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Anderson's APPELLation: "It's Good"
Anderson, Reggie, Ellis bag all the apples
By: Richard Linde, 24 November 2002

In one of the most exciting if not sloppiest-played Apple Cups ever, the Washington Huskies beat the Washington State Cougars, 29-26, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington. John Anderson (left) kicked five-consecutive field goals, his last of which, from 49 yards out, clinched a three-overtime victory for the Dawgs. Reggie Williams' 48-yard pass reception in the fourth quarter--considering the freezing conditions and  outcome--may go down in Dawgdom as one of the greatest catches ever.

The game ended in the third overtime on a controversial fumble that was recovered by Kai Ellis. The referee Gordon Riese ruled that quarterback Matt Kiegel had thrown a backward pass, which Ellis deflected and recovered. Therefore, it was ruled a fumble. Washington coach Rick Neuheisel agreed, saying, "It was a backward pass, therefore a fumble, and we ended up with the ball. So the game was over,''

Cougars' coach Mike Price thought it was a forward pass that should have been ruled incomplete.

However, Pac-10 supervisor, Verle Sorgen, announced yesterday that "replays of the play show clearly that the pass was in fact backwards"...

There were several other controversial rulings occurring during the game that could have decided the outcome as well, so the whole issue is moot. For one, the officials ruled that Cody Pickett threw two passes on what appeared to be a bobbled football by Pickett which he caught in mid-air and then passed to Kevin Ware for a 16-yard touchdown in the second overtime. That would have ended the game if it had been ruled a legitimate pass After the 5-yard penalty, Anderson booted a 46-yard field goal that forced the game into a third overtime.

It was a bitter defeat for the Cougars, who lost quarterback Jason Gesser to a high ankle sprain in the fourth quarter. Previously ranked number three in the nation with a shot at the national championship, the Cougars must now beat UCLA to secure a Rose Bowl berth. It is not certain whether Gesser will be able to play against the Bruins on December 7th.

Although Gesser was injured in the fourth quarter, a win seemed almost certain for the Cougars who took a 20-10 lead on Dunning's 22-yard field goal with just 4:41 left in the game. After all, it was a cold bitter night, with swirling winds, and the Huskies had just accounted for 10 points all night long. The stage was set for an improbable comeback.

Enter Reggie.

Starting from his own 8-yard line--an impossible circumstance, indeed--Pickett engineered a magnificent 92-yard touchdown drive that was highlighted by a 48-yard pass play to Reggie Williams who leaped high in the air between two defenders for a soft landing on the Cougars' 15-yard line, the ball firmly in his grasp. At the 3:13 mark, Paul Arnold caught an 8-yard from Pickett to bring the Dawgs to within 3 points. Still, the game looked  out of reach--although a little less than before--with just 3:13 left on the clock.

Enter Nate Robinson.

After the UW touchdown, Washington elected to kick the ball deep inside Cougar territory, forgoing an on-side kick. It was the right decision, the Dawgs pinning the Cougars back on their own 12-yard line. On first down, a false start penalty moved the ball back to the 7-yard line. After John Tippens was stopped for no gain, the Huskies called a time out, with 2:52 left on the clock. On the next play, Nate Robinson intercepted a Kegel pass on the Cougars' 35-yard line, which left 2:44 on the clock and more than enough time to score. Using the clock judiciously, Pickett worked the ball down to the Cougars' 10 yard line for Anderson's tying field goal, a 27-yard effort, with just 15 seconds left in the game.

The teams exchanged field goals in the first two overtimes, and in the third overtime, Anderson kicked a 49-yard field goal, which turned out to be the deciding one. Subsequently, on the Cougars' attempt to win the game, a Kegel pass that was deflected by Kai Ellis was ruled a lateral and a fumble recovery. That ended the game.

In the whole area of turnovers, the Cougars coughed the ball up 5 times while the Dawgs gave it up once. As it turned out, a turnover ended the game.

Near riotous conditions broke out after the game as Cougar fans pelted Husky fans, players and coaches with bottles, containers and debris. One newsman suffered a concussion. According to an AP report, Barbara Hedges, Washington's AD, said she feared for her life.


