Cougars Notebook | Doba's future may be clearer Monday
Jim Sterk, Washington State athletic director, says no decision has been made on whether Bill Doba will return as head coach at WSU...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Jim Sterk, Washington State athletic director, says no decision has been made on whether Bill Doba will return as head coach at WSU.
Sterk said an announcement could come Monday, but said it might amount to a statement that the situation is still under review.
Sterk said the dramatic 42-35 victory Apple Cup victory will be taken into consideration but said, "You want to take a full body of work before you make a decision on something like this."
Sterk was delighted with the triumph and called it a "great way" to finish the season and demonstrated determination by the players and good coaching by the staff.
Sterk said he will be making the decision whether to keep or fire Doba but that new WSU president Elson Floyd will be "involved as the leader of Washington State University."
Doba, who is 30-29 in his five years and 3-2 against the Huskies, said, "I'm not going to resign. I sure hope I'm back next year."
Sterk acknowledged Saturday before kickoff that if a change is made, former Cougars coach Mike Price is a potential candidate.
"He would be somebody on a list of coaches that I would obviously consider but by no means is he the guy," Sterk said.
Price, who left WSU after the Rose Bowl that completed the 2002 season to go to Alabama, is completing his fourth season at Texas-El Paso. UTEP lost to Central Florida 36-20 Saturday to finish the season 4-8.
Sterk said if Price were hired back at WSU, he wouldn't think that Doba would choose to remain on the staff even though they are close friends.
"I seriously doubt that," Sterk said.
WSU on Locker
Even with all the hype he had heard, WSU linebacker Cory Evans said Washington quarterback Jake Locker was more than he expected.
Said Evans: "He's bigger than I thought. He's faster than I thought. He's an athlete. To me, he could play any position on the field. I think he could throw it to himself and catch it if they'd let him."
Doba also was impressed. "Ever see him come around the corner?" the coach asked. "I'm not too sure I'd step in front of him. He's a big son of a gun."
Cougars safety Alfonso Jackson was called for a penalty on a play that seemed to turn WSU's momentum toward the Huskies.
Washington State led 28-20, having used a 21-3 burst to take control. Washington had the ball at its 10-yard line with six minutes left in the third quarter, and on a second-and-10 throw, Locker fired the ball high over the head of Marcel Reece. Jackson came in late on Reece and was flagged for 15 yards.
Three plays later, Locker hit Reece for 63 yards and a score and a two-point conversion tied the game. Then Washington took the lead at 35-28, and WSU faithful with long memories remembered the Tipton play.
"From my point of view, I saw him tipping it, and if a receiver tips the ball, it's a green light," said Jackson. "As soon as I saw that, I ran through him. I didn't realize the play was over. I put that one on me."
Jackson intercepted Locker's desperation heave in the end zone as the final seconds expired.
"I was seeing Huskies on each side of me and it was money right there," Jackson said. "I didn't want to do any tipping so they could catch it."
• Wide receiver Brandon Gibson, who caught the tying and winning passes from Alex Brink, said he expects to be back for his senior season but will submit his name to the NFL draft. The NFL provides nonseniors with a projected round of where they would go in the draft.
• This was the 44th UW-WSU game for Cougars play-by-play announcer Bob Robertson, who was the Huskies broadcaster for three of those years. Robertson, 78, was fighting a cold.
• The UW and WSU bands performed together at halftime and a highlight was spelling out "Apple Cup."
Times staff reporter Bud Withers and freelancer Brandon Scheller contributed to this notebook.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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