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An Apple COREonation
Huskies crowned twice, as NW and AC champs
By: Malamute, 22 November 2003

On a cold, bitter night in Seattle, the Washington Huskies came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat the Washington State Cougars 27-19. It was the UW's seventh-straight win over its northwest rivals and its sixth-straight win in the Apple Cup.

The Huskies needed a win after consecutive losses to Arizona and California to avoid a non-losing regular season and have a chance for a post-season bowl game.

The win ensures that Washington (6-6, 4-4) closes out its 27th straight year without have a regular losing season. Furthermore, the Huskies have a slim shot at bowl (see below), and they can take satisfaction that they knocked the eighth-ranked Cougars (9-3, 6-2) out of the Rose Bowl and any other BCS bowl for that matter, in one of the Cougars' bitterest of defeats.

Considering that QB Cody Pickett didn't have a running game to support his effort, this Apple Cup may be one of his greatest games. The Caldwell Cowboy, who is 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, has to be one of the most agile, athletic quarterbacks of his size ever to play in the Pac-10. His footwork rivals that of Fred Astaire and he can avoid a rush like Houdini, both of them smallish legends out of Hollywood's walk of fame.

Pickett is as big and tough as the legendary John Wayne, and almost as talkative.

In its last three games, the Huskies have averaged 71 yards on the ground, while its opponents have averaged 261.3 yards.

The Cougars held a 19-14 lead with 4:57 left in the game and the script was set for one of Pickett's come-from-behind, Hollywood finishes. Add a new member to the cast: freshman wide receiver Corey Williams out of Las Vegas. Finishing off an 73-yard drive, Pickett, with a pump fake and a tight spiral, hit Williams coming off a bubble screen near the endzone for 21 yards and a touchdown to seal the Cougs' fate.

"It felt good. It was right there," Pickett said. "He did a great job because he caught it near the 2 and then got into the end zone. I didn't have the best view, but I saw the ref's hands go up. It was a great feeling."

UW linebacker Marquis Cooper closed out the scoring when he intercepted QB Josh Swogger on a 30-yard touchdown return with 14 seconds left on the clock. The Cougs suffered 5 picks and two lost fumbles, numbers that usually dictate a loss. Surrendering 5 turnovers, the Huskies finished +2 in turnovers in a sloppily played game, in part, its sloppiness dictated by the cold weather, which any golfer will tell you, does a number on timing, tempo, and rhythm.

However, I'm not a football player, just a golfer.

Not meant to be mean-spirited, it can be said that the Cougars ended the game with Swogger, while the Huskies broached some swagger. Ugh, a painful pun, even for me. Sorry, Cougar fans, at least we didn't say you Couged it.

However, it could have been a far different outcome if QB Matt Kegel hadn't had to leave the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. The Cougs sorely missed their senior quarterback's leadership, as they did last year in the Apple Cup, when senior quarterback Jason Gesser suffered a high-ankle sprain.

The Apple Cup is one of the greatest rivalries in all of college sports, and each and every game over the past few years has been a thriller. Both the Cougars and Huskies are class football teams.

At the game's end, the UW fans danced on the "W" at midfield, in another such celebration, the first one triggered by Oregon's Keith Lewis, who said the Ducks would be dancing on the "W" after an expected win over the Huskies in Seattle this year. After that game, the Huskies' players danced on the "W." Lewis' quote was a response to the Huskies' excessive celebration in Eugene the year before, after the Dawgs beat the Ducks 42-14.

No one gets a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration after a football game.

