Note: This exclusive 21-shot photo essay is but the half of it. Look for the second installment of our exclusive CF.C photo essay later today.
Jerome Harrison, the greatest running back in Cougar history, cuts back against the grain. With his season now in the books, Harrison, with 1,900 yards on the year, passed Corey Dillon (1,695), Charles White (1,859) and O.J. Simpson (1,880) on the all-time Pac-10 list for single season rushing yards.
Alex Brink dives for a few extra yards Saturday in the Apple Cup. The Cougar quarterback rushed for 45 yards on five rushes, not including sacks, with a long of 17. Brink was sacked four times but completed 21 of 35 for 283 yards and two TDs on the afternoon, and converted two third down conversions on the 80-yard, game winning drive. Brink was not intercepted on the day.
Will Derting was a difference maker on defense Saturday. Here, along with rising playmaker Matt Mullennix, Derting stops Stanback short of first down yardage.
The Ghost traveled through sunshine and shade Saturday on his way to extending to 14 his all time Pac-10 record of consecutive 100 yard rushing games. Harrison shimmied, skated and sprinted his way to 1,900 yards in 2005, the most ever at Washington State and fifth best in Pac-10 history.
Aaron Johnson brings the heat on Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback. The Cougar defense had their best game of the season. WSU held the athletic Stanback in check for the most part, limiting the Seattle native to 43 hashes on 12 carries, and 163 yards through the air on 12 of 26 passing. Washington State had two sacks on the day.
A five part look at Jerome Harrison's 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. With Washington leading 14-13 late in the third quarter, Harrison breaks containment after seemingly dead to rights behind the line of scrimmage. In the background, coach Robb Akey signals the inevitable.
Head on a swivel, The Ghost finds his stride. Harrison gained 207 yards on the day, his fourth 200-plus yard rushing effort of the season. Despite the seniors' year-long heroics, the All-American candidate has yet to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week.
Jerome Harrison practiced little these past seven days. From appearances, he had an injured thumb and the usual bumps and bruises --- but he also had a very sore ankle. Said coach Bill Doba: "We asked him, `Do you want to pad this thing, tape it?' and he said 'No.' He's not only pretty good, he's tough."
Jerome Harrison begins to glide a few yards from the end zone as Husky defender Dashon Goldson tries in vain to reach him.
Jerome Harrison is met by Dashon Goldson but only after The Ghost is three yards deep in the end zone.
Eric Frampton comes over the top as Fevaea'i Ahmu closes in a hurry. Frampton had seven tackles, including a sack and a quarterback hurry. Ahmu had a tackle for loss, a QB pressure and batted down the ball on third down on the final Husky possession.
Jason Hill comes up just shy on a long pass thrown by Alex Brink. After Hill got behind the Husky secondary a few times early, the UW brought over help in the form of a safety and effectively covered the junior receiver for the remainder of the game. Hill caught five passes for 49 yards, with most of the yardage coming in the first half. Despite battling injuries much of the year, Hill is still the nation's third leading receiver and bettered his own single season touchdown record with 13 TD grabs this year.
Steve Dildine congratulates Will Derting after the senior stopped Washington short of the chains on third down. Derting had five tackles on the day.
Jerome Harrison, despite but two years in crimson and gray after transferring from junior college, is the greatest running back in the history of Washington State University.
A seven part look at Trandon Harvey's Apple Cup winning catch and run. With 1:28 remaining and the clock running, and a bubble screen called, Brink saw Washington was slow in getting over. Harvey noticed the same, and told fellow receiver Greg Prator, "Greg, throw the block for me and I'm going to try to score." Brink zipped the pass to the senior receiver and Harvey took off running.
Greg Prator threw a textbook block, one that not only took out his man, but also created an impasse for two potential pursuers on this play, enabling Trandon Harvey to turn on the jets and race untouched into the end zone -- much to the pleasure of coaches Robb Akey and George Yarno.
Trandon Harvey was a clutch receiver in the 2003 season until making, what was at the time, two uncharacteristic drops in The Holiday Bowl. An arduous season followed in 2004. But Harvey was clutch in 2005, his senior season. With starting receivers Jason Hill, Michael Bumpus, Chris Jordan and Brandon Gibson each missing time due to injury, no one in the receiving corps stepped up quite as big as Harvey this year, especially over the latter half of the season.
Trandon Harvey led the Cougs in receiving yardage Saturday with 68 yards on three receptions. Tight end Cody Boyd also stepped up huge in Troy Bienemann's absence after the senior tight end's career was cut short by a knee injury. Boyd, a junior from rural Ferndale made five brilliant catches for 65 yards. Harvey, for his part, closed with a furious pace this season, capping his senior campaign as the third leading receiver on the 2005 Cougars with 25 receptions for 428 yards.
What a finish. Both to the game and to a Cougar career. Trandon Harvey told Cougfan.com in October he wanted to end his career "with a bang." On his final play as a Cougar, Harvey did much more than that, cementing his place in Crimson lore with this winning catch and run that will be run on Apple Cup highlight packages from now until forever ends.
Alex Brink and Trandon Harvey celebrate after Washington State went on top for good, 26-22, in the 98th Apple Cup.
Trandon Harvey stops and turns to salute the Cougar Faithful after the game winner. "All I know is he threw the ball and everything just went blank as I was running," said Harvey. "I just caught the ball and kept running. The only reason I stopped was because I was about to run into the band."
This season has not been for the faint of crimson heart and Saturday's Apple Cup was another cardiac stress test for the Cougar Nation. Washington State dominated most statistical categories Saturday -- save for putting a big 'ol number next to "winning margin". WSU ran 82 plays to 56 for Washington. The Crimson soldiers had 27 first downs to 12 for the Dawgs. The Cougs ran for 224 rushing yards to UW's 99. Wazzu outgained the U-Dub 507 yards to 327. And yet, with less than two minutes remaining, the Cougs trailed. But when it was finally all said and done, Washington State had clawed, fought and yes, earned their second Apple Cup victory in as many years, by a score of 26-22. Perhaps defensive end Mkristo Bruce - he of the tremendous season on a previously sedate but lately resurgent Cougar defense - said it best in the celebratory aftermath as he made his way out of Husky Stadium; "The Cougars own Washington. This is our state."