This week marks the final home game for what may be our first memorable senior class in quite a long time. Its been six years since we last honored a senior who knew what it was like to play in a bowl game and this years group has played itself into position to end that drought. Last week I asked this team to “show me something” and they sure did, getting their 3rd conference road win in Tucson and coming up with clutch play on both sides of the ball. it was a cathartic win, but I’ll tell you what… I’m still not satisfied and I don’t think this team is either. Just 2 short years ago I sat in a blizzard in Martin Stadium with just a hand full of hearty fans and watched our bowl hopes, and the jobs of our previous coaching staff, evaporate in an overtime thriller. It snowed harder than the Bledsoe Apple Cup that day and at every stoppage of play ROTC cadets made desperate attempts to shovel off the yard lines from sideline to sideline. It was mostly a futile effort. It seemed like all the Cougs efforts were futile that day too. Connor Halladay playing through a lacerated liver, Marques Wilson catching a last second pass right at the snow obscured goal line and ruled down at the inch line. It just felt like there was nothing we could do to get that elusive 5th win. Two years later we are getting set to face the Utes in late November again. Once more bowl eligibility is on the line, but this time we already have win #5 and the Utes limp into Pullman without their starting QB on what looks to be, if not a warm day, at least a sunny one. So this time MUST be different, right?
The altitude must have shrunk my head.
By now you’ve either heard the talk about Utah being the best 4 win team in the country, or you just returned from your mission to deep space and the WSU Football Blog is the first thing you read. Either way, they probably are the best 4 win team in the country. They are also one of the teams with the most conspicuous drop off in performance between their home and away games. Now their starting QB, Travis Wilson, is sidelined indefinitely with an injury that could end his career, so between that and the fact they’re on the road its advantage Cougs, right? Well lets just pump the brakes a bit on the bowl eligibility victory parade and consider that first little thing we mentioned… the Utes are the best 4 win team in the country. Oh yeah, THAT. Last week the Utes were well on their way to shedding all those doubts about their road prowess as they found themselves squarely in the middle of a very competitive game in Eugene. I'm sure we all saw that coming. So after a monster effort just to still be in a game with the Ducks in the 2nd half, do they have enough left in the tank to put a major hex on the Cougs bowl hopes in Pullman? I really think we’re going to get their best shot, and it will have us wringing our hands late into the 2nd overtime where we officially leave 10 years despair behind us with a Daquawn Brown interception in the end zone followed by an Andrew Furney field goal for the win.
Cougs 43, Utes 40 (2OT)
And around the league we go…
Oregon 48, Arizona 10
Oregon is, once again, playing for the roses and even an outside shot at the natty. Arizona is trying to recruit a QB.
Stanford 33, Cal 14
Cal is just outclassed in the littlest Big Game in a lot of years.
UCLA 28, ASU 24
Myles Jack puts a stranglehold on the 2014 Heisman scoring TDs on both offense and defense in a monster Pac-12 south matchup. UCLA vs USC looms larger and larger.
USC 38, Colorado 7
I'm not sure that USC will lose another game. I am sure if they do it won’t be to the Buffs.
UW 41, OSU 35
I think it will be a shoot out, but I think this is how Sark gets his traditional 7th win since we’re obviously winning the Apple Cup.
Enjoy the games, folks, and Cougs!
Greetings Cougs, and a happy Football Friday on Thursday to you and yours. So we steam into the final home game of 2013, and there is new life after a huge win last week in Tucson. I mean the die-hards swear they saw it coming, and sure enough they were right. I was among the doubters and I have apologized for being wrong to anyone/everyone who would listen.
Anyway, lately the home cooking in Pullman? Not so good, ala taking a bite of a big-ass burger only to have it drip all over your Sunday best. Per Bud Withers from today's Seattle Times:
It seems so teed up for the Cougars. Utah is 1-6 in Pac-12 games — albeit a rugged, grudging, hard-nosed 1-6 — and the Utes have lost their dual-talented starting quarterback, Travis Wilson.
Weird for both teams, as the Ducks are back in control of their Rose Bowl fate while Arizona was flat as can be as they were shocked by our Cougs. The Cats will be jacked for this one but too much Oregon over 4 quarters, even with a wounded Mariota at QB, will see Oregon pull away late.
Stanford 54, Cal 17
Sucks to be Cal, doesn't it? You'll find NO SYMPATHY around here though, as I remember all too well how Cal got fat-n-sassy on WSU's carcass in recent seasons. Payback's a bitch, hello 1-11!
ASU 35, UCLA 24
Really, really, REALLY like ASU here. And I agree with what Sutra said the other day, it didn't feel like UCLA played all that well vs UW but still put up 41? I have a feeling ASU takes care of business.
USC 47, Colorado 20
Big Ed O still driving the bus towards his hopeful full-time gig. It won't happen though, much to the chagrin of some of the SC fan base. USC is going to hire a big-time name and that name is not Ed Orgeron. But he's done a hell of a job in a weird situation.
UW 31, OSU 24
UW circles the wagons and beats a not-very-good OSU team in the "Frustrated Bowl" per Ted Miller, as the Huskies bring the noise vs. Sean Mannion and he continues to look extremely ordinary vs. decent pass defense (Mannion in his first 6 games? 29 TD's, 3 INTs. Mannion's last 3 games? 4 TD's, 7 INT's, all losses). Meanwhile Keith Price starts and plays well in the Apple Cup tune-up.
All for now. ENJOY THE GAMES, and of course, GO COUGS!