Rien Long (2000-2002) '02 Outland Trophy Winner - Consensus All-American - All-Pac 10 First Team
"I felt like every other play I saw a Cal player go down. The Cougar defense was swarming and they had bodies flying everywhere, especially Nate DeRider, No. 54. WSU's team speed was everywhere on the field. In the second quarter when it was 21-7 and Cal was marching, DeRider's interception sealed the deal to keep momentum with the Cougs. There's nothing more gut-wrenching to an offense than when they throw an INT in the end zone. Holding Cal to 100-yards rushing and only two plays longer than ten-yards is solid play by the Cougs' front seven. One word describes the D, smothering.
Offensively, that was as balanced as you can get with the Air Raid attack. Congrats to Gabe Marks for pulling in another record."
Sam Lightbody (2000-2004) '03 Holiday Bowl Champion
"The 2016 Cougar football team isn't one dimensional like I felt they might have been coming into this season. They proved that notion wrong as they have developed each week into what we got to see Saturday night against Cal. Defense is on fire, run game is dominant, O-line is apparently eating their opponents and Fak's crew of receivers continue to do what they do in the air. They dominated Cal in every part of the game. It looks like the guys are having fun out on the field and there is that swagger starting to show up in everyone's play. Hopefully the injured get healthy for next week. The final push is definitely going to be the toughest and we need everyone. Proud to be a Coug!"
Kyle Basler (2002-2005) '03 Holiday Bowl Champion and MVP
"What a win and a helluva day for the WSU punt return unit. The Cougs finally took one back to the house. Congrats to Kaleb Fossum.
The rest of the game was pretty uneventful and a consistent day for special teams all around. Kyle Sweet continued to be the multi-position player and do what I think what Coach Leach wants. Just get the ball outta there - period. Eric Powell's kickoffs continued to be very impressive with the majority, if not all of them, going for touchbacks.
Set special team play to the side, damn am I glad Gabe Marks bounced up after that targeting hit. Very excited about what he's done in his career and we still have at least three games left (including one or more post season games)."
Chima Nwachukwu (2007-2010) ESPN Academic All-American 2010, ARA Sportsmanship Award & Wuerffel Trophy Finalist
"On a night when all the other supposedly “elite” teams were dropping like flies (read: Huskies), we took another steady step forward last night against Cal. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to tune into the game and to immediately see Kaleb Fossum run a punt return back for a TD. Untouched!! Let’s go!!! The most telling part of that play was watching the players ease up on the blocks that became unnecessary for us to score. That’s how you can tell those guys are getting coached up well – they’re playing smart!
One other player stood out to me while watching the game (and maybe that’s because he was wearing a familiar jersey): River Cracraft. I know he had three TD’s, but it was the first one he caught that stood out to me the most. I mean, did you guys see how high he jumped on that one? All I can say is, Go Cougs."
NOTE: Nwachukwu roamed the WSU secondary donning a crimson and gray jersey with the No. 21 at one safety spot opposite a freshman who started at the other safety spot, No. 20 Deone Buchannon.