One for the Ages
A Duckfighter Illustrated Flashback:
Washington will be a legitimate big under dog heading into Martin P. Vandal Stadium for the annual and only occasionally compelling Apple Cup. The vaunted Cougs are superior in record and performance this year, and man for man will dominate the scrappy yet earnest Dawgs. Our only chance is an inspired for the ages performance from the Huskies and an uncharacteristic fade by the Cougars, who are known for closing the deal when it is offered to them. Has WSU ever choked? I didn't think so. We told you the Huskies would blow out the Ducks. We invented the Northwest Cup so the Huskies could win it. We have said for months that the Huskies will win the Apple Cup. We own the state of Oregon. We are awake and ready to go. Like last years Holiday Bowl, except for vastly improved cornerback play, the Huskies will win a game they have no business being in on paper. Like someone said, that Neuheisel is slick enough to beat his rival in a down year. We predicted: UW - 33, WSU – 31
Moral of that flashback? We never left the bandwagon, Reggie, and we never will.
The Washington Huskies completed a sweep of the Northwest Cup tournament with a classic three OT win over the heavily favored Cougars at Martin. P. Vandal Stadium. We scoffed at the so-called experts who proclaimed all over the airwaves Saturday morning that WSU was superior along both lines and would dominate the game.
It is the Huskies who dominate the northwest, and they dominated the lines Saturday night to shut down the highflying Coug attack, and to manufacture just enough offense against an impressive Cougar defense. Rien Long was a non-factor, and as one who has met Steve Emtman, I can say that Rien Long is no Steve Emtman.
With 4 minutes left in the game the Huskies were backed up on their own 8 yard line trailing by 10 points after yet another bizarre punt attempt gone awry. Lesser teams would have folded then, and the Cougs did. Despite popular excuse making, Jason Gesser does not play defense for the Cougs, and so his unfortunate injury could not be blamed for what was to come.
Reggie Williams was "contained" all night by the vaunted Coug defensive backfield, and "held" to only 160 yards on 12 catches. Cody was "held" to 360 yards passing. Nevertheless, they combined for a stunning 48-yard play to move the Dawgs into scoring position. It was a remarkable catch for a remarkable receiver for whom there are not enough superlatives to use in describing him.
Caldwell Idaho's own, Cody Pickett, the first non-Washington quarterback in school history, showed that his new road maturity was no fluke as he stood in against a fierce pass rush on hostile ground and led the Purple and Gold to glory. Cody surpassed 4,000 yards for the season, and earned front-runner status for the 2003 Heisman. We would just as soon forget that, but we are old cranks. Rich Alexis banged his way to 70 hard fought yards. Paul Arnold caught one big TD and just missed the game winner in regulation. The oft-maligned O line continued to improve, and were the difference down the stretch, as the Husky Defense swamped the Cougs more publicized O line.
John "Moneyball" Anderson hit 5 pressure packed field goals, including the game winner from 49 yards out. It will be hard to say good-bye to this fine young man who is even better off the field. Be proud, Sundawg and Patty, you raised a winner in every way.
And a big thank you to all of the small but heart filled senior class. You guys laid the foundation for the glory to come.
Husky defense is back in style in a big way as Terry Johnson led the charge and Kai Ellis saved the best game of his too short career for last. This was no green horn quarterback, it was Heisman hopeful Jason Gesser who was flustered and rattled and finally unable to continue after a legal but scary tackle by Johnson. Tim Hundley, Bobby Hauck, Randy Hart and all of the coaches and players shut up the critics, including yours truly, with a stretch run for the ages. Constant weekly improvement was the theme, after the Huskies bottomed out against ASU. The Huskies were plus 10 in turnovers the last three games after being minus 8 the first nine games.
Nate Robinson is the Husky MVP in the category for players not named Reggie or Cody. It was the insertion of Nate into the lineup that marked the turning point for the formerly sputtering pass defense. Nate is said to be even better at basketball. Might check on Final Four tickets if true.
I could go on and on, and I will in our season in review issue coming soon to a newsstand near you.
For now we will just say – Bow Down to Washington, the champions of the northwest, and 2003 pre season favorites to win the Pac 10 title.
THE COUGAR PERSPECTIVE:
Officials rob Cougars – cheatin' Huskies steal game
Rob Bobertson – Pullman Jail
Editors Note: Mr. Bobertson was identified as a bottle thrower after Saturday's game. He is in the Pullman jail awaiting trial. Race Bannon is the lead witness for the prosecution.
