It's ugly, but Cougs win in Corvallis

CORVALLIS -- Washington State and Oregon State, to borrow a phrase used in these parts once before, set the game of football back about 100 years on Saturday. In one of the ugliest – and largely boring – contests this side of the Willamette Valley Paint Drying Festival, WSU prevailed 13-6.

This one was so ugly that the teams traded fumbles on three consecutive possessions in the second quarter. It was so ugly that WSU's leading rusher for much of the game was punter Darryl Blunt.

It was so ugly that the game was more than 40 minutes old when the first – and only – touchdown was scored, courtesy of Alex Brink and Jason Hill.

It was so ugly that the Cougars drove 78 yards to the Beaver 3-yard-line in the fourth quarter but couldn't push it over on three tries and then missed the chip-shot field goal attempt – kicker Loren Langley's first miss in weeks.

Out of this abyss, however, two undeniably rosy facts bloomed for WSU: The Cougars' October jinx – 0-for-9 in the month since 2003 – is over, and at 4-2 on the season, Wazzu is now just two wins shy of bowl eligibility with six Saturdays still on the calendar.

There were other bright spots for the Cougars:

• The defense registered five sacks, held the Beavers to less than 40 yards rushing, and 20 percent success on third-down conversions. But more than anything, the stop corps came up huge three times in the second half when OSU threatened. An Eric Frampton interception in the endzone foiled one drive, a Lance Broadus sack of Matt Moore on third down forced OSU to kick a field goal, and then senior captain Scott Davis sealed the game with a sack and bone-jarring hurry of Moore in the game's waning moments.

• Cornerback Tyron Brackenridge, coming off a six tackle/one interception effort vs. USC, forced two fumbles, posted five tackles and was tight in coverage. Defensive end Mkristo Bruce, the nation's top sackmaster, add two more sacks to bring his season total to 10. He also led the Cougs in tackling with 11 total stops against OSU.

• Hill, the senior receiver coming off several days at home nursing mom back from a heart attack, surpassed legendary Hugh Campbell (1960-62) as the most prolific grabmaster, yardage wise, in Palouse history. And Hill's TD catch from Brink late in the third quarter was the 30th scoring aerial of his career, putting him two behind the Pac-10 record. He was unable to build on his gaudy stats after bruising his right shoulder on the TD catch.

"I'm real proud of these kids," WSU defensive coordinator Robb Akey told Cougar Radio Network reporter Bud Namek. "They played their tails off tonight and Scotty Davis closed things out nicely ... With the game on the line those guys made some big-time plays."

Davis, once tabbed by Sporting News as the biggest defensive playmaker in the Pac-10, lived up to that billing in grand style. He recovered two fumbles, had two pass breakups, registered three sacks and six total tackles.

In unofficial stats, Brink completed 19 of 33 passes for 270 yards, one TD pass and one INT. Hill was the top receiver with five catches for 121 yards and rookie Derell Hutsona was the top crimson ground gainer with 68 yards on six carries. WSU outgained the Beavers 355 yards to 287.

NEXT UP FOR the Cougars is No. 16-ranked California (4-1), which throttled Oregon today, 45-24. The game next week is in Pullman. Kickoff time is 2 pm.

Cougfan Top Stories