What They're Saying, Halloween Edition

RELIVE THE FRIGHT night bludgeoning Washington State took from the scary No. 1 ranked Southern Cal Trojans on Saturday night with these quotable quotes from eyewitnesses to the 42-12 horror. (The 12 points, we feel the need to point out in our search for a postive spin, is five more than the Trojans' past two opponents scored against them.)

"There is a fine line between the desperate measures called for in desperate times and--to borrow a phrase from every frat rat's favorite movie--a really futile and stupid gesture being done on somebody's part. On Saturday, Washington State may have crossd that line." John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"The last time anything was cut down this easily on the Palouse was during the wheat harvest. Top-ranked USC had its way with binge scoring and disruptive defense and leveled Washington State 42-12 yesterday." Craig Smith, The Seattle Times

"Half of USC's points came amid a flurry of Wazzu mistakes in the first eight minutes, a no-nonsense Cougar collapse that might have been amusing if it didn't immediately squelch the game's meager intrigue, and drain the poor crowd's collective body warmth." Dale Grummert, The Lewiston Tribune

"Hail and snow arrived to a thunderous ovation from Washington State's crowd. But the Cougars fans weren't so thrilled when the reign appeared and top- ranked USC turned nastier than the weather that served as a motivator, not an equalizer." Todd Harmonson, Orange County Register

"The Cougars ended up with negative rushing yardage for the second year in a row against USC. Last season WSU ended up with minus-25 yards in large part because of two bad punt snaps, but in this game the total of minus-9 was almost completely attributable to an overwhelming front four." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

"This was over so early that when the WSU offense managed to catch a USC lineman jumping offside for a 5-yard penalty in the first quarter, the wise guy on the PA played that little "Woo-hoo!" clip customarily reserved for big plays." Dave Boling, The Tacoma News Tribune

"A total of 35,117 tickets were sold for the game but there were thousands of empty seats after halftime as temperatures were dropping faster than the Cougars' bowl hopes." Craig Smith, The Seattle Times

"With a pair of touchdowns 10 seconds apart about 20 minutes from game's end, the Cougars managed to preserve their streak of having scored in 1.2 million straight games. Or maybe that's the number of beers served at The Coug after the predictable halftime bleacher exodus." John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"The Cougars' leading rusher for the game? It was punter Kyle Basler, who gained 17 yards on a fake punt in the third quarter." Craig Smith, The Seattle Times

"In other words, Wazzu wasn't going to smashmouth the Trojans, or even finesse them. But maybe if the Cougs could distract them with a joy buzzer or a whoopee cushion …" John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"USC, undefeated, untied and unfrozen, was the first No. 1 team to visit Pullman, and the Trojans arrived like a force of nature. That, mostly, was the attraction of this contest – to see what the best team in the country looks like. Of course, the Cougars harbored visions of a stunning upset, a season-salvaging defeat of the Pacific-10 Conference powerhouse. But those remote dreams mandated WSU to play perfectly and catch USC on a down day. Maybe the Cougars could get the Trojans thinking about the weather instead of their win streak of 16." Dave Boling, The Tacoma News Tribune

"Cassel fumbled a snap on the next series, and Carroll had seen enough. In a move that raised some eyebrows, he returned Leinart to protect a 42-12 fourth-quarter lead. Carroll said he would have used third-string quarterback Brandon Hance, but Hance got hit in the forehead by a punted ball Friday night and required stitches." Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Daily News

"The team that knocked off Troy Aikman and UCLA in 1988 had 13 senior starters and a quarterback that would jump early to the National Football League. This one has seven senior starters and possibly only one draft pick. It is what it is. Not reloading, not rebuilding, but renewal." John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"From his 35, Langley proceeded to dribble the ball miserably out of bounds, 2 yards worth. For first impressions, it was like a deep-throated belch in the foyer while meeting the parents of a first date." Bud Withers, The Seattle Times

"Fans with a remote control and hardened stomach had the opportunity to catch both state squads in their shining glory Saturday on simultaneously televised contests. It didn't take long to know how this day was headed, however. Both games kicked off about 4:15 p.m. By 4:21, the Huskies were trailing 7-0, the Cougs were down 14-0 and neither offense had taken a snap. Here was Reggie Bush scoring for the Trojans. Click. There's Oregon hauling in a touchdown pass. Click. There's two Cougars watching a kickoff bounce between them as USC recovers. Click. There's Fox NW mistakenly flashing a 77-0 score in favor of Oregon. Click. There are the Trojans scoring again. Click. There's Paus throwing an interception. Click. There's Bill Doba looking like he just swallowed a lemon. Click. There's Keith Gilbertson, arms crossed and eyes closed, looking like he needs to swallow a bottle of Tums." Greg Johns, The King County Journal

"So, the only hope for these Cougs was for a downpour, a hailstorm, a blizzard, a cyclone, a volcanic eruption ... something that could disrupt the Trojans. But even the meteorologist had a bad game. After the early hail and snow, the skies cleared and the Trojans rolled.

They're No. 1 for a reason. Because there's no way for them to be rated higher." Dave Boling, The Tacoma News Tribune

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