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Coming Up Short For A Triple

Today’s Husky joke

Did you hear that Jim Lambright is only going to suit up 25 players for this year’s Apple Cup?

He figures the rest can do it by themselves…

Today’s Cougar joke

What do you get when you breed a WSU Cougar and a groundhog?

Six more weeks of bad football.

Advice from a former Cougar

Trivia question.

Who’s the only WSU quarterback out of the veer era to rank in the top 20 in Apple Cup passing yardage?

Answer: Chuck Peck, who threw for 249 yards in the 1973 game, won by the Cougars in Seattle 52-26.

It’s the 12th-best Apple Cup passing performance by a quarterback on either side of the Cascades. And Peck did it running the veer offense.

The option created running lanes but did little to stretch the field. Yet Peck came back the following year to throw for 216 yards, helped by a 74-yard pass-and-run bomb to tight end Carl Barschig.

With 249 and 216 yards, Peck is 12th and 17th all-time among passers in the 89 UW-WSU games.

Now a stockbroker in Salem, Ore., he was in a unique position in ‘74 to engineer an unprecedented third straight WSU Apple Cup win.

The Cougars cut a 24-7 deficit to 24-17, and had a chance to win late in Albi Stadium after the Cougar defense held the Huskies on fourth-and-short with 1:46 left at the UW 37.

Peck barely overthrew an open Mark Maenhout in the end zone but later connected with Barschig again for first down.

Peck unraveled some of the mystery of the final plays of that season.

On fourth down deep in Husky territory in Jim Owens’ final game as Husky coach, Washington State “had about 15 seconds left,” Peck recalled. “The scoreboard said fourth-and-7 when in reality it was fourth-and-2. You’re taught to look at the yard markers instead of the scoreboard.”

Peck said he misread the distance.

In the rush of the final seconds the quarterback thought he needed more than 2 for the first down.

“I didn’t hand off because I knew we couldn’t get 7,” he said. “So instead of giving it to the fullback I kept it. We didn’t get the first down. That might have given us two more plays.

“And instead of beating them three times in a row, we’re (finished) on about the 5.”

The Cougars had a great chance on third down, Peck remembers.

“The tailback was open but he wasn’t looking (for the ball). I had to get rid of it under a rush. Instead of drilling it in the back of his head, I lofted it (hoping the back could run under it). If he could have swung his head around we would have had a touchdown.”

Peck is impressed with Washington State’s season, including the first sweep of the Los Angeles schools.

Any advice for WSU quarterback Ryan Leaf Saturday?

“I’m looking forward to watching him display the skills that make him the best quarterback in the country,” Peck said. “It’s just a great opportunity for him to show the talent he developed in Pullman.”

Great moments

1984: UW 38, WSU 29

The hat trick that wasn’t: The Cougars had won two straight in the series, and drove for two touchdowns early in the second half to take a 10-point lead. But a hotly disputed personal-foul flag on WSU linebacker Rico Tipton kept a Washington drive alive, and the Huskies roared back - scoring on short drives after Ron Milus and Joe Kelly intercepted Mark Rypien passes.

The victory sent Washington to the Orange Bowl, where the Huskies upset Oklahoma and wound up runners-up to BYU for the national championship. But it also kept the Cougs from winning three in a row - something they’ve never accomplished in the series.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo Staff illustration by Milt Priggee