Cougs spank Idaho
When the blowout finally ended, Idaho coach Dennis Erickson summed up his afternoon in two words: "I'm embarrassed. " Washington State humiliated...
Seattle Times staff reporter
PULLMAN — When the blowout finally ended, Idaho coach Dennis Erickson summed up his afternoon in two words:
Washington State humiliated the Vandals 56-10 Saturday, rushing for 344 yards and amassing 637 total yards, the sixth-highest total in WSU history.
"We got our rear ends kicked," Erickson said after the WSU scoring jamboree. "Physically, they beat us up. They ran the football. ... Hell, they did everything.
"I'm embarrassed. Our players should be embarrassed. But I'm the one in charge. I'm embarrassed by that performance. I've been in a lot of games and that's about as bad as I've been in."
The romp was the second-worst in the lopsided series between the schools, topped only by the 84-27 Cougars runaway victory in 1975.
The Cougars enjoyed pounding on their neighbors.
"We needed to take it to somebody and give our other kids a chance to play," said coach Bill Doba, who unloaded his bench.
It was a big day for a lot of Cougars.
Senior wide receiver Chris Jordan tied a school record with three touchdown receptions among his four catches for 57 yards.
Junior quarterback Alex Brink, who struggled in the opening defeat at Auburn, completed 12 of 15 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored on a quarterback sneak.
One difference this week — Brink wasn't sacked.
"We knew we had the offensive capability to put up 56 points," said Brink, who usually had time to throw, and scrambled for 56 yards on five carries when he didn't. "Defensively, when we come out and fly around, we're as good as anybody."
The best defensive performance was a goal-line stand in the second quarter when Idaho had a first down at the 2-yard line. The goal-line stand seemed to break Idaho's will.
"After that, it felt like Idaho was kind of broken," said WSU defensive end Mkristo Bruce.
Jason Hill had a 71-yard catch-and-run after the goal-line stand to set up the Cougars' fourth TD and a 28-3 lead. Hill, who draws double coverage, caught only two passes, but for 92 yards.
Dwight Tardy, getting his first start at running back because of an injury to DeMaundray Woolridge, gained 92 yards on 15 carries and scored on a 1-yard plunge in the third quarter. Freshman Christopher Ivory scored on an 80-yard gallop and senior Kevin McCall had a 53-yard score in the fourth quarter, when the Cougars were keeping the ball on the ground.
Throughout the game, the Cougars ran at will and Erickson, when asked about injuries, said, "We got some nicks and bruises, but we didn't hit anybody hard enough to get hurt."
Erickson's complaints included his coaching.
"We got outcoached by WSU."
Other Idaho problems included five dropped passes.
Expectations for a close game had been raised last week when Idaho gave Michigan State a battle before falling 27-17.
Idaho tight end Luke Smith-Anderson said after the visit to the wood shed Saturday, "That team you saw there, that is not the Idaho Vandals. ... We came out really flat."
And got flattened.
One of the keys for any Idaho success was for running back Jayson Bird to have a big day. He gained 70 yards against WSU last year in 38-26 defeat, but Saturday he was held to 34 yards on 15 carries, an average of 2.3. He scored a fourth-quarter touchdown on a 2-yard plunge.
Despite all the hype about Erickson's return to Idaho 21 years after leaving, the game wasn't close to a sellout. Attendance in the 37,117-seat stadium was 29,431.
Among the most noticeable Cougars mistakes was a 0-for-2 day on field goals including one that was blocked, two botched shotgun snaps, and Tardy's fumble at the 1-yard line.
Generous Idaho immediately gave the ball back on the next play and Tardy got it right.
It was that kind of day for the Cougars.
Craig Smith: 206-464-8279 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Hill flies high|
|Jason Hill has caught a pass of 70 yards or longer for three consecutive years against Idaho. The one Saturday, though, didn't go for a TD like the first two did:|