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Thursday, December 20
Updated: December 21, 4:27 PM ET
Player diary: Willie Hurst

Throughout the week leading up to the Culligan Holiday Bowl, Washington senior tailback Willie Hurst will be keeping a diary about his bowl experience. Check back on December 24 and 26 for new entries.

Now that we are headed to San Diego, and we have a chance to look back on the season, I'm happy with what we have done. Coming off our Rose Bowl win last year, we lost a lot of seniors and the preseason polls had us finishing in the middle to bottom of the pack. But we worked hard and got a shot at a share of the title again. With a loss to Oregon St. we fell short but it was a pretty good season considering where we were supposed to be.

But that's over now and we are focused on the Holiday Bowl. Before I could really dig in I had my final exams to take care of. Of course they are at 8:30 in the morning but my Sociology professor said I did really good on my final. And I'm pretty sure I did well in my Environmental Science class. It's nice to have that out of the way so you can focus on the game.

Hurst finished his career with 2,093 career rushing yards, the ninth-best career total in UW history.

So far I have been watching a lot of film on Texas and I've noticed how fast they play. They are very athletic so I have been working hard on my game speed, trying to get it up to their level. Right now they have some of the fastest guys in the country so we are really going to have our hands full. I tried to catch Texas as much as I could during the season. When we get out early I always hit the TV to check them out. I've always liked Texas football. Living in California, you knew Texas and Florida were the big football states so you always wanted to keep up with them.

We are all looking forward to going to the Holiday Bowl. It's a great bowl to go to. We have been there before but for me this is one is extra special because I get to play in front of my friends and family. I have to rack up like 25 tickets but it's fun. They all want to see my last collegiate game. Los Angeles is just a hop, skip and jump away from San Diego so I'll drive home for Christmas. We have practice on Christmas Eve in the morning and then I will take off right after that to be with my family.

I have a younger sister who gets to open most of the presents. Me, I'm the old guy so I don't even wake up until like 11 or so. Mom cooks Christmas dinner and Jafar Williams who plays outside linebacker for us, he'll be coming to my house also. He lives in Oakland but won't be making it home for Christmas. That's been a tradition for the past three years.

We leave today (Dec. 21) for San Diego. When we get there we'll have a team meeting where we will go over the rules and regulations on what will go on during the bowl trip. We are pretty much on our own after that, as long as we don't get in trouble! Last time I went to San Diego I couldn't do too much or go out much because I was only 19. Now that I am 21 we can check out the night life a little more and that is what I plan to do!

But the game is our top priority and we are looking forward to a fast, hard-hitting game. We are both physical teams and we both play fast. It's going to come down to who doesn't make mistakes. We are so evenly matched.

You always want to go out on top. Right now I am 1-2 in bowl games and I want to break even. I want to play at the next level. I have been working very hard to meet that goal and hopefully the chips will fall in my favor when the time comes.

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