UW, WSU players dignified

  • JOHN SLEEPER / Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By JOHN SLEEPER

Herald Writer

SEATTLE – The Apple Cup long has been a haven for the odd barb, the occasional verbal salvo.

What’s a rivalry without a bit of smack, a word of trash?

But it’s pretty quiet around Montlake and Pullman these days.

That is, unless you take notice of the verbal lovefest between UW and WSU coaches and players.

“We have a standing policy on our team,” UW coach Rick Neuheisel said. “There’s no need to voice your opinion on these things. We’ll have plenty of opportunity to have our actions speak on Saturday.”

Instead, you hear Neuheisel speak about what a tremendous job WSU coach Mike Price has done, keeping his troops together after three overtime losses in a four-week span.

And here’s Price, gushing over Neuheisel and the Huskies like a giggly schoolgirl upon meeting Eddie Vedder: “I have a lot of respect for what the Huskies are doing, particularly Marques Tuiasosopo. I think he’s a great player and a great competitor and a great person.”

Where’s the fun in that?

Just last year, WSU tailback Deon Burnett spouted off about how he would get the 212 yards he needed to break the Pac-10 freshman rushing record.

A stoked UW defense held Burnett to 20 yards on 13 carries. He now is on the second-team offense, behind Dave Minnich.

Has it really been two years since obscure UW receiver Andre DeSaussure went off on WSU and Pullman and brought forth his opinions as to the amount of alcohol consumed east of the mountains?

So enraged was then-coach Jim Lambright that he dropped DeSaussure to the scout team and didn’t take him to Pullman.

“We’re just smart enough not to go out and say something stupid in the press,” UW linebacker Derrell Daniels said. “We’re not that dumb.”

  • Tailbacks banged up: Fourth-string tailback Braxton Cleman may start for the Huskies Saturday.

    With Paul Arnold on the shelf until the bowl game, if not beyond, with a sore back, Rich Alexis out with a sore shoulder and Willie Hurst out with a broken collarbone, Cleman certainly will play extensively and may even start.

    Alexis did not practice Tuesday. Freshman Sean Sweat and junior Matthias Wilson filled in and may make their first appearances in the backfield. Neither has logged a carry for Washington. Wilson set a prep state rushing record during his senior year at Ferndale.

    Fullback Pat Conniff, who dislocated a shoulder against Arizona, but still played the next game against UCLA, is practicing and at full speed.

  • Price’s take on the Civil War: Oregon, the Pacific-10 Conference leader at 7-0, 9-1 overall, barely escaped Pullman with a 27-24 overtime victory, while Oregon State paddled WSU, 38-9. So which team does Price like for Saturday’s Civil War?

    “Between the two, Oregon State played better when they played the Cougars than when we played Oregon,” he said. “That probably doesn’t mean a damn thing as far as this game’s concerned. Probably, whichever team is the healthiest going into the game will probably win.”

  • No Siberia Bowl: The extended weather forecast indicates that game time won’t be the arctic conditions WSU coach Mike Price had in mind when he said, “B-r-r-r-r.”

    The prediction is for mostly cloudy condition, with a high of 39 and a low of 26. And no snow in the forecast, at least not yet.

    But really, Neuheisel said the Huskies aren’t particularly worried about the possibility of snow.

    “Unless they figure out a way that it only snows on one side of the field, I don’t think it’ll have much of an impact,” he said. “It has, on occasion, been inclement here in Seattle, too.”

    In truth, Neuheisel probably could tell Price a few things about cold weather from his time at Colorado.

  • Another plus for the Huskies: The field on Martin Stadium is FieldTurf, the same surface Husky Stadium has.
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