What They're Saying: Apple Cup OT Edition

AS SATURDAY NIGHT turned into Sunday morning, the edge-of-your-seat drama that unfolded out on the Palouse hours before in the 101st playing of the Apple Cup, as Washington State defeated Washington for the fourth time in the last five years, had not gone unnoticed by the scribes in attendance...here's what they're saying.

Trotting off the field at halftime, Washington State special teams coordinator Steve Broussard ("Bruiser") and kicker Nico Grasu saw each other in the tunnel leading out of Martin Stadium to the Cougar locker room...Broussard offered a bold prediction. "He said, 'You're going to win this for us,'" Grasu recalled." -- Jim Meehan, Spokesman Review.

Students rushed the field. Floyd, the president, joined the scrum, too. And the locker room? "We ain't never had a locker room like that one," said running back Dwight Tardy. In other words: To hell with teaching moments. There's no substitute for a victory in the Apple Cup. Even this Apple Cup. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

Say what you will about the first — and, Lord willing — last Apple Cup pitting teams with one win between them, but no two football teams at any level playing for any reason played any harder Saturday than the Huskies and Cougars. -- Howie Stalwick, Kitsap Sun

() Nico Grasu confidently blasted a 37-yarder through the uprights and Martin Stadium erupted. Grasu lost his mouth guard and his shoes, and ended up on top of a celebrating pile. The Huskies melted into the background. -- Molly Yanity, Seattle PI

By traditional standards, there wasn't much at stake in the 101st Apple Cup — just ninth and 10th place a 10-team conference. But the Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars played for 60 minutes and then into two overtimes Saturday as though the difference was vast. -- Don Ruiz, The Tacoma News Tribune

In a moment of calm following the mass chaos of Washington State's upset win over Washington, Cougars coach Paul Wulff walked down a vacant hallway with his family at his side. Wulff leaned over to his young son and posed a simple question: "Who's still winless?" Wulff asked. "The Huskies," the boy replied. -- Tim Booth, The Associated Press.

It turns out that Washington State can't be considered among the worst teams in the history of college football. The Cougars can't even claim being the most pitiful in their own state. The Huskies now carry the torch of humiliation as they stumble toward an 0-12 season. -- Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times

The Lopina-to-Karstetter connection came on a play that began with 31 seconds to go — the same time in the game when the Cougars scored the winning touchdown in last year's Apple Cup on a pass from Alex Brink to Brandon Gibson. -- Bob Condotta, Seattle Times

When it was all over, players and coaches — many of whom have past connections — shook hands and exchanged hugs. Cougar fans poured out of the stands to mob their heroes, but no fan on the field was seen showing any disrespect to the Huskies. It was, all in all, just a great day to be a college football lover. -- Howie Staklwick, Kitsap Sun

With Nico Grasu's 37-yard field goal in the second overtime period, the Huskies hit rock bottom -- a dark place that keeps being redefined. -- Molly Yanity, Seattle PI

Losing this game meant the Huskies are last in everything: Last in the conference, last in the college football nation, last in all statistics. -- Art Thiel, Seattle PI

And Saturday, just when WSU's hopes were all but history, here was Karstetter again, hauling in a 48-yard pass from Kevin Lopina with 31 seconds to play and WSU down 10-7. It was the clutch play of the 101st Apple Cup that ended in the Cougars' 16-13 overtime victory. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

(The Huskies) turned meek amid the late-game pressure, and in the end, the Cougars looked more daring and played with more purpose." -- Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times

Grasu said he knew the game-winner was good as soon as it came off his foot. The last time he won a game with a kick was as a high school junior in Encino. -- The Associated Press

Making plays. It something Wulff has preached from the first day of practice. And something that has been in short supply in the 2-10 season, whether it is making the big tackle, the big run, the big pass or the big kick. And they all showed up in WSU's last home game of the season. -- Vince Grippi, Spokesman Review

A painfully bitter football season just got a whole lot sweeter for the Cougars. -- Dan Agnew, The Daily Evergreen

Kevin Lopina has yet to throw a touchdown pass this year...But he threw the biggest pass of the season, helping drop the Huskies to 0-11, 0-8 in Pac-10 play. -- Vince Grippi, Spokesman Review

Well, they're gonna have a shot. But can Kevin Lopina get that ball downfield? -- Petros Papadakis, Fox Sports, with the Cougs on their own 20 with 0:56 left on the clock just before Lopina hit Karstetter to force overtime.

One for the road:

"This win is what you build on." -- Paul Wulff, Washington State

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