Chris Polk scores on a 1-yard run as time expires to keep UW's bowl hopes alive.
By Bob Condotta
Seattle Times staff reporter
BERKELEY, Calif. — If the Huskies can win the (Apple) Cup they'll also get a bowl, as UW got one of it is biggest wins in years Saturday with a dramatic victory against Cal in a driving rainstorm at Memorial Stadium, beating the Bears 16-13 on a Chris Polk touchdown on the final play.
The Huskies drove 79 yards for the winning touchdown with senior QB Jake Locker turning in his finest moment at Washington.
He forgot about a broken rib to run and pass the Huskies downfield, hitting Jermaine Kearse on a 46-yard pass to set up the score.
After failing to score from the 1-yard line and second and third downs, the Huskies called time with two seconds left. With the Bears expecting Locker to get it, he instead handed to Polk who burst over the right side for the score, setting off a wild celebration in the end zone where all of the UW fans had gathered.
The drive started at UW's own 21 with 4:39 remaining.
A 5-yard run by Polk on a Wildcat play got UW one first down.
Then, on a first-and-10 from the 34, Locker threw deep to Kearse who caught it as he slid at the 20-yard-line, a 46-yard play with just under three minutes left.
Locker then ran for 8 yards to the 7 with 1:37 left and a 6-yard run got UW to the 1.
The win improves UW's record to 5-6 and means it now has to only win the Apple Cup to get to 6-6 and to a bowl game, possibly the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. A representative of the Holiday Bowl attended the game and said earlier in the week that the winner would have a good shot of playing in their game, assuming UW can also beat the Cougars next week.
Cal took a 10-7 lead with 3:34 to play in the third quarter when Locker was hit by Cal linebacker Mike Mohammed as he tried to scramble and fumbled. Cal's Cameron Jordan picked it up and raced 21 yards for the touchdown.
But Jesse Callier then ran the kickoff back 57 yards breaking a few tackles along the way — he appeared initially stopped inside UW's 20 — and the Huskies then moved into position for a 37-yard field goal by Erik Folk to tie it at 10 with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Cal regained the lead on a 47-yard field goal by Giorgio Tavecchio with 10:53 to play in the game, a drive set up by a 33-yard kickoff return by Edmund Coleman.
The game was the last to be played at Cal's Memorial Stadium before it undergoes a $321 million renovation. It was the third straight home loss for the Bears to end the season and means Cal finished the season at 5-7 and out of a bowl for the first time since 2002.
Cal led 3-0 at the end of a mistake-filled first half, scoring on the last play on a 53-yard field goal by Tavecchio. There were three turnovers on three straight possessions in the second quarter as each team took turns out-bumbling the other.
Time had appeared to run out in the half after a 6-yard pass to Michael Calvin on a play that snapped with seven seconds left. But the officials ruled for one second to be put on the clock as Cal called time, and Tavecchio, who missed short on field goals that could have beaten Arizona and Oregon earlier this year, hit this one.
Cal had 186 yards in the first half to 123 for UW.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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