One of the best
The star running back’s career at UW was one for the record books, passing up many all-time greats from the Husky football program. He has cemented his legacy at the school and put his name up there with one of the most beloved Huskies (also a RB) of all-time in Napoleon Kaufman.
In his 3 years at Washington, Polk put together stellar career numbers: 4,049 rushing yards (Kaufman had 4,106), 21 100-yard games, 799 carries, 101.2 yards per game average, 1,488 yards rushing this season (2nd best in school history), and he also holds the second best rushing performance in a game in school history with a 284 yard performance against Washington State in the 2010 Apple Cup.
Polk started as a true freshman in 2008, but was injured 2 weeks into the season and took a medical redshirt.
In 2009, Polk had the most successful freshman season in UW football history. He was the first to rush for over 1,000 yards (1,113) and earned 5 100-yard games on the season.
In 2010, Polk became the third player in UW history to have multiple 1,000 yard rushing seasons, joining Napoleon Kaufman and Greg Lewis.
Of course we all saw what he did this season, his junior year of 2011.
Polk’s departure leaves questions at the RB position for UW who sill have Jesse Callier, Bishop Sankey, Johri Fogerson and Deontae Cooper in waiting in the backfield. Fogerson and Cooper were out this year with injuries.
Polk’s accomplishments and feats at Washington will last a long time before they are touched. His tenure at Washington was one of the most successful this generation has seen.
There were so many great moments in Polk’s UW career. If I had to choose 5 of his greatest moments in Purple and Gold, these 5 would make the top of my list.
Polk’s last games as a Husky: the 2011 Apple Cup and the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl.
I’ll combine this into one mention as these games were point fests with little to no defense on either side. They are important, however, because they would be the last regular season game and last game ever for Chris Polk in a Husky uniform.
In the 2011 Apple Cup, Polk carried the ball 22 times for an even 100 yards and a score. The Huskies went on to win 38-21.
Then, in the Valero Alamo Bowl (aka the no defense allowed bowl), Polk ran 30 times for 147 yards and a touchdown.
As we all know, the Huskies lost the game in the end, being edged out by Baylor 64-56 in one of the most insane record-breaking bowl games in NCAA history.
5. 9/5/2009 vs. LSU
The 2009 season opener was a tough matchup, having to face off against LSU at Husky Stadium. It was Polk’s first real game as starter for the Huskies.
His first showing was a 21 rush, 90 yard performance to show Husky nation and the NCAA what they could expect the next couple seasons from Chris Polk.
The Huskies lost that game 31-23.
4. 10/3/2009 @ Notre Dame
Washington went to Notre Dame to take on the Fighting Irish in 2009 and fought hard.
Their efforts fell just short, though, as the Huskies lost a heartbreaker 37-30 in Overtime.
Polk, however, broke out and earned the first of his 21 100-yard rushing performances in front of a national audience no less. He carried the ball 22 times for 136 yards, but was kept out of the endzone.
3. 10/27/2010 @ Cal
This is one of the most talked about touchdowns from last year’s Pac-10 action.
After the Huskies were shut out in the first half, they mounted a comeback at the end of the game, capped off with a 46 yard pass from Jake Locker to Jermaine Kearse to put the Huskies on the 1 yard line.
After 2 failed attempts at sneaking the ball himself, Locker handed the ball to Polk on 3rd and goal on the last play of the game and Polk busted through for the game winner.
The Huskies won 16-13.
The win ended Cal’s consecutive bowl appearance streak at 7 with the win. It also put the Huskies one win away from bowl contention in Locker’s final season.
2. 2010 Holiday Bowl
The Huskies went to their first bowl game in 8 seasons and were paired up with Nebraska in the 2010 Holiday Bowl. The Huskies came in as heavy underdogs, but that only fueled their fire.
Mason Foster dominated the defensive side of the ball while Polk controlled the offensive side of the ball.
Polk ran wild, rushing 34 times for 177 yards and a touchdown. He would go on to win the MVP of the game that shocked the world as the Huskies won 19-7.
1. 10/29/2011 vs. Arizona
This was another exciting game in the UW/Arizona series of “wtf?” games.
There were several terrible calls and even a video replay managed to get botched in this one. The highlight, though, was Chris Polk.
Polk ran for 144 yards on a season-high 34 carries. He rushed for 4 touchdowns, including 2 game deciding scores at the end of the contest.
He also caught 4 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Polk set yet another Washington record by being the first player in school history to rush and receive for 100 yards.
He also tied the school mark for TD’s in a game with 5.