Saturday, January 1, 2011

The 2010 Holiday Bowl

San Diego is "America's Finest City," the city limits sign tells you. The City Fathers may be absolutely dead on.

On Wednesday, our son Mike and his wife Vanessa joined Laurie and me for the 175 mile drive in the pouring rain to San Diego to first meet with Jaime Lennox and Jillian Rambow, two of my Camino Saints and then to watch University of Washington play University of Nebraska in the 33rd Annual Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. We were in for some really good times indeed!

After checking into the Andaz Hotel in the Gaslamp District (THANK YOU PRICELINE.COM!!!), it was time for some food, so we walked and shopped our way to Dick's Last Resort. Now this fine establishment is not for everyone. While the food and beverages are excellent, the service is based 100% on the waiters and waitresses verbal abusing the customers. While it is all done in good natured fun, and frequently hilarious, the yelling and berating by the wait-staff can be nerve wracking if you are not aware of what is about to greet you when you walk through the doors.

What an eclectic place to eat and meet the Camino Saints.

At Dick's Last Resort with Mini-Me

With Ste. Jillian and Ste. Jaime

The Camino Saints were lovelier than ever, it was great fun to see them again and to finally meet Jaime's beau, Ruben.

Laurie with Nebraska's Herbie Husker

Unlike Euro Football, a.k.a., soccer, fans of opposing teams are actually quite civil with each other.

After a great night at Dick's Last Resort and a good night's sleep, it was GAME DAY!

A hearty breakfast at The Cheese Factory followed by shopping in Horton Plaza, the Gaslamp District and nearby Seaport Village dominated the morning.

Interesting Gaslamp District Architecture

After weeks of rain,
a GREAT day at San Diego Bay

The Nebraska Band enjoying Seaport Village

Finally, it was time to board the trolley for the ride to Qualcomm Stadium, a.k.a., "The Murph." We would join the Sabolics, the D'Antuonos, the Bruckers and the infamous Mark Johnson, plus thousands of purple clad members of Husky Nation to cheer on the Dawgs.

A Chilly Night in Mission Valley
California Cold, Not Sweden Cold

We were ready to see if Washington (6-6) could somehow avenge a 56-21 loss to Nebraska (10-3) back on September 18th in Seattle. From all accounts, the Cornhuskers completely dominated the Huskies in that first game as badly as the score would indicate. The Big Red scorched the Dawgs for 533 yards of Total Offense including 383 yards rushing in that early season match-up.

The World's Biggest American Flag?

Nebraska in White Warming Up

The Huskies came out in all black uniforms which I HATE!!!

". . . Mighty are the men who wear the PURPLE and the GOLD. . ."

Mike and Susan D'Antuono staying warm

It was 48º F = 9º C at kickoff, the coldest night in Holiday Bowl history and it would get chillier as the game wore on. Thank God we spent time in Sweden last winter!!!

The Girl From Goldfinger?

You meet the most interesting people at Husky games.

I was happy to see that the majority of the stadium was made up of loud, still believing, Purple and Gold clad Husky fans like this loyal lass.

All we needed now was a few U.S. Navy Sky Divers to land and we could kick off the game.

Well here they are!!!

Five in all. They were awesome!

Mike stuffing his face literally!

Our group fills up Mike's row and the one behind him. Thanks to Vanessa for taking a lot of these pictures.

We were all excited to see how our beloved Huskies would fare against the #17 ranked Cornhuskers in our first bowl game since the 2002 Sun Bowl loss to Purdue 34-24. We prayed that our current three game winning streak would propel us to a stunning upset.

This was the Dawgs fourth trip to San Diego's Holiday Bowl and we have attended all of them.

In 1996 Washington lost to Colorado 33-21.

In 1999 we lost again, this time to Kansas State 24-20 . . . lots of purple in the stands that night.

In 2001, we lost for a third time in San Diego, this time 47-43 to Texas.

Fourth time's the charm???

RB Chris Polk for SIX

Amazingly, Washington jumped on Nebraska early taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. RB Chris Polk scored a TD on a three yard run and always reliable Kicker Erik Folk added a PAT and a 39 yard field goal . . . the rout was on!!!

Although the Huskies only led 10-7 at the half, we all had the feeling that the Huskies were in total control of the game.

The Huskies #29 Nate Fellner intercepting
as the Cornhuskers #24 Niles Paul watches

In the second half, the Dawgs simply kicked butt. I can't really explain it, the Dawgs just came to play and regain the program's honor. The defense was magnificent in shutting down the vaunted Cornhusker offense which averaged 414.2 yards/game and 32.7 points/game.

Besides not allowing Nebraska to score in the second half, the Husky defense held Nebraska to only 189 yards of Total Offense and just 91 yards rushing. . . WOW!!!

The Huskies had 340 yards of Total Offense including 268 yards rushing. In the second half, QB Jake Locker would end the opening drive with a 25 yard TD scamper as Folk's PAT extended the lead to 17-7.

In the fourth quarter, the Huskies would add two more points to their total as a Nebraska lineman was called for holding in the end zone giving the Dawgs a safety.

A final score of 19-7 sounds fairly close but it really wasn't, the Huskies were in total control throughout the game as they enter the 2011 season with tons of momentum and confidence that a now four game win streak can give a program.

Four Happy Husky Fans

It was fun to share this great upset with my college roommate Loren Brucker, his son Ryan and our son Mike!

Next up for the UW is a home game on September 3rd with a very dangerous Division I-AA/FCS Eastern Washington (12-2) Eagles team that plays in that Division's title game on January 7th in Frisco, Texas against the Delaware Blue Hens (12-2).

I'm also very interested in the Dawgs' September 17th re-match game against the Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Nebraska . . . should be a lot of fun in the new PAC-12!!!


1 comment:

Johan said...

Great win! Congrats!