DUCKFIGHTER ILLUSTRATED

IN THIS ISSUE:<ul> <li>Cougs claim national title<br> <li>Apple Cup already decided<br> <li>Buffs fall to the Crimson and Gray<br> <li>Barney accepts responsibility<br> <li>Buffs blame Neuheisel<br> <li>Ducks strive for respectability<br> <li>Michigan tunes up for Autzen<br> <li>UW spends bye week on softball batting practice</ul>


Cougars crush Buffs
Rob Bobertson, work release

The Washington State Cougars wrapped up their first ever national championship with their first ever road win over a ranked non-conference opponent. Cougar fans immediately started threatening Husky fans with Apple Cup doom, an annual event around these parts. While previous threats have carried all the weight of a pronouncement from Baghdad Bob, this time the Cougs mean it. Really. No kidding around, the Huskies are doomed. And the airport is still open.

General Barney Barnett lamented the way that Colorado killed themselves in the foot with five turnovers. Buff assistant Jason Gesser refused to give the Cougs any credit, instead bemoaning the mistakes committed by CU all day long.

Barnett now has the dubious distinction of being on the opposing sideline as Oregon won their first New Year's Day bowl since the Kaiser ruled Germany with an iron fist. In addition, he is the coach that allowed the Cougs to get their first ever non-conference win over an opponent that anyone has heard of. Old time Buff fans remember fondly that former Coach Rick Neuheisel owned the Pac 10 when he was at Colorado.

The Cougars came out breathing fire as they hoped to atone for their shocking collapse against a poor Notre Dame team the week before. Sammie Moore got things off to a rousing start with a 70-yard TD reception. He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the play when he pulled a sharpie from his sock, signed a water bottle, and threw it at the Colorado players.

The Buff defensive plan was to watch the ball sail over their heads into the hands of wide open Cougar receivers, and it worked all day. They also gave up a scintillating kick off return to the previously mentioned Sammie Moore, who celebrated by hopping on a plane to Dallas to dance on the star at Texas Stadium. The Buffs also executed some beautiful intercepted passes that were returned for touchdowns.

The only bright spot for CU was that their two walk-on quarterbacks penetrated the airtight Cougar secondary for 348 yards.

The Cougs learned their lesson and turned a ten-point halftime lead into a 31 point lead with a third quarter explosion. With WSU up 47-19 late in the game, the Coug faithful still worried about the outcome. But there would be no epic collapse this week, only questions as to why the Cougs stuck with Mike Price for 14 years, when Bill Doba was there waiting all along.

Moreover, Race Bannon was wrong. The Cougars will contend for the Pac 10 crown. However, I would like to thank Mr. Bannon for paying off the judge and springing me from jail.

Next Up: New Mexico at Pullman, Martin Vandal Stadium

In doing my research on the Los Lobos from New Mexico, I could not help but notice that the uniform manufacturer had mistakenly sent the Cougs uniforms to New Mexico. This could cause some confusion for the QBs next week. NMU lost to BYU in a defensive struggle. The Lobos are in tough, as the national championship trophy will be presented to the Cougs before the game. Look for the fired up Cougs to roll and win another Apple Cup in the process.

WSU – 48, NMU – 14
Ducks surprise well coached Wildcats at Zona
Mallard N. Moore

The Oregon game started at 10PM Eastern Time, which caused most of their New York fans to miss the game, as it came on four hours earlier than usual. The Ducks crushed the Wildcats, also known as "Team Together," 48-10. In a rare treat, Duck fans in Washington were able to watch the game, as the blackout law was repealed for one week.

The two-headed monster at quarterback continues to destroy all opposition. Andy Ludwig is finally emerging from the long shadow of Jeff Tedford, and Mike Bellotti has put together another juggernaut in Eugene.

The Philly Phlash, Chris Vincent showed an alarming combination of size and speed, as well as an ability to fumble. Father Bellotti has another transfer running back to excite the faithful with. The Ducks are loaded at running back, quarterback, receiver, linemen, and defensive backs. In short, there are no holes on this team, which may be the Pac 10's only hope against the Cougar juggernaut from Pullman.

