Senior class project: End the streak

THE APPLE CUP is just days away. For Washington State, its a chance to end the streak. For the Huskies, its a chance to end their season on a winning note with their first Pac-10 victory. On Tuesday, coach Bill Doba talked about all things Apple Cup, and about this Cougar senior class that will be playing their final game on Saturday.

Coach Bill Doba, on if the game will be seen as a lackluster affair given the teams' records
"If you go by the records, everybody is saying 'Well, who cares' and all that -- but I'll tell you who cares. They care and we care." "We'll be fired up and ready to play, and they've got enough talent that they could beat us. And obviously we've got to want it a little bit more."

On what the Cougs have coming back for next year
"We've got a great group of kids coming back. But we'll talk to them about all that AFTER the game. Because right now, there's one point of emphasis. And that's the Apple Cup."

On the post game from the 2002 Apple Cup
"I think that was just an unusual occurrence...I did a promo that will go up on the scoreboard (saying) treat our fans and our visitors with respect and be first class. Both on and off the field...But that was really unusual. In the 15 Apple Cups that I've been involved in, we've never had that problem. In the first year here there was a little trash talking before the game, before the kickoff, and after that its been smooth until that one incident. But that was unfortunate. I don't expect that to happen anymore."

On how much he expects the Husky defense to change with the injury to MLB Joe Lobendahn and what he thinks of the UW defense
"I think Tim Galloway was playing quite a bit (alternating in)..and Tim runs really well and he's a senior, its his last game and I'm sure he'll be fired up. I don't think it will change their defense much. I think they've been playing pretty well, really. They're No. 1 in pass defense in the conference. They've played really hard, they've made some key plays when they had to and it was what, 14-12 with about three minutes to go in the third quarter against Cal? They played three pretty good quarters of football against the No. 4 team in the nation."

On the injury situation for the Cougs
"I think everybody plays. Unless their arms or legs are falling off, I think they'll be out there."

On how quarterback Alex Brink has performed this season, stepping in for injured Josh Swogger
"I think he's progressed really well. He seems to have taken command on the offense...He's made some really good decisions."

On this year's senior class
"They're (smaller in numbers) than most of the senior classes...I looked out there Saturday night (at one point in the ASU game) with Hamza and Bohannon out, and Cook was out and Paymah was out. I looked out and the entire defense (on the field ) was coming back...But this class I think is really tight knit. They've been here when we were 4-7 and then they've been through three 10-win seasons...They have the distinction of being one of the winningest classes... and they could also be the class that ends the streak of six...We'll miss them. They really provided great leadership. I think Hamza, Bohannon, all of those guys. Some are quiet leaders and others are vocal. But they all took great pride in their work ethic."

On Blair Hawkins, who will playing his last game as a Cougar
"He has earned as much respect as any of our seniors. And if you watch the scout team work, when someone knocks him down you'll see two or three guys try to help him up. He doesn't have to do this, and he gets to play very little but he just wants to be a part of the team. I really respect him. And I think he means a lot to our kids."

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