But upon further examination of the stats from Washington State's 31-17 loss to California, the numbers aren't nearly as good as they look on paper.
"I thought we left way too many opportunities out there," coach Mike Leach said in a postgame radio interview. "We can't be satisfied with this."
The receiving corps' 34 catches for 384 in the Cougars' 31-17 loss are actually somewhat abysmal when you consider that senior Jeff Tuel completed 30 of 53 passes for 320 yards – and there's no way that he dropped 23 balls.
His receivers, on the other hand, dropped more than their fair share, and several of them were in the red zone.
"Offensively, we stayed together as a unit," Tuel said. "We put drives together and went up and down the field. We just shot ourselves in the foot at times."
A PRIME EXAMPLE of just that came in the second quarter. On third-and-goal on the California 6-yard line, Tuel threw a pass intended for Wilson in the end zone. Wilson was illegally hit helmet-to-helmet by defensive back Avery Sebastian, who was penalized for a personal foul. Wilson left the game and did not return.
On the ensuing play, junior Leon Brooks was unable to catch Tuel's pass, and after Carl Winston rushed for a yard to put the Cougars at the theoretically all-but-certain California 2, senior Gino Simone dropped a pass in the end zone.
Andrew Furney's 20-yard field goal got the Cougars on the board, but they squandered four easy points on three easy opportunities.
"I thought there definitely were some good things," Leach said. "We should have had more points for how well we moved the ball.
The Cougars did not score a touchdown until the third quarter, when Tuel connected with Bartolone on an 8-yard pass. It was the Cougars' first touchdown since Tuel connected with Wilson late in the Sept. 29 loss against Oregon.
"When you get down there that close, you've got to taste the end zone," said Bartolone, who also scored on a 6-yard pass from Tuel midway through the fourth quarter.
Still, he said, "Guys need to step up and start making plays."
DOING THAT WOULD have been beneficial late in the third quarter when Brooks rushed for 40 yards to the California 37 on first down. But Tuel threw four straight incompletions, including one on fourth-and-10.
It was a similar story to open the fourth quarter, when Tuel connected with Marks on second-and-3 an 8-yard pass to get the Cougars to the Bears' 13. The next two plays fell incomplete before Tuel was sacked and then penalized for intentional grounding.
Furney's ensuing 43-yard field goal attempt went wide left.
"We slice it so thin," Leach said after the game, "we don't leave ourselves any margin for error."
He is now the 16th player in Pac-12 history to record more than 3,000 career receiving yards.
"It's tough because he's a big play guy," Tuel said of Wilson's departure. "Dominique Williams did a great job stepping in. He did a lot of great things tonight."
It was Tuel's third career 300-yard performance and first since throwing for 311 yards at UCLA in 2010. His career-high 53 pass attempts matched a career high of 30 completions at BYU.