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Dawgs win LafApple Cup, lose game
A Kiffin sighting?
Malamute, 22 November 2008

Pullman. In the 101st renewal of the Apple Cup, Nico Grasu kicked a 37-yard field goal in the second overtime to give the Washington State Cougars a 16-13 win over the winless Washington Huskies.

Pathos:

Washington (0-11, 0-8) has lost 13 straight games dating back to last season and has one game left, a game to be played with Cal at Berkeley a week from next Saturday. Washington State (2-10, 1-8) finishes at Hawaii next Saturday. 

The Huskies outplayed the Cougars for 3/4 of the game, but couldn't put the Cougs away when it counted, missing two field goals in the second half, each of which, in hindsight, would have put the game on ice.

The second miss was the most dramatic of the two.

Starting on their own 23 and leading 10-7 in the fourth quarter, the Huskies mounted a 14-play drive that took 7:07 off the clock and carried to the Cougars' 11-yard line, with a 3rd and 9 remaining.  In what may be the play of the season, QB Ronnie Fouch hit the outstretched hands of WR Devin Aguilar, who ran a slant route to the inside, the ball just inches away from being complete. Oh, so close.

On fourth down, with 3:24 to go, Ryan Perkins, wearing a knee brace to protect a shredded right knee, attempted a 28-yard field goal from a sharp angle. The ball hooked left and missed the left goalpost by about 5 yards. (Let me say that Center Juan Garcia and Perkins who have both played through the season after suffering serious injuries are the most courageous Dawgs I've seen since Jim Owens coached the Huskies.)

What seemed to be a last ditch effort and starting from his own 20, Kevin Lopina completed a pass to Kevin Norrell for 14 yards. On the fourth down of the next series, the Cougars fell one-yard short of a first down and gave the ball back on their own 43, left for dead.

With 2:02 left in the game, the Huskies needed just one first down to win the game. The Dawgs rushed 3 times for 7 yards and had a decision to make: go for it or punt the ball away? They chose the latter, and Jared Ballman punted into the end zone for a touchback. After the punt that netted 16 yards, a resuscitated Cougar team had the ball back on its own 20 with 1:04 remaining, and once again their fans were wildly chomping on their chewy tobacco.

After a first down to the 34, Lopina threw a Hail-Mary, completing a 48-yard pass to Jared Kartstetter to the UW 18. A short pass to Kartstetter got the ball to the 11, from where Grasu booted a 28-yard field goal to tie the score, taking the game into overtime.

News of the overtime spread like wildfire through the Palouse. It seems they have this here vacuum-tube radio network established. What'll they think of next.  

The momentum was clearly with the chewy tobacco, and the spittoons sounded like a torrential rain off a hot tin roof in the Bahamas. In town, the speakeasies opened their doors; in the hills, the moonshiners fired up their stills and, in nearby shoddily built cabins, the bearded fiddlers rosined their bows. In Pullman, it would be a night of frolicking and foot-stomping merriment.

Each team traded field goals in the first overtime, with the Cougars going first.

With the score knotted at 13 in the second overtime, Perkins missed a 37-yard field goal, which gave Grasu his shot at winning the game...and he hit the ball dead solid perfect.

QB Ronnie Fouch played a good game, completing 11 of 16 passes for 99 yards. He was picked once and finished with a passing-efficiency rating of 108.22, which is a lot better than his PE of 28.53 posted against UCLA last week.

The Dawgs ran the ball for 224 yards behind a punishing offensive line, their best performance on the ground since the Hawaii game last season when they rushed for 261 yards. RB Willie Griffin rushed 26 times for 112 yards, and Terrance Daily added 89 more on 20 tries.

Commentary:

A sign of our times, thousands of WSU fans cascaded onto the field to gloat over their improbable victory, seemingly aiming much of their classless celebration at those loyal Husky fans who have suffered through 6-straight-non-winning-gut-wrenching seasons. ;-)

Hey, we don't get mad, we'll get even next year.

After the telecast of the game, former Cougar quarterback Jason Gesser (Fox NW) rubbed the Huskies' loss in some more, in another tasteless show of class. What do you expect from a Coug?

Give the APR-challenged Cougars a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration.

Would the Seattle Times have published "Victory and Ruins" and its pillorying of the late Curtis Williams had he been alive and still a paraplegic? Yes, probably. It's a sign of our times, as sad as it is to say. 

This season, Washington can bill itself as arguably the worst team to play BCS college football by winning the LafApple Cup (pronounced Laughable Cup). Both teams hadn't won a BCS game all season long.

A Kiffin sighting?

During the television broadcast, color man Petros Papadakis said that he’d seen an unemployed head coach in the Seattle airport on his way to Pullman. I’m guessing he’d seen Lane Kiffin, the former Oakland Raiders' coach who is out of work. I’m sure they’ve spoken to each other before and are somewhat acquainted, so they'd know each other by sight.

