What They're Saying: Post-Baylor Edition

FROM WACO TO EVERETT, Kennewick to Lewiston, the Cougars' fantastic finish Saturday against Baylor has pundits waxing eloquent about Brink, Bumpus, Langley, Rogers and more.

Until the final, game-winning drive, the most obvious conclusions to be made about the Washington State Cougars were that they were in possession of a big-time defensive front, a corps of inconsistent receivers, an extremely shaky kicking game, and an all-out, full-blown, potentially divisive quarterback controversy ... Head coach Bill Doba, who may lead NCAA coaches in frankness and absence of guile, said that if Rogers had led them on another score he probably would have taken over in the second half.
- Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune

Finish is what a closer does out of the bullpen. What a carpenter does to a house already framed. What a nightclub comic does with a killer joke to an audience already in the palm of his hand. What Wazzu had to do to beat Baylor 17-15 on Saturday at Qwest Field in what some genius has decided to call the Cougar Gridiron Classic – it's the first event that corporate sponsorship would make sound less tacky – wasn't finishing. Not really. Not when the Cougars had the game seemingly in hand, lost the lead in one devastating play and then marched back down the field to win it. So finishing, no. Recovery, rescue, salvage, reclamation – any of the above would work.
-John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

You know the history. Washington State loses lots of these games. Games as close as your next breath. Games that should have been won. But Saturday, the Cougars won a game that seemed lost. And Michael Bumpus made a late-game catch and a run that might be a harbinger of hope returning to this program.
-Steve Kelley, Seattle Times

With four turnovers and a touchdown of its own, the Baylor defense did everything it could to win the game. Except the one thing that it needed to do. After Anthony Arline scored on a 40-yard fumble return to give the Bears a 15-14 lead, all they needed was one more stop. And they couldn't get it.
-Jerry Hill, Waco Tribune-Herald

It was only a two-point win over an unranked team, but for the Washington State Cougars their annual battle in Seattle produced a huge benefit: a cleansing of their football souls.
- Dick Rockne, Cougfan.com

In taking Washington State down the field when it most mattered, Brink showed that he not only has the composure to get it done, but also the thick skin. Something that may be his most useful attribute in the future as Cougar fans fall in love with the young Rogers.
- Jahmal Corner, Tri-City Herald

Washington State quarterback Alex Brink clearly heard the home crowd booing in his direction and chanting for his backup. The junior quarterback simply shrugged them off, displaying impressive resolve in leading the Cougars' comeback Saturday afternoon.
Tim Booth, The Associated Press

The shortest field goal of Loren Langley's life turned out to be the biggest of his career.
-Mike Cane, Everett Herald

"We've got some talent on this football team, and we're not making plays. That's the thing that drives me nuts. If we were just raggedy, that's one thing. I don't mind getting beat if I go down swinging and give it everything I've got, but to lose a game like we lost today, that's what is driving me nuts.
-Guy Morriss, Baylor coach, to the Dallas Morning News

Football is a humbling sport. Just ask Alex Brink ... Ask Michael Bumpus ... Ask kicker Loren Langley ... But in one swoop – one final drive in a nonconference game against the Bears – the Cougars finally rejoiced in redemption. WSU came out on the positive end of a nail-biting fourth-quarter, posting a 17-15 victory in a game that featured mistake after mistake.
-Todd Milles, Tacoma News Tribune

The crowd was rowdy, the defense was pumped and it looked like another non-conference blowout was in progress. Then the bottom fell out. Everything that could have gone wrong for the Cougars in the first quarter did go wrong.
- Dustin Goodnight, Daily Evergreen

Since preseason camp, the signs hanging in the Washington State locker room had beseeched the Cougars to "Finish!" Well, they finished. The signs this week might say "Start!"
- Dale Grummert, Lewiston Morning Tribune

When you play this position it's pretty clear that not everybody is going to be your best friend and love you. It is what it is. And that's OK. I choose to play this position. And I take the responsibility that goes along with it. There's going to be plenty of people cheering for the other guy and I hope sometimes they're cheering for me. So you just have to block it out and get strong and go out and play ball.
- Alex Brink, Cougar quarterback

Most people don't accomplish much in 58 seconds. Brush your teeth? Check your e-mail? But that's all the time Gary Rogers needed to completely change the flow of a football game on Saturday.
-Mike Cane, Everett Herald

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