Even though the Cougars couldn't pull out the victory this year, let's take a look at some of the prouder moments in our 106 game history with the University of Washington. Please visit the following Dio link to see what I think are the top moments in Apple Cup history - from a Cougar prospective of course.
Monday, December 9, 2013
What are some changes this season that Leach made to benefit Cougar football?
Pritchard: “Leach assigns every incoming freshman a “big brother” who is an upperclassman on the team. This really helps the freshman get acclimated to not living at home anymore. Our practices start during the summer so these incoming freshmen are thrown into the mix of a very different lifestyle right away. We lift early in the morning and have practice a few times a day over the summer. I really enjoy being a big brother; I want to make their transition as easy as possible.”
Hersey: “I see the changes in how we play now; one of my favorite memories is at University of South Carolina. No one thought we would win that game, and we came out and won against the odds.”
How do you feel about the upcoming bowl game?
Pritchard: “The whole team is pretty excited to get on the road and play in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, we just found out yesterday.”
Hersey: “I’m pretty excited. It’s great for the seniors who have seen some pretty rough times while at WSU, I’m defiantly focusing a lot of my energy on playing for them. The seniors have experienced bad seasons, loses, and coaching changes that really affected the team as a whole. This is pretty big for them.”
Do you think Colorado State’s competition will be comparable to other schools you’ve played this season?
Pritchard: “Colorado State has a pretty great run game; run offense, as a defensive player that can be comparable to any great defensive teams we played this season like Arizona or Stanford. I think there are definitely better teams that we have played during conference and in our off season that are better than Colorado State.”
Hersey: “I haven’t got a chance to watch Colorado State on film yet so I can’t say for sure what they will be like, but I know we will come out and give it our all.”
Gildan is your sponsor for the Bowl game, what are some of the events they have planned for the team?
Pritchard: “They have a lot planned. We will have a dinner with our team and the opposing team and then we will get to see some of Albakerky, New Mexico. It will be cool to see New Mexico University’s campus including its facilities because that is where the game will be held."
Friday, December 6, 2013
The Cougar football team rolled in to Seattle last weekend with the intentions of beating our in-state rivals and ensuring themselves a spot in a bowl game. The previous week, the Cougs beat the Utah Utes to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2006. A win against the Huskies would have guaranteed the team a place in college football’s postseason.
The game got off to a slower start than many imagined it would. Both offenses came in to the game riding hot streaks and scoring points at an impressive rate. But at the end of the first quarter, only three points were on the board thanks to an opening drive field goal from the Huskies.
Both defenses came to play early, and neither offense could get going in the opening quarter. In the second quarter, Washington State finally started to find some rhythm. After kicking a field goal to tie the game, the Cougs put together an impressive drive that ended with a Connor Halliday touchdown pass to Rickey Galvin. This gave the Cougs a seven point lead, and a little momentum heading to the half.
The second half was a whole different story. The Cougar offense looked sloppy, and the defense couldn’t get off the field on third down like they did in the first half. Sophomore student Charles Hyland says the third quarter is where the game was lost. “The third quarter is what killed us,” said Hyland. “Our offense couldn’t move the ball, and the defense couldn’t stop the run.”
The Huskies scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter, and headed to the final quarter with a 20 to 10 lead. All the Huskies needed to do was hand it to their red-hot running back Bishop Sankey. The Cougs couldn’t find an answer for Sankey, and he continued to run the ball right down our throat.
Thomas Breckenridge, a junior at Washington State, says that Sankey is to blame for the Cougs tough loss. “We had no answer for Bishop Sankey,” said Breckenridge. “We couldn’t stop him, and he kept picking up key first downs in the fourth quarter.” Sankey finished the game with 200 yards on 34 carries and one touchdown.
The final score was 27 to 17 and the Cougs left Seattle disappointed once again. It was a very winnable game for Washington State, but the team just came out to flat after halftime and couldn’t get things going in the second half.
Now the Cougar football team will play the waiting game, as they hope to learn soon that they have finally made it back to a bowl game. The decision will be made by a committee within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully the Cougs have done enough to earn a spot in the postseason, but a win over the Huskies certainly would have helped.
- - Flash Hodges