What They're Saying: Down to the wire

PULLMAN -- Coug fans are split. Is Washington State on the verge of turning the corner? Or is it another false hope? Either way, the Cougars showed progress Saturday in Palo Alto in taking the game down to the last second, say the scribes. And while it has become apparent that the offensive line is a big issue, other aspects of the team seem to be developing some continuity.

Postgame interviews here, for the visiting team, are conducted inside a cramped tent outside of an archaic locker room. So maybe it was fitting that even as Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel sat behind a table and answered questions from reporters, his left knee wrapped heavily, he still had about a half-dozen people right in his face. -- Christian Caple, Spokesman Review

He's far too early in his current job as football coach at Washington State for us to make any sweeping proclamations. But, punctuated by Saturday's razor-thin, 24-17 loss here at 19th-ranked Stanford, when the Cougars were banging on the door for the would-be tying touchdown in the final seconds, you'd have to say (Leach) had quite the October. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

The only aspect of Stanford's 24-17 victory over Washington State on Saturday that was not surprising was that the No. 17 Cardinal was the winner. The Cougars (2-6, 0-5 in the Pac-12) lost their fifth straight game despite outplaying the heavily favored Cardinal at Stanford Stadium in virtually every category and being in position to score the tying touchdown in the final minute. -- Jake Curtis, The Sports Xchange

As coach David Shaw fielded questions, it was clear he felt a 7-point win against a team that, in all likelihood, could finish winless in the Pac-12 fell drastically short of internal and external expectations. -- Kyle Bonagura, ESPN.com

It took all 60 minutes, which was 59 longer than expected, but Stanford held on Saturday to defeat Washington State 24-17 and keep its postseason goals alive. -- John Wilner, the Mercury News

When the male trombone player in the Stanford band performed the national anthem prior to the game while wearing a black halter top with a long cat tail sticking out of the back of his shorts, football fans figured they could not possibly witness anything stranger that afternoon at Stanford Stadium. -- Howie Stalwick, Kitsap Sun

About the only thing pretty about No. 17 Stanford's 24-17 win over Washington State was the sunset over the hills at Stanford Stadium. -- Miles Bennett-Smith, The Stanford Daily

A few nights before Halloween, No. 19 Stanford was scared to a ghostly pale Saturday by a team that has yet to win a Pac-12 game this season. -- Tom FitzGerald, San Francisco Chronicle

The last drive was mostly a blur to Jeff Tuel. Little wonder, since he would finish the day having thrown 60 passes for 401 yards, interspersed by a Stanford school-record 10 sacks. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

Leach said he limited Marquess Wilson's playing time and yanked him from the starting lineup because redshirt freshman Dominique Williams outplayed Wilson in practice during the week. "If Marquess wants to play all the time, he's going to have to quit being hot and cold," Leach said…Leach said he was pleased with Wilson's play after a slow start Saturday. – Tacoma News Tribune Staff

In the previous Saturday's win over Cal, Stepfan Taylor had 189 yards rushing. He was held to a season-low 58 yards on 21 carries by the Cougars. -- Tom FitzGerald, San Francisco Chronicle

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