(QUOTABLE QUOTES BEGIN AFTER PHOTOGRAPH)
Washington State wide receiver Jerome Riley pulls down a touchdown pass as Arizona State's Adrian Thomas (21) defends during the first quarter Saturday, Nov. 10, 2001 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. (Matt York/AP)
"It took a backup quarterback, a fourth-down stand, a halfback touchdown pass and a controversial 27-yard fumble return for a touchdown, but when Washington State left the field its hopes of coming back here for the Fiesta Bowl were still intact.… And every Cougar knew it."
Dale Grummert, Lewiston
"Lamont Thompson broke a Pac-10 record with his 22nd career interception, and linebacker Alex Nguae played inspiredly, making two quarterback sacks. Yet things came so slowly. The clearest images are of Smith waiting for a ruling on his touchdown, Henderson waiting for Minnich's quail to land, the Cougars waiting on the field for the victory to sink in. But 9-1 is worth the wait."
Terrence Harris, Arizona Daily
"If heart and determination had cumulative value, then Arizona State would have walked away with a victory against Washington State.… But making plays and ball control are what matter most in this game, and the 11th-ranked Cougars trumped the Sun Devils in both aspects Saturday night. The result was a 28-16 loss for ASU at Sun Devil Stadium."
Craig Smith, Seattle Times:
"The sideline also included cushions, water bottles and other litter hurled by angry Arizona State fans after Cougars linebacker Raonall Smith returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown and a 21-9 lead with 4 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third period."
Craig Hill, (Tacoma) News
"They pelted the field with tortillas, hamburger buns and water bottles. Smith caught one water bottle and pretended to take a drink, further enraging the crowd who booed for the final 4:26 of the third quarter."
Don Ketchum, Arizona Republic:
"ASU coach Dirk Koetter was livid after the call on Walter, walking onto the field and gesturing to the video board that showed the replays."
"Asked if he thought it was a fumble, Price smiled and said, ‘Of course it was. What else would you expect me to say?'"
Greg Witter, Cougfan.com:
"The Cougars deserve to get a judgment call every five years or so. After three post-Rose Bowl seasons from hell, this seemed only fair.… If Rick Neuheisel can count on a good half-dozen improbable breaks per season, then Mike Price deserves one in the twilight of a season so shockingly surprising that anything less than a victory here would have to be viewed as a sleight to the gods of gridiron destiny."
Craig Hill, (Tacoma) News
"True, the Cougars, famous for their bad luck, had their share of good fortune, but they also lost their starting quarterback and a chance to control their own destiny."
John Davis, Arizona Republic:
"Forcing turnovers has been a major factor in Washington State's success this season, but probably none have been bigger than the questionable fumble recovery that knocked the wind out of Arizona State."
Homer Cardle, Cougfan.com:
"Arizona State strengthened their case for the conference ‘classless fans' title. The Tempe-tantrum crowd continued their bizarro-world tradition of tortilla tossing, but added water jugs and booze bottles into the mix following a controversial call and it's continuous replay on the stadium screen."
"The Arizona State Sun Devils' slim hopes for a postseason berth were dealt a crushing blow after visiting No. 12/11-ranked Washington State beat ASU 28-16 at Sun Devil Stadium. The Sun Devils were victimized by big plays, a porous pass defense and some untimely calls by the officials."