Here's my reasoning.

In 2002 and 2003 Papadakis was the sideline reporter for USC games on "The Ticket." Kiffin worked at USC as an assistant coach from 2001 to 2006, so their tenure on the USC sidelines crossed paths.

Was Kiffin in Seattle to interview for the head coaching position at Washington, vacated by the forced retirement of Tyrone Willingham? Papadakis declined to say who it was. Papadakis played TB at USC from 1997-2000.

Or was it Dennis Franchione Petros saw?

Satire:

Reruns of the LafApple Cup should be marketed for an insomniac’s DVD player as an addiction-free sleeping pill.

This version of the Cup had the perfect setting, being played to establish the school legacy of the APR-challenged Jim Moore of the P-I.

It was a game played between poetry buffs and bonehead English majors.

It featured a lame-duck coach versus a coach that couldn’t hit a lame duck with a 10-guage shotgun.

It was a collision of two three-pound-broiler chickens hoping to morph into an 18-pound turkey.

It was a Palouse pillow fight between two sand-kicked 97-pound weaklings, each of whom can't bench press a powder puff.

It had all of the pregame hoopla of a Ty Willingham job interview.

The losing team can bill itself as the worst ever to play college football.

It was a game for people who sell short and bet on losers.

Satire aside:

As an alumnus of the University of Washington, I wish to thank each and every member of the football team for their hard work and dedication and loyalty to the school, and, lastly, for not quitting on the coaching staff during what has been an acutely disappointing season for their fans and themselves.

It easy to be a gracious winner and much harder to be a gracious loser. Thanks to the dedication and role modeling of our senior class, this team of youthful Huskies will sample many victories on the gridiron before their careers are over. Dawgs for life.

Team 1 2 3 4 OT Total
UW 0 10 0 0 3 13
WSU 0 0 7 3 6 16


Time Team How Player (s) Score
2nd qtr        
12:17 UW TD Willie Griffin 3-yard run; Ryan Perkins kick. UW, 7-0
5:07 UW FG Ryan Perkins 35-yarder. UW, 10-0
3rd qtr
2:56 WSU TD Logwone Mitz 57-yard run; Nico Grasu kick. UW, 10-7
4th qtr
0:00 WSU FG Grasu 28-yard field goal Tie, 10-10
OT
15:00 WSU FG Grasu 19-yard field goal. WSU, 13-10
15:00 UW FG Perkins 22 yarder Tied, 13
15:00 WSU FG Grasu 37 yarder WSU, 16-13

 

Statistic UW WSU
Total First Downs 20 15
  Rushing 14 8
  Passing 6 7
  Penalty 0 0
Total Net Yards 323 338
Net Yards Passing 99 167
Net Yards Rushing 224 171
Completions-att-int 11-16-1 17-30-1
Punts, yards, average 4-143, 35.8 6-225, 37.5
Sacks by (number, yards) 4-23 1-9
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 1-30-0 1-27-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 1--3-0 1-0-0
Kickoff Yards 3-232 2-125
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 2 1
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 1-19-0 1-2-0
Penalties, no., Yards 4-50 3-20
Fumbles: number/lost 2-0 2-0
Time of Possession  35:26 24:34

Passing cmp att yds tds int
WSU          
Kevin Lopina 17 29 167 0 1
           
           
Washington          
Ronnie Fouch 11 16 99 0 1
           
           
Cougars' Rushing No. Yds TDs Long  
Dwight Tardy 19 75 0 11  
Logwone Mitz 7 70 1 57  
Reid Forrest 1 28 0 28  
Bradon Gibson 1 0 0 0  
Kevin Lopina 9 -2 0 -2  
           
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Terrance Dailey 20 89 0 17  
Ronnie Fouch 5 -3 0 4  
Cody Bruns 2 24 0 14  
Jordan Polk 1 5 0 5  
Brandon Johnson 3 -2 0 4  
TEAM 1 -1 0 0  
Willie Griffin 26 112 1 17  
           
WSU Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Dwight Tardy 2 7 0 6
Brandon Gibson 5 27 0 8  
Devin Frischnecht 3 33 0 21  
Kevin Norrell 3 31 0 14  
Jared Karstetter 2 55 0 48  
Jeshua Anderson 2 14 0 8  
           
           
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
D'Andre Goodwin 5 40 0 14  
Terrance Dailey 1 5 0 5  
Jermaine Kearse 1 5 0 5  
Michael Gottlieb 4 49 0 32  
           
Punting punts yds long Avg
WSU        
Reid Forrest 6 225 44 37.5
           
Washington          
   
Jared Ballman 4 143 43 35.8  
Attendance: 32,211          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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