Cougs ignited Pandemonium on the Palouse

PULLMAN -- The game was in Corvallis, but by the volume of cheers, hoots and hollers coming out of Pullman on Saturday it would have been easy think Martin Stadium was rockin'. Pandemonium, jubilation, and absolute mayhem filled the streets of Pullman following the Cougars' 31-14 victory over OSU. It was one giant celebration, and CF.C was there to capture the emotions of fired-up students.

Perhaps nothing symbolized the catharsis of it all than the spontaneous reaction at The Coug as the final gun sounded. The packed house erupted into a raucous singing of the Cougar fight song.

"Words won't really do this game justice," junior Britton Ransford said. "I'm in awe at the way they went out and dominated every aspect of the game. It's one of those days you're proud to be a Coug."

Ransford's emotions were shared by all who saw the Cougars pull off their dominating stunner.

Cars honking, people screaming at the top of their lungs, and the chants of "Go Cougs!" echoed throughout Pullman Saturday evening.

You'd have thought the Cougs had just won the Rose Bowl. But then again, the crimson faithful have been thirsting for this day for a long while.

Senior economics major Griffin Jones watched the game with his father and WSU alum, Curtis Jones. They were glued to their chairs and the TV until the outcome was official.

"We were up out of our seats hugging, embracing with that Cougar pride excitement beyond compare," Jones said. "Not only was it exhilarating to have a solid outing for the Cougs, but a combination of instilling fear into the upcoming Apple Cup opponent. The Cougs are back, and that is fact."

Senior Ian Bremner and junior Greg Lehman-Lyng were trembling with excitement following the closing whistle and said the performance was worth the wait.

"You know it was a long time coming," Bremner said. "I'm excited they were able to pull if off and I got a little scared there toward the end when the Beavers cut it to 10. We put together a good defensive game, especially in the first half."

"Oh man, it was a phenomenal win and I can't express how excited I am," Lehman-Lyng said with a huge smile on his face. "The Cougar D held up really well and I haven't seen them play like that in a long time. They were just stopping them consistently on third down and it all came together for us and the defense played together."

For senior Mackenzie Grenz, it was an edge-of-your-seat experience from the opening kickoff on. Grenz, a true die-hard Coug fan, said he has believed in the Cougars through the tough times, and thinks the turning point in the program is now here.

"This is an unbelievable feeling," Grenz said Saturday shortly after the game. "I almost think I have to watch the replay tonight just to believe my eyes. This is what I've been waiting for. This is what being a Coug is all about. We got the momentum now and things can only move forward. We played our hearts out and I've never been more proud to wear the crimson and gray!"

As for the rest of the WSU student body, it was clear that the victory provided more than just a reason to go to the corner market and pick up some malted beverage. It provided some hope for a better tomorrow.

Long into the Palouse night on Saturday, people were high-fiving one another and the chants of "Go Cougs" continued. The streets were filled and the bars were bursting with energy.

One game, one victory -- indeed, one team of young athletes and dedicated coaches -- united and excited the community in a way that almost seemed like it was borne from a Hollywood script. It was a victory for the ages.

Like mammoth Cougar road upsets of yore -- at Stanford in '71 and UCLA in '88 -- this one will live on for a very long time. During a 2010 campaign where the season appeared to be lost, the Cougs now have plenty of momentum heading into Apple Cup on December 4. Can the Cougs avenge a 30-0 shutout loss from 2009 and capture the Cup this season?

For excited Cougar fan, there is no doubt.

"The team showed a lot of heart and they can carry the momentum to a destruction of the Dawgs," sophomore Austin Marshall said. "This young team has plenty of moxie, plenty of spunk, which spells disaster for the puppies come Apple Cup."

"The Huskies are in for the same surprise as the Beavers," junior Bobby Westmoreland said. "Jeff Tuel will run all over the defense and that Cup is ours."

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