PULLMAN — Carl Winston grew up in Southern California, blissfully unaware of the Apple Cup.
Of course, four years at Washington State has taught him all he needs to know about the Washington Huskies.
“We hate them and they hate us,” Winston said.
Winston loves the fact that the Huskies hate him even more after he single-handedly doubled WSU’s season total of rushing touchdowns by scoring three times Saturday in a wild 31-28 overtime win over Washington.
“Coming into this game,” Winston said, “I wanted to be remembered for something.”
Mission accomplished. It was the first time a Cougar had rushed for three touchdowns in one game since Jerome Harrison at Oregon State in 2005. No Cougar had scored three rushing touchdowns in an Apple Cup since Shaumbe Wright-Fair in 1992.
“It was a great game, a great day, a great feeling,” Winston said. “I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”
Travis Long, WSU’s talented and gritty senior linebacker, started every game in four years of college before sitting out Saturday with a knee injury.
“Before the game,” fellow Cougars linebacker Logan Mayes said, “we said, ‘Hey, we’re going to win this game and we’re going to hand Travis Long this (Apple Cup) trophy.’ ”
The Cougars did just that in the locker room.
“Travis has really been a solid piece of our foundation here,” coach Mike Leach said. “Travis has kind of been outnumbered at times with the mentality that’s needed to win and to play this game, so I think he’s been a really good example.
“I think over the process of this season, more and more people have jumped on board with the same mentality Travis has.”
Leach said all 13 seniors will receive game balls.
“We dedicate this win to our seniors,” Leach said. “They’ve been through a lot.”
Junior Andrew Furney, who tied the game with a 45-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play in regulation before kicking the 27-yard winner in overtime, said his first winning kick “feels better” than the 60-yarder he kicked against Eastern Washington in September.
Furney said he “definitely” prayed before the kick and “knew it was good the second I hit it. I went in there confident.”
Furney said the post-kick celebration was harder on him than the kick itself.
“The pile was heavy,” Furney said. “It kind of hurt.”
Furney, who graduated from Burlington-Edison High, revealed a different kind of pain when he recalled attending Apple Cup games as a youngster.
“Sadly,” he admitted, “I grew up a Husky fan.”
Leach, who has pulled no punches when he’s been unhappy with the effort of players – particularly linemen – had nothing but praise after the game for the linemen and the team as a whole.
“The biggest thing is, we hung together for 60 minutes,” Leach said. “You’ll win a lot of games if you’re able to do that.”
Added Leach: “I’m really proud of them … this is the best game we’ve played all year.”
The Apple Cup victory earned Leach a $25,000 contract bonus.
The Cougars set a Pacific-12 Conference record by throwing 624 passes this season (52 per game). Conference records date back to 1916. Washington set the previous record of 621 in 2002.
The Cougars also set a school record with 363 pass completions. The previous record of 309 was set in 2007. Arizona holds the conference record of 398, set last year.
Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel owns the school record for highest career completion percentage (61.4). His 63.7 mark this season ranks second to Timm Rosenbach’s 64.5 in 1988. Tuel’s 5,936 career passing yards rank seventh.
WSU junior safety Deone Bucannon recorded his first sack. He led the Cougars in tackles for the second time in three years (he was second last year) with a career-high 106. … Wide receiver Dominique Williams, one of five freshmen starters for the Cougars on Friday (four on offense), set career highs with eight catches for 143 yards. … Furney’s 31 career field goals rank fifth.