What They're Saying, 11/06/05

MISSING: THREE POINTS. Could someone please explain to me where the three points went? I thought we had them at one point, and then they were gone. Perhaps reading these quotable quotes about the Cougars' 27-24 loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils will help clarify this mystery.

"Go ahead. Ask what if? What if Washington State would have kept the three points instead of going for it on fourth-and-1? What if Jerome Harrison gets 1 more yard? What if Loren Langley kicks the ball a foot more to the right? What if WSU isn't called for a facemask penalty?" Darrin Beene, (Tacoma) News Tribune

"The Cougars found a new way to lose Saturday as they took tying points off the scoreboard then failed to score again." Craig Smith, The Seattle Times

"'Don't do it!' my mind screamed. ‘Don't forget Joe Danelo,' I tried to telepathically convey to Bill Doba. ‘This is a snake-bit season,' I pleaded. ‘This is poking karma in the eye. Damn, one kick has already gone off the upright today, don't tempt fate. Keep the three, hope the defense holds up and then let Jerome Harrison and his band of scrappy hosses run these sagging Devils into oblivion.' Apparently the telepathy wasn't working." Pat Mitchell, Cougfan.com

"But don't even think about taking [Doba] with you to the roulette wheel. Not this season, anyway. It has come to this. If he bets red, take black. If he calls heads, 100 coins in a row will come up tails. If you're consulting a map and he picks north, south will take you home. If he takes Express Checkout at the grocery store, park your cart behind the three families making their monthly trip for supplies and you'll still beat him to the parking lot." John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

"No matter how ugly at times. Or how cold on the field. Or how long it was forced to remain afterwards due to airplane troubles, Arizona State was feeling warm and fuzzy Saturday after its first win here in five years." John Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic

"The Cougars lost 27-24 Saturday afternoon, a sixth conference defeat and a sixth defeat overall that officially doomed a season that in many ways may have been over weeks ago when could-be wins started turning into heartbreaking losses." Glenn Kasses, The Spokesman-Review

"The loss also raises the spectre of the 1998 season, which saw the Cougars win their first three games then lose the last eight." Craig Smith, Seattle Times

"The only good vibrations resonating from the Washington State campus Saturday were at Beasley Coliseum, where the Beach Boys prepared for an evening concert. A block away, under a gloomy, slate-colored sky, two teams with sub-.500 Pac-10 records were fighting for their postseason lives." Poala Boivin, Arizona Republic

"The Cougars had played sloppily in the first half and on ASU's touchdown drive in the second quarter, freshman linebacker Greg Trent was penalized for a late hit and Matt Mullennix and Scott Davis were called for roughing the passer. Also on the drive, safety Eric Frampton dropped an interception." Craig Smith, The Seattle Times

"The Sun Devils are slowly clawing their way back to looking like the team that thrived early in the season. Saturday, the offensive play calling was innovative and manipulative, and the defense came up with big plays when the Cougars made a run late in the game." Poala Boivin, The Arizona Republic

"This time it was Arizona State taking the win, a result of poor first-half defense, penalties, inconsistent offense and one baffling coaching decision in the fourth quarter." Glenn Kasses, The Spokesman-Review

"After one half Saturday, the Washington State defense appeared to be up to its season long routine: Fold against the run, play two-hand touch against the pass and give up 40 points on the way to another eye-popping statistical disaster." Austin Burton, The Seattle Times

"With winter promising the arrival of basketball programs predicted for ninth and 10th in the conference, this game was it for happy endings. If you disregard the news that Arizona State was stuck in Pullman hours after the game ended because its plane was grounded in Las Vegas, it was a happy ending for the Sun Devils, who won 27-24 at Martin Stadium and find themselves in the hunt for a bowl game." Poala Boivin, Arizona Republic

"For one thing, the Cougs – in the throes of one of the worst defensive seasons in their history – had suddenly connected the dots in the second half. They allowed a field goal on ASU's first drive to make it 27-10 – helped by a replay that erased a Sun Devils touchdown – and not a point more. Punt, punt, fumble, punt. It's been two months since the Coug defense managed a sequence like that." John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

"And be it luck, bad decisions or just poor play, the Cougars will be home for the holidays for a second straight year. An 8-1 Oregon team travels to Pullman next week, and it appears an Apple Cup matchup at Washington of two teams that are 0-7 in the Pac-10 is likely." Glenn Kasses, The Spokesman-Review

"Say this about Bill Doba – no one wanted to win more desperately Saturday afternoon. Such was his desperation – his desire to share victory with the 2005 Washington State Cougars if only this once, to reward them for their resilience and the way they've rebounded from the most cruel and bizarre defeats and humiliations, to keep them alive for consideration to any bowl that might be similarly desperate to have them – that he did the football unthinkable. He took points off the scoreboard. The tying points." John Blanchette, The Spokesman-Review

"The coin didn't flip in the Cougars' favor Saturday and the loss eliminated them from the bowl mix. Washington State's early defensive struggles were too much to overcome late in the game." Poala Boivin, The Arizona Republic

"In an era in which Keyshawn Johnson pens an autobiography titled ‘Just Give Me the Damn Ball,' Terrell Owens fumes over the absence of fireworks to celebrate his 100th career touchdown catch, and Chad Johnson makes sure to remind everyone, every week, that he cannot be stopped, Trandon Harvey is an oddball. The Washington State senior receiver not only doesn't demand the ball, at one point last season, he secretly hoped he didn't get the ball. ‘There were times when I didn't want them to throw me the ball because I was afraid I'd drop it,' Harvey remembered after Saturday's 27-24 loss to Arizona State. What a difference a year makes. Harvey had no such issues against the Sun Devils, consistently getting himself open and catching six passes for 92 yards, both team highs." Austin Burton, Seattle Times

"The ritual is down pat at Washington State University this season. The Cougars lose, but Jerome Harrison runs for a lot of yards. Yawn." Glenn Kasses, The Spokesman-Review

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