Cougars Take Apple Cup!
First and foremost, Go Cougs. The season thus far couldn’t have been more tragic if Shakespeare wrote it. There was only one thing that could surmount some sort of silver lining – an Apple Cup victory in Pullman.
And oh, how sweet it was.
In all of my years here at Washington State, there has never been a sweeter moment than seeing that football leave Andrew Furney‘s foot and travel through the uprights.
That field goal sent the town into a frenzy for an entire weekend. I had never seen anything like it.
This atmosphere was huge for our recruiting process, with major recruits visiting this game and experiencing one of the greatest moments in Cougars’ history.
While Furney was the hero in this one, there were several others who made the victory possible.
Offensive Game Ball
When the biggest game of the year is on the line – and you come out victorious – the initial reaction is to award the leader and captain of the team.
If that were the case, Jeff Tuel would be the recipient. While Tuel did his part in game-management, his stats didn’t exactly jump off of the page. He threw for 350 yards, but he failed to find the end zone and threw 2 interceptions.
Since the abandonment of Marquess Wilson, Dominique Williams has really come into his starting role. And last Saturday was no different. Williams posted 143 yards on 8 receptions, both career-highs for the red shirt freshman.
However, the offensive game ball on from this game has to go to Carl Winston. It is no secret that the Cougars’ rushing attack has been pitiful all season – especially in the red zone. Winston had the team-lead in rushing with 280 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dear God.
The team was laughable on the goal line, and it was almost a guarantee that we were not going to score whenever the QB went under center. For these reasons, Winston’s 3 touchdowns were even more impressive than usual. Winston scored the only offensive touchdowns for the team, and they were all in goal line situations that the Cougars struggled so greatly in all season.
He stepped up in the Cougars’ most desperate area and his timing could not have been better.
Defensive Game Ball
The Cougar defense was rather impressive in the first half, holding the Huskies to 7 points. The second half was a different story.
Keith Price threw for a touchdown and Bishop Sankey rushed for two more to give UW 21 second-half points. They were up 18 with 10 minutes left, and a late Cougar rally gave the home team an overtime birth for the victory.
The defensive game ball must be split in half, because the biggest defensive play of the game was a result from a two-man effort between Logan Mayes and Kalafitoni Pole.
The Cougars won the toss to begin overtime and elected to begin on defense. On the Huskies first play, Keith Price dropped back and scanned the defense down field.
Meanwhile, Logan Mayes ran a stunt from the outside and surged up the middle untouched to the face of Price.
Price flailed the ball to the flats intended for Bishop Sankey before hitting the turf.
Kalafitoni Pole anticipated the throw and intercepted the pass with a one handed grab. The big boy then proceeded to truck down the field while Martin Stadium erupted.
Pole made it all the way to the 5-yard line before being tackled from behind by Cody Bruns. The play that set up the game-winning field goal.
Special Teams Game Ball
This one is the obvious choice.
Andrew Furney had missed his previous three field goal attempts entering Saturday’s game. But there was something in the Pullman air Saturday night, as Furney went three-for-three including the game-tying 45-yard field goal and game-winning 27 yard-field goal.
UW’s Travis Coons didn’t have quite the same stat line; going 0-for-1 – with his only attempt being the game-winning try as time expired.
Furney greatly outplayed the opposing kicker – and because of his efforts – was named Pac-12 Player of the Week.
Congratulations Mr. Furney, you deserved it.
Total yards – 369
Passing – 33-53 – 350 yards – 6.6 YPA
Rushing – 20 carries – 19 yards – .095 YPC
First Downs – 25
Penalties – 8 – 69 yards
Time of Possession – 29:53
Jeff Tuel: 33-53 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Carl Winston: 12 carries, 27 yards, 3 TD
Teondray Caldwell: 3 carries, 7 yards
Dominique Williams: 8 receptions, 143 yards
Isiah Myers: 4 receptions, 47 yards