What They're Saying: Post Apple Cup Edition

CHRIS IVORY

THE EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT drama of the Apple Cup's centennial edition and WSU quarterback Alex Brink's storybook farewell were recurring themes in several tabloid recaps of the Cougars' 42-35 victory against Washington on Saturday. With quips, quotes and takes on Bill Doba's future, Brandon Gibson's big catch and more; from Seattle to Spokane, here's what they're saying.

At midfield, Locker led a brief chapel among a large number of Cougars and Huskies. He had his right hand on the shoulder pads of Brink, who, no matter what you think of him, deserved to go out being known as something other than the most prolific quarterback who got the Cougars, well, nowhere. Bud Withers, Seattle Times

While insisting that no decision had been made on Doba's future – whether to let him coach out a contract that runs through 2009 – and would happen only after he meets with the coach Sunday or Monday, Sterk sounded like a boss laying the foundation for the status quo. John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

On the other side of the field – and the other side of the emotional scale – was Corey Williams. The Washington receiver had exploded into the consciousness of UW fans in his first Apple Cup, catching the 21-yard game-winner in 2003. Saturday, in his final Apple Cup, Williams made a crucial error that may have turned the game more than any other. With the score tied and six minutes remaining, Williams took a catch down to the WSU 28 – in field goal range. However, the ball popped loose while he was being tackled, and the Cougars recovered. Don Ruiz, The (Tacoma) News Tribune


REFFETT CAN'T CATCH BRINK

Then, inexplicably, the Husky secondary bit on a play fake and Gibson was all alone in the secondary, waiting for Brink's pass to arrive. "We just blew the coverage," UW coach Tyrone Willingham said. "Our communication was not good, not complete across the board. We had some guys playing one thing and some playing something else." Gibson said, "I looked at it and said I will catch this ball or the state of Washington will be upset with me." Dave Trimmer, Spokesman-Review

For the fifth time this season, the UW defense allowed more than 500 yards of total offense. For the fifth time, it allowed more than 40 points. For the second time at home, it lost a fourth-quarter lead to a beatable opponent. This latest blowup will hurt the most and might wind up defining another losing year. All the disappointment — for this game, for this season — can be captured in one play: Washington State quarterback Alex Brink's game-winning, 35-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson. Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times

Consistency, player development, game approach – something seems to be lacking here. It shouldn't take a humiliation every other week to bring out the best in a football team. Something needs to change – though Doba again maintained it's not the staff. John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

It was WSU's third win in four years over the Huskies, tying the best four-year stretch for the Cougars in the Apple Cup's 100-game history. The only other periods when WSU won three of four games from Washington was 1951-54 and 1982-85. It is the crowning accomplishment for Doba over the past four years, which has been otherwise light on achievements. The Cougars (5-7, 3-6) haven't played in a bowl game since 2003. Nick Daschel, The Columbian

And in a hallway near WSU's locker room, there was Bill Doba. He has won the Apple Cup three times in five seasons, a better percentage than any crimson coach since World War II, and for his handiwork, he may get fired Monday.Except he wasn't acting like a guy checking for guillotines above his head. Bud Withers, Seattle Times


DOBA: Smile says it all

More important is if Doba's continued presence makes Sterk and Floyd feel confident – as well as the returning players, future Cougars and all those who have given their hearts, souls and sweat to Washington State football. Anyone, in fact, who has an investment in the program. Yes, even the anonymous yahoos of the airwaves and cyberspace. Dismissed as irrelevant and generally reviled as the great evil of 21st century sports by 20th century minds, they're the same yahoos who are solicited to care and fill the seats and donate. Of course, they're about as collectively successful at those endeavors as Doba's Cougars have been on the field the past four seasons – a fact they routinely ignore. John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

Greatness eluded Washington and Washington State's football teams for this season. But for one afternoon, the two state squads came together to give fans one of the most exciting Apple Cups ever seen, a fitting way to celebrate the 100th playing of the rivalry. Bob Condotta, Seattle Times

And as Brink walked the walk of triumph in the wake of WSU's 42-35 victory over Washington, he carried on his shoulders the yoke of college athletics. Because Brink is a success story. An unabridged, unedited, unquestionable success story, even though every other chapter is pockmarked by failures. Greg Jayne, The Columbian

When the celebrating was over, Alex Brink borrowed a teammate's camera and took a photo of the scoreboard. Washington State 42, Washington 35."There's no doubt in my mind that I want a big poster on my wall of that scoreboard," he said. Brink's last collegiate pass had won the game. He called it "a storybook ending." Craig Smith, Seattle Times

Someone stop by Husky Stadium this morning and check the west end zone for Andy Mattingly. The Washington State sophomore linebacker might still be there, holding onto a giant Cougars flag he planted into the purple lettering in the end zone, giddy and grinning after the Cougars won the 100th Apple Cup 42-35 in the thrilling fashion that has been the calling card of so many of the previous 99 meetings between the Huskies and Cougars. "I ain't moving," he said, holding the flag pole tight. "The crimson on top of the purple, it looks good."John Boyle, Everett Herald


IVORY STRETCHES FOR SIX

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