WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Bright lights, big pity

THE LIGHTS WERE BRIGHT, but the silence was deafening. After a 24-13 desert drubbing by Nevada that leaves the Cougars 0-2, it’s not unrealistic that the main question on everyone’s minds is shifting from when this team will win a game to whether it even will this season. There wasn’t much to say out of Reno, but the media and Twitter made some observations.

Truth be told, Washington State’s visit to the Biggest Little City in the World here Friday night was a lot more about self-preservation than self-promotion. A win wouldn’t mean advancement as much as a loss might turn the season. The Cougars flunked in fairly spectacular fashion.
-- Bud Withers, The Seattle Times

Washington State’s defense was better than most Cougar fans likely dared to dream, but penalties and missed opportunities sent the offense back four years to the days when touchdowns were exceptional, rather than expected.
-- Jacob Thorpe, The Spokesman-Review

If last week’s 41-38 loss against Rutgers damaged the Cougars’ bowl prospects, this game was a dagger to the heart. The Cougs were bigger than their Mountain West foe and universally favored. Yet they never led once despite outgoing the Pack by more than 100 yards.
-- Chris Chancellor, CF.C

Who wants to read Geronimo? Anyone? No? OK.
-- @AdamLewisMLB

"The biggest thing is, we need to coach better. We have plenty of yards, plenty of plays, but we’re not congruent, not consistent. We don’t put them together in sequences that put you in the end zone. We have an inclination to make a good play and relax and go soft. I don’t think we play the next play very well. I think we spend too many plays being disappointed over bad plays, and I think we’re too long to be happy about good plays.'
-- Mike Leach

With the loss, a bowl game is a distant afterthought. A laughable one, even. The question now is can the Cougars win a game. They should beat Portland State next week and you may want to enjoy all 60 minutes of it because there is no guarantee it won't be the last until 2015.
-- Mark Sandritter, SBNation

This is about as disastrous a start to the season as I could have imagined.
-- @RM_Preston

Perhaps most importantly, Nevada held onto the ball. It had too many costly penalties – three personal fouls and a holding that negated an 18-yard punt return – but it won the turnover battle 2-0. Those weren't the only gifts from the Cougars, who also missed two mid-range field goals.
-- Dan Hinxman, Reno Gazette-Journal

Sobering fact of the day: WSU has lost 4 straight games since last November and they were favored in 3 of them.

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