NCF Nation: Ryan Perkins
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
|AP Photo/Ted S. Warren|
|Washington State head coach Paul Wulff holds the Apple Cup trophy in the locker room after Washington State beat Washington, 16-13, in double overtime Saturday.|
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Wearing flushed faces and unbelieving grins, they leaped over the railing at Martin Stadium and stormed the field, a spontaneous and joyous crimson tide flowing over the turf and meeting in a pulsating mass for a raucous celebration.
"Wooooooo! No. 1 baby!" bellowed a middle aged man as he flung himself into the swirl of humanity.
Victory. So sweet.
It looked and felt like the scene at Texas Tech a few weeks back, when the Red Raiders announced themselves as national title contenders.
Only this was Washington State, and the team trudging off the field with grim and nearly catatonic faces was Washington.
Washington State had triumphed in the 101st Apple Cup, 16-13, in double-overtime, overcoming a 10-0 halftime deficit.
The Cougars and Huskies entered the game with a combined 1-20 record, the lone victory being Washington State's win over Portland State, a mediocre FCS team.
The stakes were simple, thereby earning this train wreck of a game national attention. The loser would be known as the nation's worst BCS conference team.
"That's really disrespectful but there's really nothing you can do about it," Washington State cornerback Romeo Pellum said. "We are one of the worst teams in the nation."
Still, that the Cougars, a touchdown underdog at home to a winless team, hung that dubious distinction over the mantle of their archrival, well, that's the greatest thing in the world.
"It's the best feeling I've had in my life -- ever," Pellum said.
Amid the craziness, the Huskies slouched off the field. Some raced up the tunnel, looking for quick escape. Others walked slowly, seeming to purposefully take in the scene as if they were picking at a wound.
Tears streamed down senior offensive guard Jordan White-Frisbee's face. Limping badly, he required the assistance of tackle Cody Habben and defensive lineman De'Shon Matthews to get off the field. The threesome, arm in arm, wandered into the darkness of the stadium tunnel.
The game was the Huskies to lose. And they found a way to do so for an 11th time this season and 13th time in a row overall.
The short explanation is they couldn't make a field goal. Ryan Perkins missed from 37 yards in the second overtime and from 28 yards in the fourth quarter. Jared Ballman, the long kicker, missed from 40 yards, also in the fourth.
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Two weeks from today and we'll all be reading about Oregon State's visit to Stanford -- Thursday night football, baby!
- Arizona's camping at army base Fort Huachuca is providing time for reflection. Perhaps the Wildcats have found a new preseason tradition? Devin Veal might provide some depth at WR.
- Speaking of going away to camp, Arizona State makes a one-day trip to Camp Tontozona for a scrimmage on Saturday. An extended stay at Tontozona was made unnecessary when the school built an $8.4 million in-door practice facility. Topping the notebook is WR Chris McGaha's pesky toe injury. Nice column here from Scott Bordow on an ASU freshman quarterback by the name of Elway.
- Scrimmage at California, and it appears that Kevin Riley outplayed Nate Longshore in this one... the plot thickens. Here's a more detailed report. Notice all the newcomers -- freshmen and JC transfers -- who get mentioned? Funny thing: This was supposed to be Jeff Tedford's worst recruiting class. But he told me that this class has more guys who are ready to contribute than any previous group. Go figure.
- Oregon WR Terence Scott burned his redshirt year in 2007 for two receptions, but he's not bitter. The JC transfer could help the Ducks in '08. And preseason camp isn't all about sweat, X's and O's and injuries. There's fun, too.
- Scrimmage! Oregon State goes live and frosh RB Jacquizz Rodgers was the star of the day. In fact, The Oregonian's Paul Buker comes to this conclusion about the Beavers offense: "If we can believe what we've seen in Fall camp, there will be no comparison between this year's offense and the unit in 2007 that moved the ball in fits and starts, dinks and dunks and a fly sweep here and there." But Rodgers won't likely be the No. 1 guy. That's Ryan McCants. Important sidenote: OG Jeremy Perry didn't participate in the scrimmage, choosing to rest his sore knee.
- Want to know a dark-horse guy to come out of nowhere and put up big numbers? My pick is Stanford's Toby Gerhart, a powerful guy running behind an offensive line that appears to be coming together.
- If UCLA is going to exceed middling expectations, a good place to perk things up would be special teams. Competition at LB? Hale, yes! And the interior defensive line is a given with Brigham Harwell and Brian Price, but things aren't too shabby at DE, either. It looks like Michael Norris has won the CB job opposite Alterraun Verner.
- Scott Wolf's USC notes include something on a Longhorn Spy (kidding!) and an explanation for why DE Everson Griffen was so steamed the other day. The story behind a kicker and his Mohawk. And are things deeper at TB than expected?
- Folks are in the money at USC, according to this post from the LA Times' USC blog, and we're not just talking about the revelations this week that Pete Carroll took home $4.4 million in 2006-07. Check out how much offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian pockets: $704,380.
- Washington may start a 26-year-old millionaire in its secondary. It's hard not to root for UW kicker Ryan Perkins. And big -- HUGE -- recruiting news for Washington and Tyrone Willingham. Molly Yanity chats with OT Ben Ossai, who's got the talent to become an All-Pac-10 player.
- Washington State isn't kicking it yet, but Wade Penner might be the guy who does so. A look at the Coug running backs and a practice recap. Vince Grippi also gives his take on the starting 22 here. The WSU Football Blog return.