SEATTLE -- Jake Locker threw a career-high five touchdown passes, two in overtime to Jermaine Kearse, and Oregon State's 2-point conversion attempt in the second overtime fell incomplete as the Huskies beat the No. 24 Beavers 35-34 on Saturday night.
A wild and chilly night along the edge of Lake Washington ended in the Huskies' favor, but only after Washington blew an early 21-0 lead and celebrated a bit prematurely in overtime.
At the end, Washington (3-3, 2-1 Pac-10) kept its bowl hopes alive with a victory it absolutely needed with a gauntlet of Arizona, Stanford and Oregon awaiting the next three weeks.
"We're coming to the realization as a football program that winning is really hard," Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. "We've got a football team still learning their way, but they made us very proud tonight."
Meanwhile, Oregon State (3-3, 2-1) was stopped short in its attempt to begin conference play 3-0 for the first time in 42 years.
Locker was a big reason why. He was nearly flawless for the first 20 minutes when Washington jumped to a 21-0 lead. Oregon State rallied to pull even on Jacquizz Rodgers' touchdown run on the first possession of the second half and it stayed that way through regulation.
The teams exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime, with Rodgers scoring on a 10-yard pass from Ryan Katz, and Locker answering with a 17-yard strike to Kearse.
In the second overtime, Washington went first and Locker found Kearse open on a corner route for a 21-yard TD strike on second-and-17.
"It shows we can finish tough games," Kearse said.
Katz tried to rally the Beavers. After getting sacked by Hau'oli Jamora for a 7-yard loss and a false start penalty, Katz hit Jordan Bishop for 23 yards on third-and-20. Then on fourth-and-1 at the 3, Katz's pass for John Reese feel incomplete but a late flag from back judge Johnny Jenkins led to a pass-interference call against Desmond Trufant that gave Oregon State a first down.
Rodgers scored from the 2 on the next play to pull Oregon State to 35-34, just moments after celebrating Washington players were shoved off the field.
Beavers coach Mike Riley decided to end it there. But Katz's throw fell out of Halahuni's hands and Washington's celebration was on again.
Locker finished 21 of 35 for 286 yards and ran for another 60 yards. Chris Polk rushed for 105 yards for Washington, while Kearse had nine catches for 146 yards and four touchdowns. Kearse had TD catches of 16 and 45 yards in the first half.
Rodgers ran for 140 yards on 32 carries and three touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 49 yards as the Beavers played their first game since Rodgers' brother, James, was lost for the season because of a serious knee injury.
Katz was 17 of 31 for 206 yards, but threw three interceptions, including once in the end zone by Washington freshman Sean Parker in the third quarter when the Beavers appeared ready to take the lead. Katz had just one interception entering Saturday night.'
After Rodgers' 4-yard TD run on the opening drive of the second half, the two teams combined for 13 consecutive scoreless drives.
Not that there weren't chances for both sides.
Oregon State was poised to take the lead late in the third quarter after a stunning, start-and-stop run by Rodgers for 22 yards took the Beavers inside the 10. Katz was sacked on second-and-goal, then on third-and-goal from the 13, floated a poor pass into the end zone that was easily intercepted by Parker.
Washington had a promising drive early in the fourth quarter, working its way to the Oregon State 23. But Locker was sacked by Dwight Roberson, who came untouched off the edge on third down and Erik Folk's 45-yard field goal attempt went wide left with 8:49 left. It was just the second miss of the season for Folk.
After holding Oregon State to a three-and-out, Locker made another costly mistake. Locker was rushed to beat the play clock and Dominic Glover hit Locker forcing a fumble that was recovered by John Braun. It was Locker's second fumble. On Washington's first possession of the game, Locker collided with D'Andre Goodwin at the Oregon State 10 and fumbled.