Although Washington (6-2) rebounded from a 65-21 drubbing at Stanford (Oct. 22) with a 42-31 victory over Arizona Saturday night, the triumph was not enough to get the Huskies back into the national rankings.
The Huskies rank 28th in the Associated Press poll, released Sunday, with 52 points, up from 47 last week. Washington also ranks 28th in the FBS Coaches poll with 38 points, a four-point improvement over a week ago.
The Huskies will play No. 6 (AP) Oregon Saturday in the final game at Husky Stadium before the facility is closed until 2013 for renovation. Washington plays at No. 21 USC Nov. 12 in Los Angeles and at unranked Oregon State Nov. 19 before returning to Seattle to face Washington State in the Apple Cup at CenturyLink Field.
Both the Ducks, a 43-28 winner over the Cougars Saturday, and the Trojans, 56-48 three-overtime loser to No. 4-ranked Stanford, are expected to be substantial favorites to beat the Huskies, and so it’s unlikely that Washington will return to the polls again during the regular season.
That could change if the Huskies defeat a highly ranked foe in a postseason bowl. Washington became bowl eligible Saturday with its sixth victory, highlighted by Chris Polk’s five touchdowns (four rush, one reception) and his achievement of becoming the first player in school history to rush for 100 yards (144) and catch passes for 100 yards in the same game.
Polk joined Hugh McElhenny (1950 vs. Washington State) and Corey Dillon (1996 vs. UCLA) as the only modern-era UW running backs to score five touchdowns in a game and one of 10 players in conference history to score five or more.
Polk also increased his season rushing total to 1,045, marking the third consecutive year that the junior has exceeded 1,000 yards rushing. Other than Polk, only Napoleon Kaufman (1991-94) had 1,000 rushing yards in three different seasons.
While pollsters fairly ignored Washington’s victory over a 2-5 Arizona team, the win marked just the ninth time in the past 50 years — and the second time under coach Steve Sarkisian — that the Huskies won a game one week after losing by 30 or more points. These were those times:
|1973||Jim Owens||at UCLA 62-13||49||Beat Idaho 41-14|
|2003||Keith Gilbertson||at California 54-7||47||Beat WSU 29-27|
|2011||Steve Sarkisian||at Stanford 65-21||44||Beat Arizona 42-31|
|2005||Tyrone Willingham||vs. California 56-17||39||Beat Idaho 34-6|
|2010||Steve Sarkisian||at Nebraska 56-21||35||Beat USC 32-31|
|1996||Jim Lambright||at Notre Dame 54-20||34||Beat UCLA 41-21|
|1987||Don James||at UCLA 47-14||33||Beat WSU 34-19|
|1974||Jim Owens||at USC 42-11||31||Beat USC 24-17|
|1981||Don James||at UCLA 31-0||31||Beat USC 13-3|