It’s Nebraska vs. Washington in week 3 of the college football season. This Nebraska vs. Washington game is one that Nebraska doesn’t want to take lightly, and a match-up that could turn into the highlight of this week in college football.
Taking the field for the Washington Huskies is quarterback Jake Locker, expected by many NFL analysts to be the No. 1 selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Locker has a really strong arm and, even if the talent on this Huskies roster hasn’t always been able to keep up with him, he is a dangerous opponent to have to face during any week of the college football season.
Nebraska is currently ranked No. 8 in both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, but they actually lost a step in the rankings during week 2. Nebraska had been ranked No. 6, but fell behind Oregon and Oklahoma after both of those schools had much more impressive victories on Saturday. Nebraska is now 2-0 with a 49-10 win over Western Kentucky in week 1 and a 38-17 win over Idaho in week 2. Both opponents aren’t expected to do much this season, and in reality, this is one of the weakest out-of-conference schedules among the big programs in the NCAA right now.
Nebraska plays Washington on Saturday, and then finishes up their non-conference schedule against South Dakota State on Sept. 25. It’s no surprise that they have faltered in the rankings with this schedule, and they won’t even have to play Baylor (2-0), No. 7 Oklahoma (2-0), or Texas Tech (2-0) in their Big 12 schedule during the 2010 season. It makes this game even more important against the Washington Huskies, and if the Huskies were to pull an upset against Nebraska, it would really crush any hopes that Nebraska might have had for a national championship appearance in January.
As far as the Washington Huskies go, they lost their opener to Brigham Young 23-17 before beating Syracuse in week 2 by the score of 41-20. Against Syracuse, Locker threw for 289 yards on 22 of 33 passing, connecting for four touchdowns along the way. Running back Chris Polk also went for 117 yards and a touchdown on just 20 carries, showing that Washington can score on multiple fronts. Nebraska will have to put constant pressure on Locker to shut him down, and the goal of Washington’s offensive line is to give Locker enough time to create the offense.
Game time for Nebraska vs. Washington is 12:30 p.m. PST (3:30 p.m. EST) on ABC this Saturday.