What They're Saying: Apple Cup Edition

THE STREAK ENDS! Relive the thrilling 28-25 victory against the hapless Huskies with these quips and quotes from eyewitnesses to the glorious event.

"Maybe you've got to be a Coug to understand, but these guys were dead tired of losing to their big-brother rivals from Seattle. They were sick of having their bubble burst by the bigger school from the West side, even during seasons when they clearly had superior talent." Greg Johns, The King County Journal

"Early in the game, you could see the monkey peering around the Cougars' helmets. Greg Prator fumbled the opening kickoff, setting up a Washington field goal. Then freshman quarterback Alex Brink coughed up an unforced fumble at midfield. But WSU senior cornerback Karl Paymah seized possession on an interception, and Brink suddenly found a rhythm, firing 6 yards to tight end Troy Bienemann and later scoring on a quarterback sneak for a 14-10 lead." Dale Grummert, The Lewiston Tribune

"The Huskies played hard but often poorly, rallied fruitlessly, and made enough plays to tease, but too many mistakes to win. They showed, once again, more heart than talent. They had the will to win, but not the skill to win." Dave Boling, The Tacoma News Tribune

"Bennett and the rest of his teammates celebrated wildly at midfield along with many of the rest of the 34,334 at Martin Stadium after an Apple Cup that seemed in WSU's control before Stanback led a second-half rally that almost wrested it away again." Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times

"And in a strange way, Washington's late rally, narrowing WSU's final advantage to 28-25, seemed to somehow add value to the Cougars' win. Had the Cougs held on to the 28-10 second-half lead, it would have merely been another walk-over against a hapless, one-win Husky club. At that point, it felt less like a rivalry than a case of merciful euthanasia." Dave Boling, The Tacoma News Tribune

"For the Cougars, it was a sweet ending to a somewhat bitter season. They finished 5-6, ruing could-have-been wins against Colorado, Oregon and Stanford that cost them a fourth-straight winning season and a bowl game. But at least they beat the Huskies." Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times

"Cook dropped to his knees and threw his arms up in triumph as fans in the crowd of 34,334 streamed onto the field. There were tears, hugs and words of congratulations." Darrin Beene, The Tacoma News Tribune

"When the Cougars finally chased UW relief pitcher Isaiah Stanback harmlessly out of bounds for the last time, the clock and the Huskies spent at last, the fans came flying out of the Martin Stadium bleachers – just bodies this time, no bottles. They swallowed up not only the heroes of Wazzu's 28-25 victory – Jerome Harrison, Jason Hill, Will Derting – but anyone attired in the proper hues." John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

"You'd have thought the Cougs had just won the Rose Bowl instead of beating the worst Washington team in history. You'd have thought the Cougs had humbled a national power instead of a 1-10 foe. But if you heard the players, if you listened to the roar of the crowd, if you soaked in the surging postgame celebration, you'd know that for this group, beating the Huskies meant a little something indeed." Greg Johns, The King County Journal

"And also, if you're trying to end a maddening cycle of six consecutive losses to your hated rival, it's really to your advantage to have that team start and stubbornly stick with the worst quarterback in the history of the school. This really cannot be emphasized enough." John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

"In the third quarter, it seemed as if the pinnacle of the absurdity was reached when Cougar receiver Jason Hill scored a touchdown and was flagged for excessive celebration. Look, after scoring against the helpless Huskies this season, any celebration seemed excessive." Dave Boling, The Tacoma News Tribune

"This would have been even more humiliating – the Huskies, of course, enduring the worst season in their history, and the Cougs not even able to console themselves with post-season neener-neeners. But this time, the worst was averted." John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

"The Cougars lost two fumbles in the first five minutes of the game and eventually committed 11 infractions for 130 yards (almost twice as many yards as the Huskies gained rushing the ball). But the Huskies responded with three interceptions by quarterback Casey Paus. One of those picks came after Paus fired a pass into the helmet of his guard, Tusi Sa'au. (Who said Paus couldn't find open teammates?)" Dave Boling, The Tacoma News Tribune

"What will matter is one perpetual highlight – the body slam that defensive end Adam Braidwood laid on UW punt returner Sonny Shackleford before that final series. It was punctuation before the end of the sentence. It was the last laugh." John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

"Meanwhile, the star for Washington State in its victory was a backup quarterback who had no choice but to play after starter Josh Swogger was injured. Alex Brink of Eugene, Ore., wasn't even recruited by Oregon. He was ranked the 72nd best high-school quarterback in the country. Cory Paus was No. 6." Blaine Newnham, The Seattle Times

"For Washington, this was the final game of the Keith Gilbertson Era. Actually, since he was whacked a couple weeks ago, after barely more than a season and a half as head coach, it hardly qualifies as an "era." It's more like the ‘Keith Gilbertson Er ...'" Dave Boling, The Tacoma News Tribune

"The Cougars finish the season with a 5-6 record and no bowl invitation, but hundreds of fans from the crowd of 34,334 nonetheless stormed the Martin Stadium field and frolicked with WSU players for several minutes. In beating arch-rival Washington, the Cougars had vanquished a whammy that had confounded six consecutive WSU teams, including three that had won 10 wins apiece." Dale Grummert, The Lewiston Tribune

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