Washington needs to win 3 to become bowl eligible

The once ambitious hopes Washington entered the season with are

all but gone.

Now the Huskies are simply hoping to get their quarterback

healthy and get to six victories so they can go to a bowl for the

first time since 2002.

The Huskies (3-6, 2-4 Pac-10) need to win their final three

games of the season to become bowl eligible.

And they still may be without Jake Locker when they take on UCLA

on Nov. 18.

”He’ll be off this whole week, Monday through Wednesday, and

then we’ll assess it Saturday and see where’s he’s at and see if

the doctors give him the clearance to play then we’ll assess how he

looks as we get prepared for the ball game,” Washington coach

Steve Sarkisian said on Monday.

Locker missed the 53-16 loss to Oregon with a cracked rib.

Redshirt freshman Keith Price got the first start of his college

career and went 14 of 28 for 127 yards and a touchdown.

The Huskies managed to keep the game close into the third

quarter. Washington’s beleaguered defense held the high-powered

Oregon offense scoreless in the first quarter – the first time this

year Oregon failed to score in the opening frame.

Early in the third quarter, Washington had trimmed the lead to

18-13, then Oregon zoomed away for the easy victory.

It was the fourth straight week the Huskies had faced a ranked

opponent. After pulling out a 35-34 win against Oregon State in

double-overtime, the Huskies lost games to Arizona and Stanford by

a combined 85-14 margin. The 41-0 loss to Stanford was the first

time Washington had been shut out at home since 1976. The 107 yards

of total offense was the worst offensive output in 37 years.

Now the schedule gets decidedly easier.

Washington hosts UCLA in the final home game of Locker’s career.

The Huskies then go on the road to face California and wrap up the

season against Washington State on Dec. 4.

Locker will not practice this week and will be re-evaluated on

Saturday. If cleared by the medical staff, Locker will return to

practice next week and Sarkisian said he will evaluate his status

at that point.

Sarkisian said if Locker couldn’t practice, he won’t put him out

there against the Bruins.

”That’s going to be critical as we get into Saturday, Sunday,

Monday of where he’s at and how much he can do,” Sarkisian

said.

”If we get Jake back, that’s great. We’d love to have him. He’s

a fantastic football player, but if we don’t that doesn’t mean we

can’t win the game and if we do, that doesn’t mean we automatically

win the game. We’ve got to prepare as a football team for this game

next Thursday night.”

The Huskies haven’t won three straight games since the first

month of the 2006 season, defeating Fresno State and UCLA at home

and Arizona on the road.

Now they have to win three straight to become bowl eligible.

”I’m not the kind of guy that’s going to not talk about the

giant elephant in the room,” Sarkisian said. ”We’ll address it

with the team but understand that that can’t happen unless we win

this first game. So we’ve got to focus on the first game and if and

when we get to the third game at Washington State and we haven’t

lost, then we can talk about it even more.”