Cougs vow to keep slogging through adversity

IF THERE IS ANYTHING the Cougars are known for, it is perseverance. To continue on in the face of adversity and defeat. And after going a decade between bowl games, it seemed last year that the tide was finally turning. Then came this season. Setbacks. Agonizing defeats. And on Saturday, the greatest loss of all, as quarterback Connor Halliday left Martin Stadium for likely the last time.

But that doesn't mean this team is throwing in the crimson towel.

Out of contention for a second consecutive trip to the postseason, the Cougars have three games left to play -- against Oregon State, Arizona State and Washington. Whether they will win another game is a definite unknown at this point, but it won't be for lack of trying.

After all, playing is what they plan to do.

"We just have to keep on doing what we’re doing," said junior linebacker Jeremiah Allison in a postgame radio interview.

Head coach Mike Leach said in a postgame interview that his team needs to remain competitive because there is always adversity in football.

"At some point, each individual play has to be its own masterpiece," he said. "We're just too up and down emotionally. We're just all over the map. We need to take pride in each individual play and make the most out of that."

Leach did, however, acknowledge that quarterback Luke Falk did "a good job of leading this unit" when he stepped in for Halliday. In his first major outing with the Cougars, the redshirt freshman threw for 370 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Fortunately for Leach, his players seem cognizant of some of their issues -- and how to fix them.

Senior running back Theron West said that the team has to stay focused.

"We just have to play the next play," he said.

Sophomore cornerback Daquawn Brown said that he wants to see the secondary, in which he has taken on a leadership role, "play more free now."

"We have nothing to lose," he said. "We can go into these games as the spoiler."

Brown said the Cougars' goal was to get into a bowl game this year.

"Now," he said, "we know we have to put in more work during the offseason."

  • Wide receiver Tyler Baker made his first career start and said "it felt good to be out on the field." He finished the afternoon with nine receptions for 89 yards.

    "You never know when your opportunity is going to come."

    As the youngest of three brothers, Baker joked that he is "never used to being the biggest guy."

  • Vince Mayle caught nine passes for 83 yards, boosting his season total to 1,009 receiving yards, the 11th 1,000-yard season in school history.

  • Isiah Myers caught his 17th career touchdown pass, tying Brandon Gibson for eighth-most in school history.

  • Right tackle Jacob Seydel made his first career start.

  • Allison recorded a sack and is now tied for the team lead with 3.5.

  • Destiny Vaeao recorded his first sack of the season and his first career solo sack.

  • Darryl Paulo recorded his first career forced fumble and fumble recovery.

  • Cougfan Top Stories