What They're Saying, 11/14

FOR THE FIRST time in four seasons, planning the holidays got considerably easier for Cougfans, as Arizona State derailed Washington State's hope for post-season play with a 45-28 spanking, yesterday. With that bit of "bah-humbug," we offer our usual Sunday serving of notable quips and quotes from eyewitnesses to the devilish downfall.

"Walter and the Sun Devil offense left little doubt as to which team was superior from the beginning. Within 11 minutes of the opening kickoff, Walter had thrown three touchdown passes to three different receivers, forcing WSU out of its game plan – run the ball and try to control the clock. And by quarter's end, he had already amassed 134 passing yards on just seven completions, making good on his reputation as a big-play passer." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

"Arizona State is fed up with its critics. The 20th-ranked Sun Devils fired back on the field Saturday night, crushing Washington State 45-28 in a game that wasn't that close. The Sun Devils completed their second perfect record at home in the past 23 seasons." Jeff Metcalfe, Arizona Republic

"The Cougars' blundering start was reminiscent of their loss to USC three weeks ago, and a far cry from their superb start in a win at UCLA eight days ago. Defensive end Kyle Caldwell tipped and intercepted an Alex Brink screen pass on WSU's first play from scrimmage, and the Cougars never fully recovered." Lewiston Tribune

"The Apple Cup is now the Cougars' bowl game." Craig Smith, Seattle Times

"When the first formation of the night is called ‘missing man,' you know this is no ordinary football game. It wasn't. It started with the whir of Apache helicopters and ended with cheers of victory." Paola Boivin, Arizona Republic

"The first half was played at basketball game-like speed, with Walter acting as a point guard of sorts. His pinpoint passing led the Sun Devils to 31 first-half points, the most they have scored in any half this season. They led 31-14 at the break and were not threatened after that." Darrin Beene, Tacoma News Tribune

"The loudest sound that could be heard as Washington State filtered back into its Sun Devil Stadium locker room was the prolonged exhale let out by a number of players and coaches. With those sighs went a team's hopes of repeating the success of years past. Earlier this season the Cougars had lost hope of a fourth straight 10-win season. Now, with a 45-28 loss to Arizona State that wasn't as close as the score would indicate, so too was their shot at a bowl game." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

"The Sun Devils could feel good about themselves when they presented the game ball to the Tillman family in the locker room afterward. The defense made big plays all game, in Tillman fashion, and added another interception to the Pac-10-leading 15 it took into the game."
Paola Boivin,Arizona Republic

"Halfway through first quarter here Saturday evening, one question weighed heavy on the minds of those sitting in the Cougar section of Sun Devil Stadium: Which was uglier – WSU's new road pants or the play of the team?" Pat Mitchell, Cougfan.com

"Senior tackle Calvin Armstrong blamed ‘inconsistencies' and failure to ‘make enough plays' for the loss. There were a lot of examples. The Cougars never had a sustained drive and converted only 2 of 14 third-down attempts. Graham Siderius missed a 28-yard field goal, a punt was partially blocked, an Allen Thompson fumble led to an ASU field goal and three passes were dropped." Craig Smith, Seattle Times

"ASU gave its final opponent, Arizona, reason for concern. Start with quarterback Andrew Walter, who had eight NFL scouts in the press box furiously scribbling adjectives of praise. He threw five touchdown passes, highlighting not only his arm strength but his accuracy. It was a good night to own Andrew Walter stock and it's hard to believe there are many in the country who can throw a better deep post route." Paola Boivin, Arizona Republic

"Washington State freshman Michael Bumpus showed again last night why he is one of the most exciting players in the Pac-10. Bumpus had the sixth-longest punt return in Cougars history with a 76-yard touchdown in the first quarter. It was his second punt return for a TD this season and trumped his 52-yarder against Oregon." Craig Smith, Seattle Times

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