Apple Cup - Players' Quotes

Here are the players' comments post-game after Washington defeated Washington State 35-32 in the 99th playing between the two teams in Pullman Saturday night.

Scott White:
On coming back from Stanford: "The magnitude of this game just got everybody's mind off Stanford and onto Washington State. Coming in here we knew we were going to have to play four quarters of football because that's what always happens in this game. It always comes down to the last couple of minutes and, again, it came down to the last drive and this time fortunately we stopped them."

On the program: "We're making improvements. We had two wins last year, we had five this year. We're on the brink. We really are. We had a ton of overtime losses this year. We're playing everybody tough with the exception of a couple games, but I think definitely the best days are ahead."

On Cody Ellis' touchdown: "It just seemed like everytime they started to get momtntum, somebody on the offensive side just decided to step up and make a big play. From Marcel's (Reece) big play, Cody Ellis' big play, then Louis Rankin put us ahead for good. Just every time they started to get something goingit seemed like we were right there to counter them."
Cody Ellis:
On his touchdown: "It got knocked up. I grabbed it with one hand, I turned around, and all I saw was green and I just took off. I'd never made a catch like that in a game before. I think it kind of sparked everything. We got pumped up and were like 'Hey we can do this.' We just all started believing."

On how the Cougars are feeling: "I don't know if we shocked them, but I definitely don't think they thought we were a good team. They were probably like 'They're the Huskies. They just lost six in a row, and just lost to Stanford.' They probably thought they had it easy. Cake. Just walk right into a bowl game. They've got to be a little bit shocked."
Chris Stevens:
On the blocked punt: "It was great to contibute like that. Special teans is just something we've been focusing on and it's great to show that the work we're put into it paid off. We block punts in practice. It finally just showed up in the game. It was great to see everything just mesh together like it was supposed to.

Specifics on the block: "I just rmember through the guy and the nex thing I see is the punter right next to me. I stick my hand out to feel tha clock n scrambling, boucing around.
Carl Bonnell:
On what the game means to him: "Personally it's pretty important. I came here, so there were a lot of people focusin on me in this game. But for the most part, it's this team. We've struggled the last month and a half and it seemed like there was really nothing to play for, but this week the eam found a lot of pride and competed. We competed all week and had a lot of fun and that's why you play football - to experience times like this."

On all the big plays: "When they come, you can't go anything about it. We had a couple short passes that broke for 70-plus yards, a run play that broke down the sideline at a critical time. So when they're coming, we'll take them. Our defense got a couple of balls and the punt block team got on in the end zone. We just played all around, made some big plays and came out with the victory."

On the fans: "After the game when our fans got on the field there were a lot of positive things (being said). One of the fans kept yelling '11 and 44' and I had no clue what it meant. He did it for four quarters and pregame. It was worse a couple of years ago. Their fans were pretty classy today and made a lot of noise."
Washington State Players:
Cody Boyd:
On Special Teams: "Whenever I'd look up right when we'd come off the field for a punt of after we scored on a kickoff it seemed like they always got those extra yards that really helped them out in the long run."

On remembering last year having less time to score the winning touchdown: "We tried everything we could. We were more confident and then they got a good rush on the last couple snaps and it turned out for the worse for us this game."
Dwight Tardy: On the game: "The first thing that goes through my mind is that you've got to step up. Some guys get down, some guys step up. We need the whole team to step up to make the big play and we just didn't have it today. It was big play after big play and you kind of have to get yourself motivated to make a big play for our team. It's frustrating after they keep making the big plays. You kind of ask yourself 'Can I really do this?'. It's hard for all of us because some guys lose their poise, a lot of guys telling other guys to get up. We're arguing and we are frustrated with ourselves, it's kind of like a mess. Everyone is in a big scramble and we couldn't find a way to get it done."
Eric Frampton: On UW's big plays: "They made big plays. I mean, anytime an offense can make big plays like that and make them fast, as fast as they did, that is a heck of a blow. Even our defense, we are resilient most of the time, but it takes a blow and takes something out of the team."

On expecting UW's capability: You know, we didn't expect it. We have been game-planning all week and we knew what we were going to expect. In the game of football you never fully know what to expect from the other team and they just made some big plays."

On their performance: "You could blame it on a number of things. You can blame it on injuries, you can blame it on whatever you want to blame it on, but without things falling the way they did, we are not here today. We are not six and six. It's football, the nature of the beast. It's a group of guys that come together and everybody is not always going to want to do the same thing as a team."

On how tough the loss was: "It is tough, but considering the face that guys were injured. We played hard, but a lot of guys kind of figured it was a gimmie. We talked about it and we turned it around, but too little, too late."
Brandon Gibson: On his two-point conversion: "I was supposed to let the 'backer go by and Al (Brink) saw me a little late but he still threw it. I caught it the first time and he got it in the air and tried to get it. Somehow I muscled it away from him."

On UW's big play ability: "Their offense played really well today. I think we have one of the best D's around and we can play with anybody. They really made a lot of big plays and they really hurt us today...that's what football is about, you make plays and things happen."

On the effect big plays had on WSU's offense: "It didn't affect us at all. We knew the game would come down to us. At the end we had a tough time trying get it into the zone. We played with confidence all year and we believe we're tough to stop. Things happen and it didn't turn our way."
Mkristo Bruce: On the game: "It was a crazy ballgame, but you want those rivalry games to be close, be interesting. It was probably one of the most fun games I've ever played in."

On bowl possibility: "That would be a blessing. I would really love another game, we'll see what happens."

On seeing this coming: "I didn't see this coming at all. A lot of us were surprised. We feel like the only team that could beat the Cougars is the Cougars. There were a lot of little mental mistakes, just one person where they are not supposed to be and it's a 70-yard run. We just didn't come together on a few plays. The whole game we battled and we fought and I was proud of everybody."
Alex Brink: On big plays: "I don't know how much it change what we were doing. We wer still moving the ball up and down the field. We couldn't run it as much as we like, we were running it pretty well in the third and fourth quarter. When you get down by a couple possessions you have to start throwing the ball. You could see they were getting a lot of pressure with three or four guys because they knew we were throwing the ball."

On starting to press down the stretch: "With the shortened game and whatnot you are going to lose some possessions, but I thought we handled it really well. We scored two late touchdowns when they knew we were throwing the ball."

On bowl possibilities: "I have no idea, that's for somebody else to decide, which is unfortunate because we could have controlled that. At the same time we put on some good shows and played well. I don't know. I hope somebody gives us a shot, but that's not up to me."


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