WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Nightmare on the Palouse

WHEN THE FOG LIFTED on the Palouse Saturday afternoon, a sobering reality became quite clear: The Halliday era is over. The gruesome leg injury the Cougars' record-shattering quarterback suffered in 44-17 loss to USC ended his college career, and took with it any hopes of winning out to salvage a season of big losses and bigger mistakes. And the media and Twitter-verse had plenty to say about it.

The Trojans won the game, 44-17, but that was subtext for most of those who cared at Martin Stadium. A torch was passed on this day, handed off from the quarterback who guided the Cougars through most of the growing pains of the early Mike Leach regime to one whose performance likely will determine whether Leach’s tenure indeed has legs.
-- Bud Withers, The Seattle Times

(It had) nothing to do with the trivia of more records unreached. Only to do with a willing and charismatic player enduring a final, crushing disappointment in a college stay defined more by bad teams, bad timing and a regrettable underappreciation than his own off-the-chart statistical achievements – and leadership his teammates professed to admire and civilians disparaged.
-- John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

A second consecutive blowout home loss, one that officially knocks Washington State out of the postseason, in a mixture of swirling fog and rain that was surely designed in a lab to be the worst possible football playing conditions was only a small part of what stunk for the Cougars during a 44-17 loss to USC in front of far fewer than the reported 25,012 souls on Saturday.
-- Jacob Thorpe, The Spokesman-Review

Despite that, Falk displayed an ability to sustain success on the Cougars’ three scoring drives — and others. USC had its share of explosive plays as four receivers had receptions of at least 22 yards, which partially contributed to WSU’s time-of-possession (36:30-23:30) dominance.
-- Chris Chancellor, Cougfan.com

Few quarterbacks took more hits or played through more pain over the last few years. Whether it was fighting through a lacerated liver or the countless bumps and bruises he’s endured over his career, Halliday always stood in the pocket, took his licks, and bounced back up.
-- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN

For all the times that Connor Halliday has absorbed a direct, emphatic blow during his anguishing, record-breaking career at Washington State, the hit that will probably end his college career was essentially a freak play.
-- Dale Grummert, The Lewiston Tribune

Kessler and linebacker Hayes Pullard comforted Halliday while he lay on the field. Kessler and Halliday spent time together at the Manning Passing Academy earlier this year. “I just said, ‘I love you, brother. Keep your head up,’” Kessler said.
-- Michael Lev, Los Angeles Register

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.
-- Jennifer Chancellor, Cougfan.com

When a sobering day of football was done here Saturday, Washington State had lost to USC, 44-17, and issues of consistency continued to plague the Cougars on both sides of the ball.
-- Bud Withers, The Seattle Times

Just as true is that the show must go on. The three remaining games are not meaningless to the players in uniform, and especially not to Luke Falk, the one-time walk-on who hustled on in the worst of circumstances and gave a solid accounting of himself.
-- John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

Connor Halliday's broken leg was a sad ending to his career, and he deserved more than the putrid product that Washington State put around him this year.
-- David Piper, SBNation.com

So the Trojans came to the Palouse intent on not only winning but proving they could put away an opponent and finish a game without the drama that has plagued them.
-- Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times

Six of Washington State’s seven punts were perfectly fine, but that first one was a doozy. One week after giving up a punt return for a touchdown against Arizona to fall in an early 7-0 hole the Cougars did it a gain, and in much the same manner.
-- Jacob Thorpe, The Spokesman-Review

Welcome @lukefalk4! Make us proud! #GoCougs #cougforlife
-- @annemfogarty

@c_halliday12 Enjoyed watching you sling the ball all over. All the best man! See you on Sundays. #GoCougs
-- @TheSunrar

Cougs down but not out...the Halliday spirit carries on - the Leach persona unyielding...as a UO fan, I fear that #GoCougs #GoDucks
-- @doakrokey

My heart is broken for Connor. #GoCougs
-- @StateCougFan

@c_halliday12 You have a Linebackers Heart! One Tough Quarterback and a Great Leader! Praying for a fast and full recovery!
-- @CoachKWils

Even though he's the enemy, I would never wish this to happen to @c_halliday12, so much talent and potential. Get better. #gocougs
-- @KelseaClark2

@c_halliday12 terrible to see what happened, happen. You're a great QB and you'll get your shot. Hang in there #GoCougs #recordsetting
-- @chiveonjiveon

Much respect to @c_halliday12 for what he's done for WSU. Praying for you, get well soon #GoCougs
-- @AbeLodwick

People are so quick to jump off the Leach train. Peace out to you all. I'm stayin put. #GoCougs
-- @theanthonymike

The bronze-lining is Falk gets quite a few reps which should prepare him well for next year. #GoCougs
-- @CougMike

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