What they're saying, 10/26

RELIVE THE GLORY—bizarre as it was—of the Cougars' 36-30 come-from-behind victory over the Oregon State Beavers with these notable quotes and notes from sportswriters across the Pacific Northwest.

"If the mark of a good team is the ability to win even when playing poorly, Washington State may be a far better team than anyone ever imagined. The Cougars' running game netted 3 yards Saturday night against Oregon State. Quarterback Matt Kegel threw five interceptions. The team also lost two fumbles. And committed 13 penalties. And yet, somehow, WSU managed a 36-30 win over Oregon State at sold-out Martin Stadium on Saturday." Don Ruiz, Tacoma News Tribune

"Is there no statute of limitations on torment, heartbreak and misfortune for Oregon State? Listen up, football gods. The Beavers did not sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees for a "Building Bell Field" campaign. They did not refuse ticketed entrance to a billy goat, Cougar, Bear or even a Duck, for crying out loud. Yet there they were again on an otherwise postcard-perfect Saturday afternoon on the Palouse, absorbing one emotional sucker punch after another in front of a crimson sellout at Martin Stadium. Their lost-it, won-it, lost-it, won-it and ultimately lost-it 36-30 demoralizer to sixth-ranked Washington State on Saturday was unusually frustrating and exasperating, even for a program that invented the concept." Jeff Welsch, Corvallis Gazette Times

"The game was sweet revenge for Vancouver, Wash., native Lunde, who attended Hudson's Bay High School. He was offered a scholarship by Oregon State coach Mike Riley and was on the brink of accepting when Riley left to coach the San Diego Chargers of the NFL. Incoming coach Dennis Erickson didn't offer a scholarship to Lunde, who walked on at WSU and was rewarded with a scholarship last year." - Craig Smith, Seattle Times

"Jay Leno had a stand-up gig on campus Saturday night, yet it was hard to imagine a funnier performance than the one Washington State and Oregon State put on earlier at Martin Stadium."- Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times

"It looked more like a fight between Shemp and Moe for most of the game, sans the eye-poking." - Carter Strickland, Spokesman-Review.

"If every unit on the Cougars was playing like the defensive line, WSU might be getting mention as one of the team that could jostle its way toward the national-title game. But injury problems on the offensive line have put a crimp in the production of the offense, as have dings to receivers and running backs." - Bud Withers and Craig Smith, Seattle Times

"Billy Knotts first words were of thanks. And the Washington State offensive lineman directed them right at the Cougar defense. "- Carter Strickland Spokesman Review

"It (Jonathan Smith's second touchdown run) was a final nail that seemed indicative of the whole victory: Here was the Cougars' running game, flirting dangerously with negative yardage most of the game. And then, when needed most, came a brilliant 22-yard burst that covered a multitude of sins."- Don Ruiz, Tacoma News Tribune

"As Jason David galloped off the field after his decisive interception, you could see the devil perched on his shoulder and whispering, ‘Throw it, throw it.' The cornerback tried to ignore it but couldn't. He hurled the football toward the Cougars' student section and it disappeared in the delirium." -Dale Grummert, Lewiston Morning Tribune

"But for the Cougars, this was not a night for bravado, it was an occasion for genuflecting and giving thanks to the gods. Somehow, they survived seven turnovers, including five interceptions by Matt Kegel, and lived to tell about it."-Bud Withers, Seattle Times

"It's never a picnic in the Palouse. But despite losing 10 of their previous 11 games at Washington State, the Beavers deserved better than Saturday's 36-30 elbow to the throat they received before a sold-out Martin Stadium crowd of 35,117. Bob Rodman, Eugene Register Guard

"To be sure, the Cougars won this game despite Kegel -- and, strangely, because of him. That's not possible, of course, but anything became possible in this 4-hour fiasco that probably had the three bowl reps (Sun, Holiday and Fiesta) wondering if they'd stumbled onto an intramural flag football game." Jim Meehan, Spokesman-Review

"If Washington State brings Saturday's act to Los Angeles, however, the Cougars will get whacked in the first half and the hook in the second. The only positive thing you could say about Washington State was: thank goodness for the defense."-Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times

"Mission accomplished. But it was a rougher mission than expected. Olympia nativeAmanda Bleysucceeded in flying a WSU flag within camera range of the ESPN GameDay cameras Saturday on the Bowling Green campus. It was the third campus the flag has flown over as volunteers from the Cougfan.com Web site follow GameDay around the country until the pregame show comes to Pullman. However, after one early clear shot, some rowdy Bowling Green fans took offense at another school's flag flying on their campus and broke the flag pole." Don Ruiz, Tacoma News Tribune

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