What They're Saying: Post-Stanford Edition

FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TACOMA, from Seattle to San Jose and beyond, the Cougars' dominant showing Saturday against Stanford has pundits waxing eloquent about Bruce, the Cougar defense, offense and special teams and more.

Looking for a bright note for Stanford? Cardinal linebacker Michael Okwo had a career-high 15 tackles, the most by a Stanford player this year. A couple of other Stanford defenders, Udeme Udofia (9) and Wopamo Osaisai (8), also had career bests in tackles. Maybe that was because Washington State ran 82 offensive plays and had the ball for 33 minutes. And gained 468 yards. - Craig Smith, Seattle Times

Stanford's offensive line, which had done a pretty good job of keeping Edwards' jersey clean, finally caved to the Cougars. They surrendered eight sacks for the game, including five by defensive end Mkristo Bruce, a WSU single-game record. The Cardinal offensive line had allowed a total of six sacks coming into the game. - Michelle Smith San Francisco Chronicle

For the Cougars, this was a coming-of-age kind of game, when they won when they were supposed to win. In Bill Doba's fourth year, the Cougars need to get back to a bowl game. It was 2003 when the Cougars trumped Texas in the Holiday Bowl. To get six victories and bowl eligibility, they needed to win four of their nine conference games. They would likely be favored against Oregon State, Arizona, and Washington, the latter two games in Pullman, but in no case would they be bigger favorites than they were Saturday at the new Stanford Stadium. It didn't take long to empty the stadium after the game was over, and everyone still around could hear Cougars defensive back Michael Willis holler, "One-and-oh in the Pac, how do you like that?" - Blaine Newnham, Seattle Times

Mkristo Bruce acknowledged he got ticked off this week hearing Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards talk about how much he enjoyed playing at Washington State. So Bruce made a point of telling that to Edwards -- again and again. - Josh DuBow; Associated Press

Turning point. Some might argue it was the coin toss. - Todd Milles; The News Tribune

Washington State finished with eight sacks -- five by defensive end Mkristo Bruce -- and outgained the Cardinal 468 yards to 195. If it weren't for a fumble at the Stanford 1-yard line and another at the Cardinal 11, both in the first quarter, the Cougars might have really made it ugly. - Darren Sabedra The Mercury News

The Cougars dominated every phase of play in their Pacific-10 Conference opener against a winless Stanford team that lived down to its standing as one of the worst defensive teams in the nation. Not that the Cardinal showed much on offense, either, with its top three receivers sidelined with injuries. - Howie Stalwick, For the Kitsap Sun

The big question in Washington State circles when the football season started was whether the Cougars could stop anybody. Saturday in remodeled Stanford Stadium, the steadily improving defense answered that with an emphatic "Yes" as the Cougars rolled past winless Stanford 36-10. - Craig Smith, Seattle Times

Bruce got his second sack right before halftime, then returned to rattle the Cardinal's offense to start the second half. Left tackle Allen Smith tried to block him. It didn't work. Fullback Emeka Nnoli came over to help on double teams. That wasn't a factor. And backup lineman Ben Muth had no chance. - Todd Milles; The News Tribune

To their credit, the Cougars took care of business. They survived the termination of their first two drives with fumbles, avoiding the tendency to play down to their opponent. Still, a young Stanford offensive line made WSU defensive end Mkristo Bruce look like Steve Emtman, Bruce roaring in to make five sacks.- Blaine Newnham, Seattle Times

Defensive end Mkristo Bruce of Washington State (3-1, 1-0) is tops in the land with seven sacks through four games. Bruce ascended to the top of the list following a five pass sack performance Saturday against Stanford in Washington State's 36-10 victory. The tally was an all-time best mark at WSU, surpassing the four sack afternoons of Tim Downing, Dewayne Patterson and Keith Millard. Jameel McClain of Syracuse and Brian Smith of Missouri with six sacks apiece are tied for second behind Bruce.

- J.V. Holland, Cougfan.com

Brink expressed concern – about his performance and about the offense's miscues, which included three fumbles, two in Cardinal territory. Sure, the Cougars dominated in total yards (468-195), rushing yards (240-28), first downs (28-11) and held an overwhelming time-of-possession advantage in the first quarter (13:21-1:29). That might have gotten it done against Stanford, but against most teams, Brink said it wouldn't have. He pointed to third-ranked Southern California, which travels to Martin Stadium next weekend. - Todd Milles; The News Tribune


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