Furney's kick will live on in hallowed halls of Apple Cup lore

Furney's kick will live on in hallowed halls of Apple Cup lore »Play Video
The Cougar faithful hoisted onto their shoulders the most unlikely of heroes, Washington State place kicker Andrew Furney.
PULLMAN, WA - Cougar fans can't seem to stop talking about the thrilling 31-28 overtime Apple Cup victory in Pullman.

And for good reason. Andrew Furney's kick was one for the ages and firmly locks his name into the hallowed halls of Apple Cup lore.

Just moments after the kick that brought the Apple Cup back to Pullman, fans rushed the field to celebrate. The Cougar faithful hoisted onto their shoulders the most unlikely of heroes, Washington State place kicker Andrew Furney, a young athlete who had never made a kick like this one at any level in his career.

"This is actually my first game-winner I've ever had," said Furney. "So you know, a great game to have it in and what a great way to do it."

That game-winner of a kick was the result of an unlikely turn of events as the Cougars were picked to lose by two touchdowns. The prediction looked to be coming true as the Washington Huskies had dominated the third quarter with a score of 28-10 in their favor, heading into a hugely important fourth quarter. What was Furney thinking about as he lined up for the most important kick of his career. Could it have been the words of senior quarterback Jeff Tuel and what he told the team earlier before the kick?

"If you have anything holding you back this year mentally, whatever, just let it go this game and don't think about anything and just let it go," said Tuel.

So many decisions led up to the finale, like the choice made by Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach to tie the game late instead of going for it in a fourth-and-short situation. If he'd gone another way, we wouldn't have experienced the heart-pounding angst of overtime and the kick.

"I had about 25 seconds to make the decision," said Leach. "I made one. You know Yogi Berra says if there's a fork in the road, take it. So I took it."

Cougar fans owe a great debt to the wise words of Yogi Berra, because his comical wisdom led to a moment and a kick that will live on of years to come as we say, I was there, I remember the kick.

"You know it was actually one of those things where I knew it was good the second I hit it," said Furney.

So did the refs and the crowd. It was the kick that will be remembered every time Cougar fans talk about the 105th Apple Cup.