WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: A first half mirage

PULLMAN -- CenturyLink Field, the national stage of ESPN2 and a comeback second quarter gave the Cougars a chance to shock the world and beat Oregon, the No. 2 team in the country. The first half looked promising, and the Cougs trailed by only four points heading in to the locker room. Then came the second half…

After a wacky week of football at CenturyLink Field, it looked like the Washington State Cougars might make things interesting against No. 2 Oregon. Then came the second half and ultimately another Oregon blowout. -- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN.com

Washington State head coach Mike Leach thought that his team had their best performance of the season against the Oregon Ducks on Saturday night. -- Associated Press

Everything we're to know about the Washington State Cougars, we're going to learn week by week. And that's a relief to those who may have thought the book closed after the unspeakable calamity against Colorado. -- John Blanchette, Spokesman Review

This time there was no lead to squander, even if Washington State players admitted their attitude again changed in a way it shouldn't have in the second half. But there was also a football team that was simply better than the Washington State Cougars lined up across from them. -- Jim Meehan, Spokesman Review

Call it sloppy. Call it unimpressive. Call it just a win over a poor WSU team. – Aaron Fentress, The Oregonian

In the tenth iteration of the Cougars' annual Seattle Game, both teams came out slugging. – Matt Walks, Daily Emerald

The Cougars, after taking the Ducks through a first half that ended with Oregon ahead 23-19, got washed away in a wave of Oregon touchdowns in the third quarter, and did what just about all opponents of the second-ranked Ducks do — lost, to the tune of 51-26. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

It was mostly a matter of time. – Bob Clark, The Register-Guard

The Ducks sacked Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday on three consecutive plays late in the second quarter, knocking the Cougars out of scoring range and knocking back WSU's best shot at an upset Saturday night at CenturyLink Field. – Adam Jude, The Oregonian

The Cougars were resilient in the first half, responding to a 20-3 deficit by pulling within 23-19 at halftime. WSU's defense came up with a couple of stops late in the first half that kept the Cougars in the game at least that long. And WSU's special-teams units corralled Ducks returner De'Anthony Thomas effectively all night. -- Christian Caple, Spokesman Review

Washington State football players said the grueling offseason training program introduced by the new coaching staff left them in the best condition of their lives. Unfortunately for the Cougars, all the running and weight lifting and individual workouts seems to have done little to condition players to know how to win. -- Howie Stalwick, The Register-Guard

"Maybe they're giving you their best shot in the first half — but can you sustain it over the long haul? … We're built to play a 60-minute game, and I love the way we came out in the second half." Chip Kelly, Oregon Coach

For two quarters, Oregon picks and probes and feels things out, with enough imperfections to leave fans atwitter come halftime. Then: The dam breaks, the other shoe drops, the tables turn. – Rob Moseley, The Register-Guard

And for 30 minutes Saturday night at CenturyLink Field, the Washington State Cougars swung and clawed and took their best shots at the No. 2 team in the country. And for a period -- a brief period, mind you -- the Oregon Ducks had a little blood on their lips. -- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN.com

De'Anthony Thomas wasn't De'Anthony Thomas. On more than one occasion he was stopped in the backfield. He had over 100 all-purpose yards, but only because Washington State actually had the cajones to kick to him. – Isaac Rosenthal, Daily Emerald

Cougfan Top Stories