Forrest's box of chocolates

In a quintessential display of sour grapes and bad sportsmanship, one Seattle sportswriter blamed Husky players for inciting the bottle-throwing barrage by taunting Cougar fans. In actuality, Husky players, down on the field, were celebrating a huge victory over the then-number-three team in the nation. Such joyful moments are common place in college football, and the sportswriter knows it. The same writer voted for Miami over Washington in an AP poll to decide the national championship in 1991, and at times, he egocentrically gloats about his vote in his writings.

Many of the local writers who savaged this Husky team in the print media during the regular season are now eating crow and trying to curry favor with Husky fans, themselves, their friends and their family members. However, they've left their yellow stamp on what is to be remembered as a season of yellow journalism from the local print media, many of them singling out Husky players with unfair criticism and cheap shots as the season went temporarily south. Seeming safe within the confines of their diatribe, none of them expected this complete turnabout, which turns out to be a ghastly turn of events for them, as if they had opened a box of chocolates with Forrest Gump's name on the cover.

The Huskies' remarkable comeback, in this last game and in the preceding two, is what Husky fans will remember most, and from high above, C-Dub and AV, who are always in our hearts and minds, are giving Husky fans and players their wide smiles of approval.

But for two plays, the penalty near the end of the Michigan game and the four-yard punt against UCLA, the Washington Huskies (7-5, 4-4) could easily be 9-3 at this juncture. However, in what has been otherwise a most successful season for an incredibly young team, the Dawgs are the champions of the Pacific Northwest and headed for a bowl. They should be odds on favorites to win the Pac-10 championship next season or my name isn't Forrest Gump. :)


Team 1 2 3 4 OT Tot
Washington 7 0 3 10 9 29
WSU 3 14 0 3 6 26

Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Q
8:54 UW TD Pickett one-yard run; Anderson kick UW 7-0
3:51 WSU FG Dunning 34 yards UW 7-3
2nd Q        
13:18 WSU TD Green 2-yard run; Dunning kick. WSU 10-7
10:07 WSU TD Moore 66-yard pass from Gesser WSU 17-7
3rd Q        
2:56 UW FG Anderson 35 yards WSU 17-10
4th Q        
4:41 WSU FG Dunning 22 yards WSU 20-10
3:13 UW TD Arnold 8-yard pass from Pickett WSU 20-17
0:15 UW FG Anderson 27 yards T 20-20
  UW FG Anderson 34 yards UW 23-20
  WSU FG Dunning 42 yards T 23-23
  WSU FG Dunning 33 yards WSU 26-23
  UW FG Anderson 46 yards T 26-26
  UW FG Anderso 49 yards UW 29-26

Statistic WSU UW
Total First Downs 18 26
  Passing 8 18
  Rushing 6 5
  Penalty 4 3
Total Net Yards 365 417
Net Yards Rushing 122 46
Net Yards Passing 243 371
Completions-attempted-int 19-32-2 34-58-0
Punts Average 3-27.3 3-29.3
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 0-0 0-0
  Kickoff Yards 4-74 1-23
  Interceptions Yards 0-0 2-21
Penalties Yards 10-68 12-129
Fumbles, Lost 5-3 4-1
Time of Possession  28:00 32:00

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Jason Gesser 14 24 222 1 1
Matt Kegel 5 7 21 0 1
Colli Henderson 0 1 0 0 0
Cody Pickett 34 57 371 1 0
Derek McLaughlin 1 0 0 0 0
Rushing att yds tds    
Devard Darling 1 3 0  
Matt Kegel 3 4 0  
Jason Gesser 10 -5 0
Jonathan Smith 7 3 0
John Tippins 10 53 0    
Jermaine Green 6 10 1    
Jerome Riley 2 54 0    
  att yds tds
Braxton Cleman 6 27 0
Cody Pickett 8 -52 1
Zach Tuiasosopo 1 2 0
Rich Alexis 18 75 0
Pat Reddick 1 1 0
Receiving rec yds tds
Mike Bush 5 36 0
Sammy Moore 1 66 1
Jonathan Smith 1 23 0
Troy Bienemann 6 65 9
Jerome Riley 6 53 0
Washington rec yds tds
Reggie Williams 12 168 0
Patrick Reddick 5 49 0
Paul Arnold 3 30 1
Charles Frederick 6 70 0
Rich Alexis 5 34 0
Zach Tuiasosopo 1 18 0
Kevin Ware 2 3 0
Punting punts yds long Avg
Kyle Basler 3 82 35 27.3  
Derek McLaughlin 3 88 47 29.3  

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