What They're Saying, 11/13/05

RELIVE THE FRUSTRATION of the Washington State Cougars' latest nail-biting Pac-10 loss, this time to the 11th ranked Oregon Ducks -- by those elusive three points -- with these quotable quotes from witnesses to the dreary event.

"A wise man once said statistics are for losers. Alex Brink is not a loser. In fact, judging from the fact that he was just named to the All-District VIII Academic team, he's a wise man. That said, even an intellectual sort like Brink was at a loss for words Saturday night. He just can't explain how he keeps putting up big numbers, and his team keeps putting up big numbers, but the Cougars in general and Brink in particular keep doing just enough to lose football games." Howie Stalwick, (Eugene) Register-Guard

"Oregon's Paul Martinez kicked a 19-yard field goal with 1 second to play Saturday night to administer the latest dramatic loss to the Cougars, 34-31." Craig Smith, Seattle Times

"And so it ended, just another win for the Ducks on their last possession, as it was the previous week when they overcame California in overtime. That's four times this season the Ducks have taken the outcome to the end of a game, winning those by the margin of either a field goal or a touchdown." Bob Clark, (Eugene)Register-Guard

"The 2005 Washington State football season, for worse or worst, has turned into an experiment in losing. In the last few weeks, coaches and players have wondered aloud if this team would never get a break." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

"Despite another stellar performance from Harrison, Washington State (3-7, 0-7 Pac-10) suffered its seventh straight loss. With Washington's win over Arizona, the Cougars now hold sole possession of last place in the conference." Austin Burton, Seattle Times

"With his brother, Ryan, watching from behind the end zone some 30 yards away, Leaf was hit hard and sacked twice by Mkristo Bruce. In his two series, Leaf moved the Ducks 13 yards." John Hunt< The Oregonian

"The presence of Devan Long and Brady Leaf in the Oregon lineup pushed Washington State's coach into one overriding thought: ‘We've got to start getting those little brothers.' Both Ducks are the siblings of Cougars who had notable careers at WSU, and both contributed to Oregon's 34-31 win Saturday night." Bob Clark, (Eugene) Register-Guard

"On the Hail Mary at the end of the first half, Brink heaved the ball into the end zone, and the pass somehow slipped past WSU wideout Chris Jordan and an Oregon defender, allowing Jason Hill to tip the ball up into the air. And with no defenders present to knock the ball away, Hill calmly caught his own deflection and the Cougars had an improbable halftime lead." Glenn Kasses, Spokesman-Review

"Brink threw three TD passes, completing 22 of 33 attempts for 283 yards. He also threw two interceptions. It was the fourth game the Cougars lost this year after being ahead or tied at the half." John Wiley, Associated Press

"When his team is comporting itself with energy and enthusiasm – during the first half Saturday night against Oregon, for instance – Doba vaguely resembles Nick Nolte. When his team takes a tying field goal off the scoreboard for a chance to fail at a fourth-down conversion, as the Cougars did last week against Arizona State, he's a dead ringer for Jerry Van Dyke." John McGrath, Tacoma News Tribune

"It was the same ol', same ol' for Harrison: Rush for 100-plus yards, score a couple of touchdowns and ultimately watch his team lose a heartbreaker, this time on Senior Night." Austin Burton, Seattle Times

"Oregon, against the worst defense in the Pac-10, managed 156 yards, turned the ball over on a fumble and had to punt three times. Still the Ducks were holding at 10-7 lead before WSU drove 90 yards in the final 1:26 of the half." Darrin Beene, Tacoma News Tribune

"The mistake-prone Cougars helped out on the drive, roughing Ducks punter Matt Dragich. Washington State was penalized six times for 75 yards in the first half and had two touchdowns called back. But with three seconds left in the half, one well-placed and poorly defended pass by Brink made up for the miscues." John Hunt< The Oregonian

"Harrison got a break in the race for a national rushing title when Memphis' DeAngelo Williams sat out Saturday's game against Tennessee with an injury. As a result — should their per-game averages remain the same — the Cougar senior will run for more yards than anyone else in America this season." Glenn Kasses and Jim Meehan, Spokesman-Review

"The Cougars' offense, though, was not up to the task. WSU's next four drives went interception, fumble, punt and interception. The Ducks took advantage by scoring two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to go up 31-21." Darrin Beene, Tacoma News Tribune

"Suddenly, next Saturday's Washington-Washington State game, which a few days ago shaped up as a bleakest Apple Cup in 34 years – not since 1969 have the Huskies and Cougars taken winless conference records into their intrastate rivalry contest – is looking, well, not quite as bleak." John McGrath, Tacoma News Tribune

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