What They're Saying, 9/28

RELIVE THE DOMINATION that was the Cougars 55-16 victory over the previously undefeated, No. 10 ranked Ducks. Notable quotes and notes as sportswriters lend their view on what took place in Autzen Stadium on a sun-splashed, scorcher of a day in early Fall.

"The Cougars not only silenced the notoriously loud Eugene fans, they chased them out of the stadium. After Erik Coleman's lunging end-zone interception in the second quarter, snuffing an Oregon threat with the score 31-2, yellow-shirted Duck fans began streaming along the stadium ramps like air fizzing from a tire." Dale Grummert, Lewiston Morning Tribune

"It speaks directly to the talent of the Washington State football team that it could take on the No. 10-ranked team in the nation and turn it into a helpless, bumbling neon-green atrocity on its own field."  - Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune


"Play of the game: Pick any one of about 10."  - Bud Withers, Seattle Times


"The national magazine cover mocks them now. The lofty No. 10 ranking will only serve to measure how far Oregon plummets. A Saturday of euphoria has been followed by a Saturday of abject embarrassment. ‘Dazzling Ducks,' Sports Illustrated proclaimed after Oregon's defeat of Michigan last weekend. Dreadful Ducks were the story Saturday." Ron Bellamy, The Register-Guard


"The Cougars enjoyed listening in as the sound of silence grew right along with the number of empty seats."  - Don Ruiz, Tacoma News Tribune


"By halftime, thousands of Ducks fans had left when the team retreated to its posh dressing room."  - Craig Smith, Seattle Times


"It was hard to blame the fans or the Oregon players for not finding the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact it was hard for the Oregon quarterback to find any light anywhere to even throw the ball."  - Carter Strickland Spokesman Review

 "For the record, WSU's 55 points are the most ever scored against Oregon in a home game. Not just at Autzen, but anywhere the Ducks have played in Eugene. Kincaid Field, Hayward Field, anywhere for the 108 seasons of Oregon football." Bob Clark, The Register-Guard

"If it has not been clear to this point, it should be clear now: the Cougars have themselves an elite defense -- savvy, skilled and swift."  - John Blanchette Spokesman Review


"The Cougars might have the quickest defense in the Pac-10. They made one athletic play after another on balls tipped by an alert defensive line.  This against a team that had almost survived September without an interception."  - Bud Withers, Seattle Times


"Better yet, why do we as college football followers keep getting duped?"  - Stewart Mandel, Sports Illustrated


"We may also ask: Which has less credibility, college football rankings or things you read in Sports Illustrated?"  - Dave Boling Tacoma News Tribune


"Then again, it's not wise to pay much mind to the preseason projections, which, here and elsewhere, foresaw WSU seventh in the Pac-10.  Obviously, those who shortchanged the Cougars for their losses of playmakers Jason Gesser, Rien Long and Marcus Trufant didn't count on the continuity and the talent still in the program."  - Bud Withers, Seattle Times


"While there was considerable preseason hand-wringing from the outside about all the marquee playmakers the Cougars lost from last year through graduation and defection to the Sunday league, it turns out they have playmakers galore, even if they're never billed in lights."  - John Blanchette Spokesman Review


"For the past week, WSU coaches looked at Oregon game tapes and they noticed one reason the Ducks' quarterback tandem hadn't thrown an interception all season: No one had pressured them.  They resolved to change that, and it paid off, as the Ducks' quarterbacks duo was rushed and hit and ultimately combined to throw seven interceptions."  - Don Ruiz, Tacoma News Tribune


"Seven days after Oregon leveled what some people had been tempted to call the best team in the country, Washington State simply savaged the Ducks, 55-16, in one of the most mind-bending afternoons in the 36-year history of this facility."  - Bud Withers, Seattle Times


"But a defensive effort that was so unsparingly fervent created an argument that the Cougars have the goods to compete for a conference championship.  If not more."  - Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune


"The Cougars dominated in just about every aspect in just about every minute of the game."  - Carter Strickland Spokesman Review


"The Ducks were the nation's darlings again last week. Sports Illustrated proclaimed them the coolest in the land.  Call them cooled off."  - Ryan White The Oregonian


"Not only aren't the Cougars gloating, they're barely slowing down for a quick yip-pee.  Cougars coach Bill Doba called it a good win over a good team.  Respectfully muted satisfaction.  But no overt glee.  Players claimed it really wasn't an upset.  Nor were they awed by the magnitude of the scoring differential.  There were no Gatorade baptisms on the sideline, or ceremonial carrying of coaches off the field.  They acted as if 39-point victories over top-10 teams are to be expected."  - Dave Boling Tacoma News Tribune


"For while the temptation is to downplay the magnitude -- that is to say, the point spread -- of Wazzu's win because of Oregon's inability to take two steps without a turnover, the fact is the Cougars were responsible for creating the bulk of those problems, despite Ducks coach Mike Bellotti's rather dismissive declaration that the Cougs, "had a lot of great bounces today.  We didn't really have a chance to make it the game that I would have like to have seen," he said.  Funny. Could have sworn the scoreboard read 0-0 at kickoff."  - John Blanchette Spokesman Review


"The only thing that looked worse than the Oregon offense were the Ducks' band uniforms."  - Carter Strickland Spokesman Review


"Oregon didn't get a first down on its first three possessions, and Washington State started to take control after Acholonu blocked Oregon's third punt. Four plays later, Drew Dunning's field goal put WSU ahead 10-0.  That was the last time Oregon could consider itself in the game."  - Dave Charbonneau, The Oregonian


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