Next Up: Michigan at newly remodeled Autzen Arena
Point – Counterpoint
Presented by "Jane, you Ignorant Slut" Productions. (All rights reserved.)

Mallard: The Wolverines struggle on their trips to the West Coast, and this week should be no exception.

Race: The Wolverines come to Seattle or LA when they struggle on those trips, not Eugene.

Mallard: Michigan lost at Husky Stadium two years ago, and the Huskies were one player away from completing the sweep at the Big House last year. Oregon can play with Michigan, and will have no fear.

Race: Their own incessant marketing will victimize Oregon as the Wolves will not take them lightly, which was your best chance for victory. In addition, the Ducks are not the Huskies.

Mallard: (sneeringly) The Ducks are not the Huskies, well thank Phil Knight, I mean God, for that. Notre Dame was a one-dimensional team with a green offensive line and an offensive offense that cannot throw the ball to save Ty Willingham's job. Any halfway decent team can rout Notre Dame. The Ducks' varied attack and great O line will make for a long day for the Wolverine defenders. On the other side, the Ducks will jam Chris Perry and the running game and force John Navarre to beat them. I do not think he can. When was the last time a team came into Autzen and had success throwing the ball? Navarre is no Andrew Walter, Carson Palmer, or Cody Pickett. Or that 4th string kid from Nevada.

Race: You just might be right, Mallard. You just might be right. Nobody blows the Ducks out at Autzen, so forget that talk. It will be a close game. I will join you in the homer call.

UO – 28, UM – 24
Huskies prepare for Idaho
Race Bannon

The Washington Huskies return to action next week in yet another thrilling Husky Stadium non-conference game against Idaho. The Huskies spent their bye week continuing the long rebuilding job ahead, and losing the Apple Cup to the Cougars.

Those fans that show up will be looking for continued improvement and more than a 25 point win.

There were some position changes as Isaiah Stanback will see time at slot receiver, tailback, rush end, free safety and of course quarterback. He also got some work in at short fielder in the softball outfield. Ty Eriks was moved from fullback to spell Stanback at rush end, and to play back up shortstop.

The excitement around Husky Football this year is almost too much to bear.

Around the World: . . . Missouri moved to 3-0 . . .Florida State needed two fourth quarter touchdowns to survive Georgia Tech . . . as the 5:00 Pacific time games wound down GT was driving to regain the lead on FSU, Illinois was driving for a tying field goal against UCLA, and Penn State was mounting a comeback drive against Nebraska while New Mexico tried to pull one out against BYU . . . my remote control finger was placed on the disabled list this morning . . . Ohio State survived yet another close call . . . Tressel has ice water flowing through those veins . . . NC State set new lows in play calling on their last OT series, there is nothing sneaky about their quarterback running behind center twice in four downs . . . Nebraska showed that all the hard work on their passing game paid off in their win over Penn State . . . the Huskers threw the ball SIX times while pounding the option into Joe Pa's grizzled countenance . . . Oregon State survived New Mexico State while losing Steven Jackson . . . churches are full in Corvallis this week . . . Mac Brown has parlayed yet another bogus Internet recruiting title into yet another shocking loss for Texas . . . no truth to the rumor that W has added him to the axis of evil . . . UCLA fans are dreading their trip to Norman to face the Sooners . . . keep the faith Bruins, when UW comes to town Drew Olsen will look like a Heisman candidate, and all your ills will disappear, as is always the case in this series lately . . . USC didn't go over the Rainbow, they crushed it . . . the Trojan offense just managed to outscore their defense as the Trojans hung 60 on Hawaii for the second time in four years . . . USC gets the week off, then faces Tedford and the angry Bears of Cal.

As always, thanks for reading and be a good sport, or failing that, go ahead and be a bad sport, we really don't care – Race
To read more of Race Bannon's work, click here. He can be reached at duckfighter@dawgman.com.

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