Johnson loved the crowd this afternoon. "It's really great when the crowd gets that loud. Swogger has never been in that situation before. It's apple cup. This apple cup belonged to the husky defense. They knew it, we knew it. We blitzed the heck out of them. I was wondering when am I gonna have some base rushes?"
It means a lot to me. I'm from Arizona and have had to grow into the rivalry and grow into the husky family. It's special to me now. However we did it, we did. I'm just happy we did. I'm very proud to be part of the Husky tradition. We fought hard to keep the streaks alive. I will always remember how we kept fighting despite what has happened. When I come back here I will be proud to remember how we kept Husky tradition alive on this night."
Johnson saw a lot of similarities to last year's triple-OT thriller, one on by the Huskies as well. "It was almost identical. We came in with the same goals and aspirations. Like last year, tonight we kept making plays. In a tight game, you have to continue to try and make plays. That's what we did at the end."
WR Reggie Williams may have played his final game as a Husky, but if he did, he's not willing to admit it just yet publicly. Instead he wanted to bask in the afterglow of a win. "It was one of the wildest games I have been in. They were a top-ranked team, but we showed them that we're still the Huskies and they're still the Cougs. I haven't given the NFL any thought. (The Apple Cup) has special meaning to us. Everyone thought we were gonna lose and they would just pound us. We showed everyone that this is husky stadium and you just don't do that. Fans was crazy, haven't seen it like that in a long time. Fans rushed the field, it was fun. (shy, fatigued smile) It was crazy, back and forth, interceptions and turnovers, fumbles. It was just one of those games. But when it got down to the end, we just knew that we were going to pull it out."
Williams commented on the game-winning catch by Corey Williams. "I was on that side of the field, I ran a little bubble route, and the ball was gorgeous and Corey laid out for it. I'm glad to see Corey to get one in there. We knew we were gonna score. They were cheating on me and Corey was wide open… He's a young receiver and that's gonna give him confidence for next year."
Williams is hoping that some bowl will take a chance on Washington. "I hope we do. We're 6-6 and beat a couple of pretty good teams. So I hope we get to go to a bowl."
True freshman WR Corey Williams was all smiles in the post-game media gathering. "This win means more than any other win against any other team. Our record didn't really matter because Apple Cup is the biggest game and we really want to win. Everybody's really happy right now," said the frosh from Nevada.
He talked about his touchdown. "It was a fake bubble screen to Reggie and they're always keying on him. When the defensive back bit and bumped into Reggie I ran around him and Cody threw a perfect ball in between two defenders and I caught it. Then Khalif tackled me and got on top of me, then everyone started getting on top of me. I couldn't breathe. I was on the bottom of the pile. I was actually kind of scared; I didn't think I was going to make it out. Everyone was going crazy and that's what I want to do, make everyone go crazy."
Quarterback Cody Pickett finished his career with a big win. "This is a great feeling for us. Our senior class, we've been through a lot this year. We feel like as a team we've underachieved this year, but this is a great way to go out. We put all that stuff behind us and came out and played great. Our defense did a great job and fortunately we were able to get the win," said Pickett.
He commented on all of the turnovers that occurred this afternoon. "Guys get in big-time games and try their best to make plays and sometimes you force the issue. In my case I tried to lay one up to Reggie and on the other one I scrambled around for awhile then tried to put another one up to him. We were just fortunate enough to be around at the end."
Pickett also threw for two touchdowns. "The first one was just a flat route by my fullback with the receiver running a post over the back. They got on Zach for the flat route, he got behind them, I laid it up to him, and he made a great catch. The last one we ran a little bubble with Reggie, they jumped on him, so I was able to hit Corey in the hole and he made a great catch and did a great job getting in the end zone."
It was a great way to finish a season that was filled with frustration. "You can't be a competitor and out there not moving the ball and not be frustrated. But you can't get too caught up in it, or you can never come back. We could have easily (quit), but instead we fought back. The confidence started to get rolling and we got going in the 4th quarter," said Pickett. "I can't worry about the criticism. All I know is that we're 5-0 against Wazzu, the way we were able to do it. We play for each other. We played for guys who came here before us. That's the thing I will miss about this team is the camaraderie you build. Sometimes people don't understand what you're going through, but the guys that came here before us understand. That's a great feeling for us, to uphold that tradition. You always gotta keep confidence in your guys, and stay positive."
LB Marquis Cooper put the finishing touches on the Apple Cup with an interception return for a touchdown that put all doubts to rest. "It was third and long and you know they were going to pass. There was pressure on the QB and I followed his eyes. When I made the pick, I knew I was going to take it back. All I thought about was scoring once I had the ball."
"It was very similar to last year. It's the same feelings afterward, all over again. We seniors never lost to them and never will. This game is always the best for us. Tonight, it was huge for us, just like last year's win."
SS Evan Benjamin had his best game as a Husky, by far, pulling down two interceptions. "On the first the QB was scrambling and he only had one option. I was guarding that option and he threw the ball and I made the play. On the 2nd interception, Derrick Johnson predicted what play they would run and it turned out to be that exact play. Because of Derrick's call I played that play perfectly."
"This is one of the best games I have ever played in. We got a lot of QB pressure. We were focused and we played tough the entire game. We were running around and making plays. The whole defense fed off of each other today. The play of the linebackers and the (defensive) line made my job as well as Jimmy Newell's job a lot easier."
Benjamin felt that it was very important to send the seniors out right. "We were playing for the seniors today. They have been through a lot, and they have put so much into this program. Owen Biddle is a great example. I was playing for him and the entire senior class. I am really happy to get this victory for our seniors."
LB Greg Carothers was one of the more outspoken players on this year's team when things went tough. Tonight was a bit more fun for the senior from Helena, Montana. "I had fun out there. I didn't play as well as I wanted to, but it was a great win for us. I think emotion has a lot to do with it but we also schemed well. Coach Snow had a good plan in for us. And we were just making plays. And turnovers, turnovers were huge. I don't think we did anything specific (schematically), we just ran the right plays. I don't think we were being any more aggressive than earlier in the year, things were just going our way. I would never say that a Washington team would build its season around one win, but there's no question it was a big win for us… Maybe it's a stepping stone in the right direction for us."
OL Khalif Barnes had a blast this evening, and it showed. "It was probably one of the funnest games I have played out there. It's been fun trying to take on the challenge, and I have one more shot at it next year and I'm hoping it can be my best one."