The Swat was 'cool for a day,' but Elijah Jackson and Washington are focused on winning one more
Jackson discusses his game-clinching pass breakup, and the mentality that helped him make it.
(Note from Christian: I drove from New Orleans to Houston yesterday, rather than returning to Seattle, so I’m pleased to have Ethan Kilbreath, a UW student reporter, stepping in to write today’s story.)
By Ethan Kilbreath
SEATTLE — It could go down in Seattle sports history, perhaps alongside Richard Sherman’s eerily similar deflection to send the Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII.
The image — sophomore cornerback Elijah Jackson leaping up like a point guard, swatting the ball like a center, and sending the Washington Huskies to the national championship — will be remembered forever.
As No. 3 Texas drove deep into UW territory in the Sugar Bowl’s final minute, it seemed an all-time heartbreak, instead, was mounting. But the Huskies’ defense doesn’t shy away from those moments. With the game up in the air, the mindset of each UW defender on the field was the same.
Bring it on.
“Once that moment came up, we all looked at each other like, ‘let’s go,’” junior linebacker Alphonzo Tuputala said after Thursday’s practice, one day before UW is to depart for Houston, where it will face No. 1 Michigan in Monday’s national title game. “It doesn’t get any better than this. This is a semifinal game, this is where we wanted to be. Little kid watching these moments — we wanted to be here. Being able to grow with each other, being able to come this far — that was a surreal moment. That’s the beauty of sports.”