Jan. 1, 2010
Anyone who was at Husky Stadium -- at least those wearing Purple and Gold -- will remember it for a long, long time. It was the kind of special day that only comes along every few years, if you're lucky.
Washington's 2009 football season was full of exciting, down-to-the-wire games, but there was no game that could top the Huskies' thrilling 16-13 win over third-ranked Southern California back on Sept. 19.
USC, the seven-time defending Pac-10 champ, came to Seattle fresh off of a win over eventual Big Ten winner Ohio State, in Columbus, while the Huskies were 1-1 after a loss to LSU and a win over Idaho.
The game had more than its share of buildup thanks to the fact that it represented the first UW-USC game since the arrival of Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Nick Holt, who'd run the offense and defense for the Trojans before coming to Montlake.
But while that fact piqued interest, not many gave the Dawgs more than a fighting chance to win.
Things didn't look good at the start as the Trojans easily marched 80 yards on six plays for the game-opening score. After a UW punt on the Huskies' first possession, USC kicked a field goal to make it 10-0.
However, from that point on, hampered by three turnovers and a stiffening Husky defense, the Trojans, who ended the day 0-for-10 on third down, managed only three more points.
Jake Locker rushed for a TD and Erik Folk kicked a field goal to make it a 10-10 game at the half. After a scoreless third period, Folk made a 46-yarder to put the Huskies in front, 13-10. The UW then held USC to a field goal that tied the game at 13-13 with 4:07 remaining in the game.
Later in the drive, Locker connected with Kearse on a 19-yard pass that, coupled with a penalty, put the ball on the USC eight-yard line. After a running play to take time off the clock, Folk lined up for a pressure-packed chip shot.
His 22-yard boot split the uprights and Husky Stadium went nuts. With three seconds still on the clock, the UW still needed to kick off, but a forward lateral killed off the Trojans' last change.
The scene on the field after the final gun was as jubilant and intense as any celebration ever at Husky Stadium. The lower-level stands emptied onto the turf as everyone in the upper deck took photos of the scene with cameras and cell phones.
And everyone who was there will remember it for a long time.