Night and day. That is the difference for redshirt senior Washington State University quarterback Alex Brink between last week and this week. Last week, Brink had perhaps the worst day in his career in a 35-point blowout loss to Oregon State on Senior Night in Pullman that eliminated the Cougars from bowl game contention. But this week, Brink threw no interceptions and five touchdown passes – including the game-clinching 35-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson to defeat the Washington Huskies in a 42-35 shootout in the 100th Apple Cup in Seattle. Brink now becomes the only quarterback in WSU history to ever beat the Huskies three times in a career. With the victory, Wazzu finishes the season 5-7 overall and avoids last place in the Pac-10 with a 3-6 record.
The game began on an ominous note for the Cougars as Washington's Louis Rankin ran back the opening kickoff 89 yards for Washington. The Huskies tacked on a field goal on their next possession and were up 10-0 in the first quarter. But at the tail end of the quarter, Brink hit a wide open Devin Frischknecht and the junior tight end ran the ball in from 43 yards out to make it 10-7.
In the second quarter, Washington's much-hyped redshirt freshman quarterback, Jake Locker ran it in from 22 yards out and Washington regained their 10-point cushion. But a deflected pass from Brink to senior running back Kevin McCall helped keep a Cougar drive alive and Chris Ivory scored on a 22-yard touchdown run to keep WSU close. Washington hit a field goal to extend the lead to six but Brink again found Frischknecht with a 19-yard touchdown pass just before halftime and went into intermission with a slim 21-20 lead over the Huskies.
The Cougars continued their momentum into the third quarter as Brink hit freshman Jeshua Anderson with a 28-yard touchdown pass for their largest lead of the game at 28-20. Washington answered right back with a 57-yard touchdown pass from Locker to Marcel Reece and converted a two-point conversion to tie the game. WSU went three and out on their ensuing possession and Washington embarked on a marathon 16-play drive that included 15 rush plays and stretched from the third quarter into the fourth, capping it off with a Locker QB sneak for the score to put Washington up, 35-28.
But that would be all the points the Huskies would score on the evening as the Cougars came back with Brink hitting Gibson on a 40-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Then, after the Cougar defense stopped Washington, Wazzu got the ball back with under three minutes to play and drove to the Husky 35-yard line where Brink barely beat an oncoming Husky blitz and heaved the game-winning touchdown toss to a wide open Gibson, who strutted into the end zone untouched.
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