Wayne Cook has joined a club that includes Jay Schroeder, Dieter Brock and Jim Everett, quarterbacks who have been booed off a Southern California football field.
Cook stood with Pat Haden, with Marc Wilson, with, for that matter, Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterford in area lore after 42,877 at the Rose Bowl on Saturday had judged him guilty for UCLA's 21-0 loss to Washington State.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday September 26, 1994 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 11 Column 2 Sports Desk 1 inches; 15 words Type of Material: Correction
Due to a reporting error, Bob Waterfield was misidentified in the UCLA football story of Sunday's editions.
Completing only 11 of 25 passes for 90 yards and an interception, Cook had little ammunition to fire back, nor was he inclined. After being sacked seven times for losses totaling 22 yards, he didn't have the energy.
"It was a mess. . . . Nothing was working," said Cook. "I wasn't getting time to throw. A couple of times, I remember looking downfield and not seeing anybody open. Then you get sacked, and it's probably not the line's fault that time.
"Then you get a guy that is going to be open and you get sacked, and it is the line's fault or a back's fault. Then another time . . . we all screwed up."
Except the defense. On a day in which the teams combined for 20 punts, the Bruins surrendered only 249 yards, and two of the three Washington State touchdowns came on drives of one and two plays after UCLA turnovers.
Still the Bruins (2-2) were shut out for the first time since the Arizona State game of 1992 and for only the second time in 23 years.
"Three or four years ago we came in here with a young team and UCLA scored 44 points on us," Cougar Coach Mike Price said, referring to the Bruins' 44-3 victory in 1991. "With the athletic talent UCLA has and the veteran quarterback like Cook and good coaching, I was surprised they did not score on us."
It wasn't for a lack of opportunity. Three times UCLA started drives in Washington State territory, resulting in a punt, interception and fumble.
And it wasn't for a lack of weapons. Sharmon Shah rushed 15 times for 71 yards against a defense that had given up an average of only 22 inches per rush all season.
Wide receiver J.J. Stokes, missing since the Tennessee season-opener, played part of the first half, caught one pass for 13 yards and had a couple of others thrown his way.
Then his leg injury stiffened, and he was through for the day. Down 14-0 at the time, so were the Bruins.
Washington State (3-0) had scored on an 85-yard drive that included two mix-ups in the UCLA secondary. Those resulted in Chad Davis completions of 27 yards to Albert Kennedy and 41 yards to Kearney Adams.
Kevin Hicks carried the last three yards for a lead that remained 6-0 when Johnny Nansen's run for the extra points failed.
The lead became 14-0 when Hicks scored from the one on the play after Terrell Henderson had blocked Darren Schager's punt. Henderson took an inside rush past Aaron Rocque and got the ball cleanly.
"I watched the center's hands," said Henderson, referring to UCLA long snapper Chris Kennedy. "He flinched his knuckles before snapping the ball, so I knew he was going to snap it. I got a good jump on the ball."
The problem with the protection is two weeks old. "The blocked punt came from the position Carl Greenwood played," Coach Terry Donahue said. "When Carl Greenwood played, that was not a problem, but we had a punt tipped last week and one blocked this week."
The touchdown came with 1:06 to play in the first half, but the booing had started earlier. The Bruins had gotten nothing from their first four possessions, and the fifth was aborted when Cook overthrew Kevin Jordan on third and seven from the Washington State 19 and Bjorn Merten missed a 36-yard field-goal try.
The derision intensified in the third quarter after an interception by Chris Hayes, who picked off a screen pass intended for Shah.
Cook saw him, but also saw a chance to get the ball to Shah.
"There was a guy over there and he kind of hesitated, so I just threw it over his head," Cook said. "I'd say it was 50-50 whether it should have been caught. It was a tipped ball, and tipped balls will get you every time."
Hayes returned it 63 yards to the UCLA 13. A Bruin possession that had begun on Washington State's 30 had ended in a chorus of boos.
Before they stopped, Davis found Frank Madu with a short pass, and he followed blocks by Clay Reis and Chad Carpenter into the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
It was plain that it was not going to be Cook's day, nor UCLA's. Ryan Fien began warming up and was ready to come in, but the Bruins got the ball on the Washington 42 after Jay Dumas fumbled a punt.
Donahue decided to give Cook one more try, but on second down, he was sacked by DeWayne Patterson and fumbled, with Dwayne Sanders recovering.
Cook was through, and Fien was applauded when he came on the field with 10:17 to play.
Fien heard both the boos and cheers. "That's wrong," he said. "Quarterbacks are going to have their tough times, and I just hope when I'm the man they stick with me through the tough times."
The Bruins turned the ball over on downs on all three of his series. He completed seven of 20 passes for 67 yards.
At game's end, there was little to analyze.
"Obviously Washington State dominated the game from every angle and every aspect," Donahue said. "We just could not get anything generated offensively.
"They just whipped us real good, embarrassed us."
He refused to comment on the scorn heaped upon Cook, who was not so reticent.
"It hurts," Cook said. "I got yanked from a game. I got booed. It's never happened to me before, and it hurts. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm a tough guy. I'm not going to mope about it. The hell with everybody. They can think what they want to think. I'm going to come back and I'm going to play my . . . off next week. That's just the way I'm going to go about it."
There was plenty of blame to go around, but the quarterback is generally a target in such situations.
"That's not fair," guard Matt Soenksen said. "I got irritated by the fans, and I was hoping that the boos were directed at all of our offense."
They weren't. They never are.