What They're Saying, 10/10

RELIVE THE DISAPPOINTMENT of Washington State's 41-38 loss to Oregon on Saturday with these samplings of notable quotes from various eyewitnesses to the event.

"If the clock had run out after Oregon racked up 99 plays and 635 yards of offense, Washington State still would have escaped with a victory. It didn't, and the 100th play — plus 13 more yards — turned a sure-fire WSU win into a crushing defeat in the home opener of the Pac-10 season." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

"There were reasons aplenty for the victory, and Gipson might have been the most notable defensively. After WSU scored touchdowns on two of its first three possessions with touchdown passes of 39 and 25 yards to Jason Hill, the Ducks assigned Gipson specifically to Hill for the rest of the game. WSU's leading receiver never had another catch." Bob Clark, (Eugene) Register-Guard

"From a standpoint of universal balance, the Cougars probably had a late reversal of fortune due to go against them, considering the rabbit-out-of-the-hat wins over Arizona and New Mexico they'd pulled off this season." Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune

"Maybe the Ducks had to expel some bad karma before they could dance unencumbered through the fourth quarter. Maybe the Ducks were slipping up because they were pressing hard. Doubt creeps in and things go haywire… But the Ducks didn't lose. They climbed out of the hole -- make that the small quarry -- that they had dug and snatched the game from the Cougars." Brian Meehan, The Oregonian

"Another bright spot from the Cougar loss was the play of freshman Michael Bumpus, specifically a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown that gave WSU a 13-point lead in the closing minutes of the third quarter." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

"If Ngata, who has blocked five kicks in his career, was a truck, Bumpus was a demolition-derby clunker with a souped-up engine on his punt return. He bounced off at least five tacklers en route to the end zone." Darrin Beene, Tacoma News Tribune

"The Cougars aren't the first college football team to stretch one bye weekend into a second. But in playing dead for the Oregon Ducks on Saturday afternoon – microwaving a two-touchdown sure-thing into humble pie in just 12 easy minutes – Wazzu managed to attach more doubt than dream to every remaining Saturday this season, beginning with the next one." John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"Anticipating the same manner of rabid rush out of the Cougs, Oregon put together an offense tricked up with rush-repellent plays such as shovel passes and screens and passes to the tight end and QB draws. What the Ducks failed to spend time on this week, though, was examination of the rule book." Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune

"The Ducks had 13 penalties for 104 yards, most falling into the bonehead category. They fumbled six times and recovered only three. Even cool-headed coach Mike Bellotti lost it, slamming his hat to the turf when quarterback Kellen Clemens fumbled." Brian Meehan, The Oregonian

"They outdueled the Cougars 27-11 in the fourth quarter of this Pac-10 shootout, they maintained possession for 38 of the 60 minutes, they rolled up 646 offensive yards, and they clicked through a school-record 102 offensive plays, as varied and colorful as a garden of orchids. And the Cougars couldn't tell if their heretofore excellent defense got hoodwinked, worn down or just plain outplayed, but it was probably a combination of all three." Dale Grummert, The Lewiston Tribune

"Finding a WSU defender in the same frame with the likes of Oregon tight end Tim Day or running back Terrence Whitehead or wide receiver Demetrius Williams may prove to be a greater challenge than finding a soft drink or sympathy for the Huskies at the average Cougar tailgate." John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"Well, they showed us. The quarterback who hadn't been quite good enough. The offensive coordinator who'd become the target for unhappy fans. The receivers who weren't catching well enough, the running back who wasn't elusive enough, the linemen who weren't blocking well enough…Heavens, did they all show us." Ron Bellamy, (Eugene) Register-Guard

"Oregon didn't have to spread to ball around on offense because two receivers, Demetrius Williams and tight end Tim Day, had room to roam." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

"The Ducks accumulated 646 total yards, which ranks fifth all-time in yardage surrendered by WSU. To find a worse day for their defense, the Cougars would have to go back to 1989, when they gave up 658 yards against Arizona State. The most was a 696-yard day by Iowa in 1969." Darrin Beene, Tacoma News Tribune

"Day, a tight end who had caught only eight passes in the first four games, snagged six for 91 yards in the fourth quarter alone. That reflected the latest shift of emphasis for offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, whose varied play-calling included four shovel passes that punished Wazzu defenders for their insistent aggressiveness." Dale Grummert, The Lewiston Tribune

"In one crucial sequence of plays, Oregon missed a two-point conversion that seemed ridiculous to attempt, and then both teams lost fumbles on consecutive plays ... and then 18 clowns crawled out of this little, tiny car, and a monkey jockeyed a camel in a race against a bear on roller skates. No, wait, those last two efforts were plays from Oregon's creative offensive scheme." Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune

"Oregon's offensive approach has, for several years now, been among the most inventive and entertaining on the coast, even when the Ducks haven't always had the artists to make it museum quality. They've put up their share of Baroque numbers and beat up on some big-name teams, so there's no particular shame here. Except that these Ducks haven't done diddly. Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig had been flamed in Internet effigy. Frankly, up until Saturday the Ducks couldn't score on East Sprague wearing a sportcoat of sewn-together $20 bills. John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

To put Oregon's performance in perspective, WSU had given up 664 yards in its three previous games. The Cougars entered the game with the 16th-best defense in the nation." Darrin Beene, Tacoma News Tribune

"Nobody, nowhere, in any league, can give up 646 yards and expect to win. The biggest shock might have been that the Cougars stayed as close as they did." Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune

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