WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Rotten apples edition

CATASTROPHE. CALAMITY. COUGARS. After 12 games fraught with big inconsistencies and bigger losses culminating in a subzero purple trainwreck, the third year of the Mike Leach Era is mercifully over. The 31-13 defeat at the hands of the bowl-bound brigade from Montlake didn't seem to surprise even the most faithful crimson soldiers -- and the media and Twitter-verse had plenty to say about it.

Because aside from the happy blip of quarterback Luke Falk’s big day at Oregon State, this season has been in virtual free fall since the catastrophe against Cal, when Connor Halliday passed from here to Palouse and back and the Cougars still lost. Competitiveness the last six weeks has been mostly a wish and not a reality.
-- John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

The crowd was expectant, hoping for a morsel to carry into the offseason, like the Cougars delivered with a comeback win in Leach’s first year of 2012. Instead, WSU’s offense belched like a ’64 Corvair, and the defense, while game, wasn’t up to playing flawlessly.
-- Bud Withers, The Seattle Times

WSU (3-9 overall, 2-7 Pac-12) needed its vaunted receiving corps to play up to its billing if the Cougars wanted to claim the 2014 Apple Cup. Instead, the receiving unit looked about as effective as its overmatched secondary. In a rivalry where eight of the previous 10 games were decided in the waning moments, the receivers never gave the Cougars an opportunity to succeed against UW (8-5, 4-5).
-- Chris Chancellor, Cougfan.com

There was no drama. There was little intrigue. And by the time the fourth quarter started, there was no doubt, either, as the Huskies rolled to a dominant 31-13 victory in the 107th playing of the rivalry game.
-- Christian Caple, The News Tribune

Washington State prides itself on making routine plays. But in the coldest Apple Cup on record, there was nothing routine about pitching and catching "the rock." For once, that bit of slang was apt.
-- Dale Grummert, The Lewiston Tribune

It was a game won on two fronts – the explosive running of Dwayne Washington, and a ferocious Husky defense that turned Mike Leach’s vaunted Air Raid offense into ground chuck. The only indignity spared Washington State and its fans (a large portion of whom had retreated to warmer locales in the second half) was a postgame turkey feast on the Cougar logo by Cyler Miles and Hau’oli Kikaha, like the Seahawks had in the 49ers’ home stadium.
-- Larry Stone, The Seattle Times

What's reality is a 3-9 record. What's reality is losing to Stanford, Arizona, USC and Arizona State by an average of 22 points, and turning in some of the sorriest special teams play in conference history. What's reality, more than anything, is not meeting self-created expectations. A 3-9 season is not unheard of but when it's married to the promise of brighter days it is a recipe for major hang-wringing among the faithful.
-- Barry Bolton, Cougfan.com

Early offensive failure doomed the Cougars, who were unable to take advantage of some initial offensive success. On WSU’s first three drives the Cougars marched into UW territory and on all three drives they turned the ball over on downs. Receivers struggled to hold onto the ball against a young but physical UW secondary.
-- Jacob Thorpe, The Spokesman-Review

By the fourth quarter, Martin Stadium had mostly emptied and the applause that came when Luke Falk found Dom Williams on a 35-yard touchdown was simply because Washington State would not be shut out. Otherwise, the Apple Cup was a forgettable night for the Cougars.
-- Tim Booth, The Associated Press

The temperature dipped to 18 degrees in the fourth quarter. By then, the Huskies’ freeze-out of the Cougars offense was in full effect. By then, the Cougars had lost the fight.
-- Adam Jude, The Seattle Times

AND FROM THE TWITTER-VERSE ...
Am I the only one who almost cried watching @c_halliday12 walk down the field tonight? #GoCougs #AppleCup #seniornight #wewillmissyou
-- @SierrTetreault

Postgame analysis: A healthy Connor Halladay would have been nice, at least they scored points. #AppleCup2014 #GoCougs #dvrfootball
-- @turbotwit85

I'm guessing Paul Wulff just drunk dialed Bill Moos and left a message just laughing. #Cougs #GoCougs #wsufootball
-- @notoriouscs

Is a coaching change needed in Pullman? That's not for me to say, but I strongly believe a culture change is necessary #GoCougs
-- @the_jiango

The only real positive in the game was the Defenses goal line stand in the 3 QTR. #gocougs
-- @Coughouse

Being a Coug builds up immunity to heartbreaking and blowout losses. This really isn't even that bad. #GoCougs
-- @aaronpolevoi

@c_halliday12 wish you were playing today. No worries, we will see you in the #NFL I'm sure of it!! #GoCougs
-- @Urbanomical

Tough year for our Cougs, and there are no excuses. We must be better, and we will be better. We've got the talent, we need more commitment.
-- @MamaCracraft

On the bright side: Cougs still scored more points than the 49ers this week. #AppleCup2014 #GoCougs
-- @tesia_lynn

The future for WSU Football is bright and especially for Luke Falk. #GoCougs
-- @Ayye_Sam

And thanks again to @c_halliday12 and @Vince_Mayle for their record setting performances this year. We'll never forget you guys. #GoCougs
-- @CougSutra

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