Brink Shines as WSU Wins 100th Apple Cup
Nov. 24, 2007
SEATTLE (AP) -Alex Brink threw for 399 yards and five touchdowns, the last a 35-yarder to Brandon Gibson with 31 seconds left, and Washington State (5-7, 3-6 Pac-10) came from behind to win the 100th Apple Cup 42-35 against Washington on Saturday night.
Brink completed 27 of 40 throws in his 40th and final start. He became the first Cougars quarterback to beat the Huskies three times while setting a record for passing yards in an Apple Cup game. Washington State's career leader in all major passing categories finished his career fourth in Pac-10 history in passing yards.
WSU's Bill Doba is 30-29 in five seasons in the head job, but hasn't led the Cougars to a bowl since 2003. WSU spokesman Bill Stevens confirmed the school will have an announcement on Doba's future Monday.
Redshirt freshman Jake Locker returned from a scary neck injury two weeks ago to rush for 103 yards and two touchdowns - including a go-ahead, 1-yard run that gave Washington (4-8, 2-7) a 35-28 lead with 12:18 remaining.
Locker also threw for 224 yards and a touchdown for the Huskies, which will now try to spoil Hawaii's undefeated season and quest for a Bowl Championship Series bid next week in their finale.
Locker threw two interceptions, the final one in the end zone by Alfonso Jackson as time expired. The Cougars then ran from their bench into an impromptu mosh pit in front of their roaring fans behind the end zone. Gov. Chris Gregoire walked into the throng to present Washington State with the Apple Cup trophy for the third time in four seasons.
Down 35-28, Washington State was about to be backed up with a third-and-20 midway through the fourth quarter, but Washington freshman safety Nate Williams was called for defensive holding. On the next play, Brink found Gibson running free across the field for a 40-yard touchdown to tie it at 35 with 7:29 left.
On WSU's final drive, Brink found Michael Bumpus for 18 yards and then 22 yards before his decisive throw to Gibson, who had six catches for 137 yards and two scores while setting the school record for receiving yards in a season.
Washington was going mostly nowhere - down 28-20 and with 23 total yards on its last four drives - when WSU's Jackson lowered his helmet into the chin of Marcel Reece after a pass soared high incomplete. The personal foul erased a third-and-10 and woke up the Huskies.
Locker found Reece all alone for a 63-yard touchdown. Locker then threw a dart across his body while getting shoved out of bounds on a 3-point conversion try. Reece caught that, too, to tie the game at 28 late in the third quarter.
After WSU went three and out, Locker ran three times for 37 yards and three first downs - including on third-and-6 in which he juked four Cougars to get to the WSU 6. The dynamo then took a shotgun snap on fourth-and-1 and barreled over right guard to end the 16-play drive and give Washington a 35-28 lead with 12:18 left.
Locker's second rushing score of the day was his 12th of the season, tying Mark Brunell's school record for quarterbacks. It also gave him 879 yards rushing, most in a season for a Pac-10 QB.
The Cougars took a 28-20 lead six minutes into the second half when Jeshua Anderson blew past flat-footed cornerback Byron Davenport for Brink's third touchdown pass, from 28 yards.
Washington State rallied from deficits of 10-0 and 17-7 to take a 21-20 lead at halftime, thanks mostly to 222 passing yards from Brink and two touchdown throws to third-string tight end Devin Frischknecht.
Chris Ivory ran for 114 yards and WSU's other touchdown in the first half.