Are the Fuskies Hucked?

Make-or-break season rides on freshman quarterback’s right arm

Last year, University of Washington head football coach Tyrone Willingham made a decision that all but ensured he would be on the hot seat come 2007: He red-shirted Jake Locker. Heralded as an instant savior for a program that’s wallowed in mediocrity for much too long (for anxious boosters accustomed to trips to Pasadena, at least), Locker will now be thrown headlong into one of the nation’s toughest first-half schedules (Syracuse, Boise St., Ohio St., UCLA, USC). Should the Huskies emerge from that stretch 0-5 or 1-4, Willingham can plan on relocating at season’s end. But should Locker & Co. achieve a more reasonable split here, this might be the start of something special. Back when Boise State was plucked to fill a scheduling hole vacated by mighty Oklahoma, this was probably viewed as a creampuff home opener. But that was before last season, when the Smurf Turf Broncos stunned Oklahoma in last year’s Fiesta Bowl to cap an undefeated season. Who’s the creampuff now? Hopefully not the Huskies.

Sat., Sept. 8, 12:30 p.m.

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