WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: A bobble kind of night

PULLMAN – Cal moved a little further away from the panic zone for the second straight week, this time at the expense of Washington State. Bobblehead jokes. Quarterback questions. Bye weeks. All of that and more were on the minds of scribes near and far after WSU's 31-17 loss to Cal at Martin Stadium.

It appeared that an inexperienced defense was growing. But a week later, the Cougars looked about as capable of stopping the run as the talent-devoid defenses of former coach Paul Wulff's first two years. - Chris Chancellor, Cougfan.com

With an overpowering running game, Cal put together back-to-back victories for the first time this season with a 31-17 win over pass-happy Washington State Saturday night at Martin Stadium. - John Crumpacker, The San Francisco Gate

It was Mike Leach bobblehead doll night at Washington State on Saturday, but the coach wasn't sure how popular the items would be after the Cougars lost to California 31-17. -- Nicholas Geranios, Associated Press

Next at Washington State University: Empty Corpse Bobblehead Night. Having exhausted the giddy buzz of a rock-star hire, whatever "whoa" jolt was felt from his recent trashing of a few team elders and the gimmick of a toy handout at the turnstiles, the only promotional card left for the Cougars is to combine all three, no? -- John Blanchette, Spokesman Review

For the Cougars (2-5, 0-4), who have now dropped four in a row, it was another inconsistent showing. Starting quarterback Connor Halliday was replaced by Jeff Tuel for the second week in a row after Halliday completed just 4 of 10 passes for 74 yards with two interceptions. – Ted Miller, ESPN

Fans didn't learn much by gazing at the primary scoreboard in Martin Stadium on Saturday, because technical difficulties meant that only the video screen was functioning properly. No down-and-distance, no game clock, no point totals. And no football team to fill in that last blank for much of the game, anyway. - Christian Caple, Spokesman Review

WSU, under first-year coach Mike Leach, came with an aerial attack that included 63 pass attempts, stopping the clock enough times for the game to exceed 3 1/2 hours. -- Jeff Faraudo, Mercury News

The Washington State Cougars, licking wounds both physical and mental, enter their only bye week this season with a long list of injured players and a full-blown debate over their starting quarterback - Howie Stalwick, The News Tribune

Another grim loss for WSU yesterday. The 31-17 loss to Cal helped the Cougs earn an "F" mid-term grade from coaching legend Lou Holtz on ESPN last night. -- Beth Kaiman, Seattle Times

For the crimson partisans looking for a silver lining in Washington State's 31-17 loss to California, we offer — yes, a bit sheepishly — this slender morsel of perspective.

The last time a first-year Washington State football coach entertained Cal at Martin Stadium, it was Paul Wulff in the second game of 2008, and the Bears, a couple-of-touchdown favorites, won 66-3. Jahvid Best, the Cal running back, was a thoroughbred running against pasture nags, rushing for two touchdowns of 80 or more yards. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

It was Mike Leach bobblehead doll night at Washington State on Saturday, but the coach wasn't sure how popular the items would be after the Cougars lost to California 31-17. -- The Associated Press

One second-quarter series told the story. The Cougars ran 11 straight plays inside the California 25-yard line and came away with nothing but a field goal. – Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune

Cal's run game simply could not be stopped…The final score, however, belies a sloppy start for both teams at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. – Connor Byrne, The Daily Californian

..After the Cougars lost to Cal, 31-17, Leach was obviously nonplussed about his quarterback position. The guess here is that he'd like Connor Halliday to win the thing, simply because as a sophomore, he represents more of the future of the program than senior Jeff Tuel, but lately, Halliday refuses to win it. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times


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