College Football News Projections for the Pac-10:

Dec 24, Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas) (Mountain West #2 versus Pac-10 #5), New Mexico versus Oregon State

Dec 26, Insight Bowl (Phoenix), (Big East #3 or Notre Dame versus Pac-10 # 4), Miami versus California

Dec 30, Holiday (San Diego), (Big 12 #3 versus Pac-10 #2), Washington State versus Oklahoma State

Dec 30, Silicon Valley (San Jose) (WAC #’s 1, 2, or 3 or MAC versus Pac-10 #6), Fresno State versus Washington

Dec 31, Sun Bowl (El Paso) (Big Ten #5 versus Pac-10 #3), Oregon versus Michigan State

Jan 1, Rose Bowl (Pasadena) (Big Ten #1 versus Pac-10 #1 maybe…unless BCS title game), Michigan versus Southern California

--------------------

A Gilbyism (grumpy, old coaches): Asked why he had his quarterback take a knee with 40 seconds left in the first half and with three timeouts and good field-position, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr answered, “Now why would you ask a dumb question like that? "I was just curious Coach," questioner Todd Harris answered.  As he walked away, Carr glanced over his shoulder at Harris and then walked off the field.

The halftime announcers all agreed that Carr’s answer was uncalled for.

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
UW 0 7 0 20 27
WSU 10 3 3 3 19


Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Q        
11:17 WSU FG Drew Dunning 33 yards WSU 3-0
4:26 WSU TD Matt Kegel 17 yard pass to Devard Darling; Dunning kick. WSU 10-0
2nd Q        
:39 UW TD Cody Pickett 4-yard pass to Charles Frederick; Evan Knudson kick. WSU 10-7
:01 WSU FG Dunning 34 yards WSU 13-7
3rd Q        
11:14 WSU FG Dunning 20 yards WSU 16-7
4th Q        
12:03 UW TD Shetlon Sampson 6-yard run; Knudson kick. WSU 16-14
4:57 WSU FG Dunning 26 yards. WSU 19-14
1:10 UW TD Pickett 21-yard pass to Corey Williams; two-point try failed. UW, 20-19
:14 UW TD Marquis Cooper 30-yard interception return; Knudson kick. UW, 27-19
         


Statistic WSU UW
Total First Downs 16 23
  Rushing 8 10
  Passing 8 10
  Penalty 0 3
Total Net Yards 304 261
Net Yards Rushing 147 78
Net Yards Passing 157 183
Completions-attempted-int 16-35-5 23-45-2
Punts Average 47.5 34
Sacks by 4-31 3-25
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 3-19 1-16
  Kickoff Yards 5-55 5-84
  Interceptions Yards 2-0 5-65
Penalties Yards 10-74 8-65
Fumbles, Lost 2-2 4-3
Time of Possession  26:49 33:11

Passing cmp att yds tds int
WSU          
Matt Kegel 6 12 50 1 2
Josh Swogger 10 23 107 0 3
Washington          
Cody Pickett 23 45 183 2 2
           
Rushing att yds tds long  
WSU          
Jonathan Smith 20 128 0 27  
Chris Bruhn 7 26 0 12  
Josh Swogger 4 5 0 12  
Matt Kegel 2 -12 0 1  
           
           
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Shelton Sampson 4 10 1 6  
Kenny James 19 70 0 14  
Cody Pickett 13 -6 0 11  
Zach Tuiasosopo 4 11 0 7  
Garth Erickson 1 -12 0 0  
Reggie Williams 1 5 0 5  
           
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
WSU        
Devard Darling 4 40 1 17  
Scott Lunde 3 33 0 18
Cody Boyd 2 17 0 12  
Chris Jordan 2 22 0 15  
Troy Bienemann 2 11 0 9  
Jonathan Smith 1 3 0 3  
Sammy Moore 1 10 0 10  
Trandon Harvey 1 21 0 21  
           
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Reggie Williams 7 59 0 28  
Charles Frederick 6 41 1 15  
Corey Williams 2 31 1 21
Kenny James 4 28 0 11  
Zach Tuiasosopo 3 18 0 9  
Jon Lyon 1 6 0 6  
           
Punting punts yds long Avg
WSU
Kyle Basler 4 190 62 47/5  
Washington          
Garth Erickson 6 204 41 34  
           
Attendance 74,549          

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