Thursday’s game against UCLA is the University of Washington’s home finale and thus the final college home game for senior quarterback Jake Locker, so Locker certainly doesn’t plan to sit it out. Bet on the game with Bodog’s NCAA football odds.
Locker, once projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, did not play on Nov. 6 at No. 1 Oregon after he suffered a broken rib a week earlier against Stanford. But Locker was cleared to return to practice Saturday and has been on the field, albeit splitting some first-team snaps with Kevin Price.
“I think he’s performed pretty well. I’ve thought his movement’s been good. We’ve done things out of the pocket with him. I have to put enough out there for them to assess him as well as for us to assess him,” Coach Steve Sarkisian said of Locker. “So I can’t just leave him in the pocket and have him be a robot. I have to make him do things, a variety of throws and runs to see where he’s at. But I thought he’s performed well.”
Locker has passed for 882 yards and 10 touchdowns in Washington’s three victories, but he has also passed for only 793 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions in the five Huskies losses he started.
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel has no doubt Locker will be on the field.
“There’s no uncertainty over Jake,” Neuheisel told reporters. “He’ll play. He absolutely will play.”
When Locker sat against the top-ranked Ducks, Price, a redshirt freshman, made his first collegiate start and completed 14 of 28 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown.
It’s expected to be very rainy for the game. UW has lost three games in a row and must win out to finish 6-6 and get bowl eligible. The Bruins, at 4-6, must win two of their final three games to reach a bowl. Thursday’s game is getting a “blackout” theme. The Huskies will wear black uniforms against the Bruins, and the end zones of Husky Stadium have also been painted black.
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