PULLMAN -- Sunday, the Cougars made their 2006 debut in the BCS standings at No. 25. The day before, on Saturday, despite losing both starting d-tackles and four starters total, WSU crossed the goal line five times and held No. 14 Oregon without an offensive touchdown until the halfway mark of the fourth period. The CF.C photo essay: Washington State vs. Oregon, presented in living Technicolor.
Alex Brink celebrates after a Dwight Tardy touchdown run. Brink was close to flawless on Saturday -- completing 20-of-23 passes -- for 177 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception.
Tight end Jed Collins left the Ducks grasping Saturday. The junior did it all in Washington State's 34-23 win over No. 14 Oregon -- catching, running, blocking and tackling.
Michael Bumpus expresses the sentiments of many in the Cougar Nation this weekend. The junior wide receiver leads the Pac-10, and is No. 12 in the nation, in pass receptions at 6.50 a game
Redshirt freshman Dwight Tardy breaks into the clear. The starting running back gained 46-yards on the play, setting up his 1-yard touchdown run that increased the Cougar lead to 18 points late in the fourth quarter. Tardy rushed 20 times for 145 yards.
Cornerback Tyron Brackenridge knew right away he would be taking this interception back all the way.
Tyron Brackenridge took the pass back 24-yards for the score as sideline and stadium erupted. The senior cornerback, before leaving with a hamstring injury, logged four tackles, a pass break up and a quarterback hurry. He also forced a fumble, recovered by Washington State, that was wiped off the books due to an offsides penalty.
Defensive end Mkristo Bruce had another strong showing, recording 8 tackles on the afternoon. One reason why was the play of reserve defensive tackles Bryan Tarkington (left) and Matt Eichelberger (not shown), who were forced into action after Washington State lost both d-tackle starters -- Ropati Pitoitua and Aaron Johnson -- in the first quarter to injury. Already playing without starter Fevaea'i Ahmu, the Wazzu duo of Tark and Ike clogged the middle and occupied the Oregon offensive line, allowing the Cougar ends, linebackers and defensive backs to fly to the football.
Mkristo Bruce and Lance Broadus drop Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart for a loss. Stewart came into the game averaging 100-plus rushing yards a game but on Saturday, he was limited to 28 yards on 11 carries by the Washington State defense.
Left guard Sean O'Connor helps open the lane for running back Dwight Tardy. The line -- O'Connor, left tackle Bobby Byrd, center Kenny Alfred, right guard Andy Roof, right tackle Charles Harris and Dan Rowlands, who came in for an injured Roof, won the battle in the trenches, They provided solid protection, allowing a single sack on a Brink fumble at the start of the fourth quarter, and helped produce 193 yards of rushing for the Cougar offense.
Linebackers Steve Dildine and Greg Trent along with SS Eric Frampton go after the pigskin as Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart tries in vain to corral the ball.
Defensive end Lance Broadus hurries Oregon quarterback Brady Leaf.
Jed Collins and Michael Bumpus after one of Collins' two touchdowns on the day.
Lance Broadus tracks down Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart as linebacker Scott Davis sheds a block and closes in. Stewart's long of the day went for 7 yards, and four of his rushes went for no gain or negative yardage.
Eric Frampton at his current pace would log 111 regular season tackles. The senior has 74 takedowns through 8 games.
Alex Brink takes off on a 15-yard gainer. The junior set a program record in the victory over Oregon, completing an astounding 87 percent of his passes.
Lance Broadus and Mkristo Bruce celebrate following Broadus' sack of Brady Leaf.
Jed Collins had a breakout game against the Ducks, catching three passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, rushing for another score, making a special teams tackle and dispensing several blocks to spring Cougar backs and receivers.
Oregon, with the No. 4 offense in the nation, gained 471 yards against the Cougs but nearly
200 of those (198) came in the fourth quarter, which opened with a 27-3 Cougar lead. Oregon did not score their first offensive touchdown until 7:37 remained in the game and tacked on their final TD, to pull within 11 points, with 34 ticks left on the clock. The Cougar offense found the end zone four times, rushed for 193 yards and scored 4-of-6 times in the redzone -- all touchdowns. WSU also converted 7-of-13 third down tries. The Wazzu D scored a touchdown, grabbed two interceptions and recovered a pair of fumbles. ON SUNDAY, the Cougars returned to the BCS standings, at No. 25, for the first time since the final 2003 BCS rankings. The Cougs' highest BCS ranking came the year previous, during the 2002 season, when WSU climbed to No. 3 before finishing at No. 6.