What They're Saying, Apple Cup Edition

HOW DO YOU like them apples? Critics deemed the state rivalry the "rotten Apple Cup," however yesterdays 26-22 win over the Huskies tasted sweet as apple pie. Relive the glory of the Cougs first Pac-10 win of the season with these quotable quotes from witnesses to the exciting event.

"WSU's litany of lucklessness – and strategic disasters – needs no specific retelling, other than to note again that any of their Pac-10 encounters save the one with mighty USC was winnable, if only a few plays could have been made. A stop here, a throw there, a third down, a field goal not taken off the board." John Blanchette, Spokesman Review

"With five minutes left in a forgettable season, the Cougars remembered. They remembered to breathe; they remembered to believe. They found a way out of their labyrinth of losing, just in time to beat the Huskies." Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune

"But unlike the seven Pac-10 football games before it, five of them losses by fewer than five points, this one turned out differently. The Cougars, down by a field goal in the fourth quarter, drove down the field against their archrival. They converted two key third downs and scored on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Brink to senior Trandon Harvey. That, as it turned out, was enough to beat Washington and win the Apple Cup, 26-22." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman Review

"This one, the lightly heralded 2005 contest between a paltry Washington team and a meager Washington State club, will become known as The Jerome Harrison Game. It should, at least, since the Cougars running back, with 207 yards on 36 carries, provided the day's most vivid display of consistent excellence." Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune

"But it took an act of the football gods, or more accurately, the Huskies' own ineptness, to allow WSU to break free of its own snake-bit season and score the winning touchdown with 80 seconds remaining." Greg Johns, King County Journal

"Just as important, the Cougars owned the line of scrimmage. Defensively, the Cougars held the Huskies to 99 yards on the ground, forcing UW to try to win the game through the air. The Huskies couldn't, due in part to some shaky throws by Isaiah Stanback." Bob Condotta, Seattle Times

"WSU controlled the flow from start to finish, outgaining Washington 507-327 and holding the ball for more than 36 minutes. But the Cougars couldn't turn their drives into points as they stalled before reaching the end zone, and Loren Langley missed 3 of 5 field goals." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman Review

"And sometimes, a coaching staff has to do what's necessary. Doba pulled his placekicker – sending in Graham Siderius for the final PAT – after 659 minutes of a 660-minute season. Funny how that simply was never an option at another prominent position." John Blanchette, Spokesman Review

"There were times when it was easily argued Swogger should have stepped in for Brink — after a late-first-half meltdown at California, for example — but the Cougars chose to stay with the sophomore from Eugene, Ore., over Swogger, a guy some saw as the prototype WSU quarterback. So, in a twisted sense, Brink was the victim. He stayed the starter, retaining the snaps and the abuse." Bud Withers, Seattle Times

"The Cougars' haunting memories of the 2005 season will be of close losses and leads lost. Five of their defeats were by four points or fewer, and they gave up fourth-quarter leads in three of those. That ended Saturday, when the Pac-10's 10th-ranked scoring defense took the field with the game on the line and stopped the Huskies cold on a sack by Adam Braidwood and three incompletions." Don Ruiz, Tacoma News Tribune

"It looked again Saturday as if destiny was not in the Cougars' corner. And we're not talking about Destiny, the dancer who brought down Mike Price. We're talking about football fates, the kind that made every Doba decision in recent weeks blow up in his face like a cheap bottle rocket." Greg Johns, King County Journal

"The moment is a blur. The most perfect moment of his imperfect career happened so fast that all Washington State split end Trandon Harvey could do was slowly walk back to the sideline and unsuccessfully fight back the tears that poured from his eyes." Steve Kelley, Seattle Times

"The Huskies certainly didn't seem to be having fun at game's end, when many of the Cougars raced to the ``W'' in the middle of the field and began dancing in celebration. Plenty of shoving and a few punches resulted, none apparently causing much damage, as hundreds of crimson-clad spectators poured on to the Husky Stadium turf to mob their heroes." Howie Stalwick, King County Journal

"Naturally, this cauldron of circumstance led to the inevitable Apple Cup flare of tempers – triggered at one end by some Cougs using the midfield "W" as a footwipe, a bit of clueless payback for similar Husky mischief at Martin Stadium three years ago, and at the other end by some Husky goobers who tried to bring down a Wazzu player waving a flag in their house. Ah, it's always something. What would an Apple Cup be without Mace, urine-filled pop bottles, Barbara Hedges feeling in imminent danger or logo dancing?" John Blanchette, Spokesman Review

"This season has been exceedingly difficult at Washington State, and not only because the Cougars played Susan Lucci all year, coming up second instead of first, unable to close the deal against the Pac-10." Bud Withers, Seattle Times

"These have hardly been vintage Huskies teams, but Brink is the first WSU starting quarterback to win consecutive Apple Cup games. Jack Thompson never could say it, nor could the trail of excellence that followed him — Mark Rypien, Timm Rosenbach, Drew Bledsoe, Ryan Leaf, Jason Gesser. Put that on your message board." Bud Withers, Seattle Times

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