Another Apple Cup has come and gone and it wasn't dull that's for certain. The Huskies cemented their first winning record since 2002 with a 38-21 win.
Washington will now take this week off from practice. They will begin workouts on Saturday. As for their bowl future, it basically comes down to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, the Sun Bowl in El Paso or the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. If I had to make a guess, I would say the Alamo Bowl.
Let's get to the links ...
From my ridiculously lengthy game story ...
Like all true rivalry games, periphery details like bowl eligibility or even a head coach’s job security, get pushed aside for the true idea of the two state schools going meeting for football bragging rights. Those rights will be held by the Huskies, who were simply better than their cross-state counterparts.
For this game, Washington looked more like the team that stormed to a 5-1 record and a top 25 rating, than the team that had stumbled in the past five weeks losing four out of five games, including the last three.
“This has obviously been a long month for us,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “Not to take anything away from the Cougars, or that they didn’t deserve it, but I just felt like our guys deserved it. They’ve worked so hard.”
Sarkisian has maintained during the recent downturn that his team has never lost it’s “want to.” But the “want to” finally reached a “need to” level.
A maligned defense made a few plays to look respectable thanks to a resurgent defensive line led by Alameda Ta’amu and a “small ball” offense finally made some big plays to give the Huskies a 7-5 record, it’s best since the 2002 season.
TNT columnist Dave Boling wrote about Kasen Williams' outstanding first half and "the leap" which as Sarkisian best described it as "ridiculous."
Although he had two nice touchdown grabs, the play fans will best remember was the short pass that he turned up field and levitated over Washington, who tried to take him out low.
“As soon as I turned my head around I saw it was me and him and I figured why not, let’s try to make something happen right here,” Williams said. At the time, the Cougars had come back to tie the score at 14-14. But Williams’ gain went for 18 yards to the WSU 21.
“What a ridiculous play by Kasen Williams … just a fantastic play,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said.
Williams showed his savvy on the next play as quarterback Keith Price was flushed from the pocket and found Williams drifting into an open area in the end zone for his second TD catch.
Williams was a prized signee, and his appearance carried huge expectations. But he had to grow into this performance, having had a modest 28 catches for four touchdowns in the first 11 games.
At times, he flashed the remarkable raw athleticism that led him to be honored as the Parade National Player of the Year in high school, and sweep the state 4A titles in the long jump (24-5), high jump (6-10) and triple jump (50-9).[caption id="attachment_17042" align="aligncenter" width="468" caption="TNT photo by Joe Barrentine"] [/caption]
Todd Milles was also up there for the TNT. He had filed this notebook on the blocked punt by Thomas Tutogi and scoop and score by Jesse Callier, which gave UW an early 7-0 lead.
Todd also wrote about Alameda Ta'amu's dominant game, including a play where he lost his helmet and was smashed in the forehead by teammate Cort Dennison.
Then came the nasty collision. As Ta’amu made a play on WSU running back Rickey Galvin, his helmet came off. He continued on with the tackle, but as he was going to the ground, Dennison came in hard to help finish it off.
Ta’amu’s face absorbed the top of Dennison’s hlemt.
“Felt like a punch,” Ta’amu said.
“I felt bad,” Dennison said, “but hitting him is like hitting a bull.”
Ta’amu got up, staggered for a few seconds and went down on one knee at the 9 minute, 59 second mark of the second quarter. He received assistance from UW athletic trainers.