dramatically from the “physically inferior and mentally scarred from losing” group that Sarkisian inherited just two years ago.
UW finished 7-6 on the season.