What They're Saying: The Cougs are back

IT'S DIFFICULT TO describe the catharsis that occured in Pullman on Saturday. Over 10 years of misery seemed to be wiped away when WSU took down Utah 49-37, giving the Cougar faithful what they've been dreaming of since 2003: bowl eligibility. Postgame, the scribes wrote all about that and gave plenty of kudos to the hosses, Connor Halliday and the rest of the gang.

I'd bet Bill Moos, the athletic director who once put Joey Harrington's image on a billboard in Times Square when he was at Oregon, will get the Cougars into a bowl, if he has to put up the CUB, The Coug and his second-born son to do it. -Bud Withers, Seattle Times

The group deserves an A. As senior center Elliott Bosch said afterward, the line knew it was the group that was going to set the tone Saturday. It did. And it was the key component in the victory. -Vince Grippi, Spokesman-Review

With his long blonde hair and 6-foot-5, 301-pound frame, (John)Fullington is hard to miss in a crowd. However, even Fullington got lost in the sea of humanity that flooded the field to share the victory with their sweaty heroes." -Howie Stalwick, Cougfan.com

After the game, Leach acknowledged that the offensive line has improved as much as a unit as any he's had in nearly 12 years as a head coach. The entire team has improved, according to Leach, and that improvement is showing up in the win-loss column. -Jacob Thorpe, Spokesman-Review

Utah's defenders gave Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday plenty of respect in the days leading up to Saturday's contest, calling the junior an elusive, strong passer. They didn't realize though just how good he was until Saturday. -Lya Wodraska, Salt Lake City Tribune

WSU's story is more about a senior class that could propel the program from one that suffered double-digit losses as freshmen to as many as eight wins as seniors. -Chris Chancellor, Cougfan.com

Halliday has played well most of the season, and he accomplished a career first Saturday when he did not throw an interception for the first time in 17 career starts. He started the day with 19 interceptions this season, the most in the FBS. -Howie Stalwick, Cougfan.com

The 2012 coaching class has upped the quality of football throughout the Pac-12. In fact, this might be the strongest the league has been in years. And that makes for great football. -Kevin Gemmell, ESPN.com on WSU getting to six wins under second-year coach Mike Leach

Yeah, the Utah Utes can say they made some people very happy this year. Not the folks who care about them, however. -Kurt Kragthorpe, Salt Lake City Tribune

Still, he (Halliday) wanted to talk Apple Cup rather than postseason. "I haven't played in an Apple Cup yet," he said. "I'm kind of excited to lose my virginity."

After a decade out of the postseason, so, too, a whole legion of crimson fans. -Bud Withers, Seattle Times

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