Mike Price fumed at the officiating as he stormed off the field after his 11th Apple Cup loss in 14 tries. The roses remained in their boxes and the Cougs remain one win and 62 years away from their Rose Bowl bid.
Jason Gesser ended his college career with an unfortunate injury and a wild claim that the Huskies had cheated the Cougs once again. Gesser threw his first pass to Owen Biddle, setting up a Husky score, and the Cougs continued to struggle in the red zone as they killed themselves in the foot time and time again.
Jermaine Green, who was going to run for 200 yards against the soft Husky defense was also hurt and unable to continue. Marcus Trufant was game, but overmatched by Reggie Williams.
The officials were obviously on the Tyee payroll, and the Husky players got in front of the bottle disposal areas that Cougar fans were throwing at. I would hope the league will investigate the Husky program for letting their players stand in front of bottles being thrown not at them. Haven't the young men from Seattle heard of recycling? The Cougar student section was just doing their best to recycle, it's not their fault the Husky players were standing in front of the bins. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
If you have ever wondered what it is like being a Coug – Saturday night told you all you need to know. Number three in the whole nation, able to clinch the Rose with a win over the Huskies, the media on our side, the Husky program in trouble, a ten point lead, the Huskies on their own 8 yard line – and we coog it.
It ain't easy being crimson and gray. See you in five to ten. Oh yeah, we still get to play UCLA with our back up QB in two weeks. More on that match up in the next issue. Remember to always be a good sport, be a good sport, always. And stay out of the way of those recycle bins.
THE DUCK PERSPECTIVE:
Duck collapse is complete
Mallard N. Moore, Boise, Idaho
Mike Bellotti has just finished the third 3-5 league campaign of his 8-year career at Oregon. The Ducks went from 6th in the nation to 8th in the Pac 10 in just 6 short weeks. It is going to be harder and harder for the dedicated workers in the Duck Math Lab to come up with hokey ways to show a superiority that just does not exist. That is Math Lab, not meth lab.
The Ducks completed a 0-3 run through the northwest to take firm hold on the basement, as the OSU Beavers ran roughshod 45-24 at Parker-Reser-We need a sponsor Stadium.
Derrick Anderson found the toasty Duck secondary much more to his liking as he threw for four touchdowns after throwing five picks against the Huskies. The Schoolyard Legend had another three picks, two less than the legendary Joey, but still looks like he will have a fight on his hands to keep the job next season.
A few weeks ago the Huskies were 4-5 and the Ducks were 7-2. Now we are both 7-5. The Huskies have 26 winning regular seasons in a row, haven't been under .500 in league since 1988. They finish ahead of Oregon for the third time in Neuheisel's four years. They bounced back and finished strong beating the number three team in America on the road. They swept the mouthy wannabes who proclaimed that they would push the dirt on the Husky coffin. On the flip side, the Ducks lost 5 of 6 when they hit teams with a pulse. They did not total 100 yards in the third quarter in all five games put together.
Yet there are still those who say that Bellotti is the best coach and that Oregon has passed the Huskies by. Of course, they live in Iraq.
Come home Jeff Tedford.
FINAL NORTHWEST CUP STANDINGS
1 – Washington: 3-0
2 – Washington State: 1-1
3 – Oregon State: 1-1
4 – Oregon: 0-3
And Finally: - Duckfighter Illustrated extends a vote of confidence for Mike Bellotti....Duckfighter Illustrated extends a vote of confidence for Mike Price.......Our confidence in Rick Neuheisel has been rewarded.....USC destroyed UCLA, setting up an easy win for the Cougs in LA......right?........take those roses Cougs.......the Trojans should roll over the Irish.....Cal beat Stanford to wrap up a 7-5 season.......Ohio State beat Michigan to take one Fiesta spot.....TV TALK.......FOX Net announcers brought out the blowout material in the 2nd quarter of a ten point game at the Apple cup......Guys, call the game, not Drew Bledsoe.......Bill Wixey had a meltdown on the post game show....Why did they lose????? Why did they lose????.......we love you Tom Ramsey but silence can be golden once in awhile....Barry Tompkins called Mike Bellotti the best game day coach in America......stop laughing......Price does more with less.......so why did everyone say the Cougs were superior at every position?.....Oklahoma destroyed Texas Tech to set up a rematch with Colorado for the Big XII title......See you in Las Vegas?.....that last laugh feels good, doesn't it?... Go Dawgs – and thanks to all the players and coaches for a November to remember!
Thanks for reading! – Race
Race Bannon can be reached at email@example.com
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