Colors, scalpels & much more

YOU KNOW IT'S time to finally play the game when reporters start asking <b>Mike Price</b> such weighty questions as whether he owns any clothing colored purple.

Or how about this query of sheer brilliance: Will field position be a factor in Saturday's Apple Cup?

If you had any doubts, the answer to the former is yes (just look at film from last year's Cougar Apple Cup fiasco for proof) and the answer to the latter is no --- emphatically so

"I do not own anything purple, nor will I ever," Price quipped. "The only thing I like purple is that purple Gatorade."

Yup. It seems that the most-talked-about Apple Cup this side of 1997 has reached the point where everything that can be said has been

Aside from Price's forecast that the much-anticipated battle between Cougar senior corner MarcusTrufant and Husky sophomore receiver Reggie Williams won't decide the game --- the kicking game and play of the offensive and defensive lines will --- there wasn't a whole lot of grist to come out of Price's final press conference before the pads go on for real.

He said Williams got the best of Trufant a year ago, so Trufant is "challenged and excited" to have another shot at the Huskly swifty.

Last season Williams caught some six of his 11 balls when matched up with Trufant. Of course, the crimson faithful will note that Trufant was, at that time, playing with a cast on his broken arm and getting his first start in weeks.

Price half-joked that Saturday's match up between Trufant, a likely first-round draft pick come April, and Williams might just be the launch pad for the two of them cracking heads for another 15 years in the NFL.

Asked if he had his pre-game pep talk prepared, Price delivered it: "There's the door, go play."

He wasn't kidding "These guys are self-motivated. They don't need it. There will be no Knute Rockne," Price said.

Not all teams are like that, he added. "Sometimes I've had to say the first one out the door gets to start."

Apple Cups are special, Price said, so he concludes each practice by telling stories and reading the team letters of encouragement from former Cougar players. Steve Gleason and Joe Gecas, for instance, were among the "old-timers'" whose words were read Thursday.

Price said he loves to relay the story about Cougar center Paul Wulff (now the head coach at EWU) refusing to let an appendectomy keep him out of the 1989 Apple Cup. The story grows more dramatic each year, Price quipped. "I've got it now to where the ambulance pulls up on the field before kickoff and Paul gets out with a scalpel sticking out of his side."


Any apprehension about having had a bye week before this game?

"No, I think it's to our advantage."

Have you talked with Ryan Leaf lately?

"Just this week … He'll be at the UCLA game."

Any recruiting prospects going to be on hand?

"Eight to nine will be here on official trips, plus a full complement on unofficial visits."


"If Gesser was the quarterback at Florida and Florida was 9-1 with its only loss in September they would already be etching his name on the (Heisman) trophy." -- Andy Bagnato, Chicago Tribune


Just how far has Rick Neuheisel's star fallen in the eyes of those fickle Husky fans? Last week at the annual silent auction at St. Joseph School, located just two miles from Husky Stadium, a football autographed by Neuheisel sat without a single bid for 20 minutes while Sonics and Mariners stuff was skyrocketing all around. The auction time-clock was extended twice and still the ball only attracted three bids, going for half its stated value of $300.


3:30 pm, Martin Stadium


Live on Fox Sports Net, plus replays on Sunday and Monday.

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