What They're Saying - Post UW edition

THE PUNDITS HAD much to say after Washington State dropped the opener to Wisconsin on Saturday by a score of 42-21. Loved the offense, not so much the defense and special teams was a theme of recurrence by those who watched it and those who participated. From Milwaukie to Tacoma, Doba to Bielema, here's what they're saying ...

I really like this kid. I don't know why this guy is not in the top 15 or 20 quarterbacks in the country. He's a fifth year senior and he can move. -- ABC's Bob Griese on Alex Brink.

I mean, what were you really worried about? The defense is fine, although Washington State did give Wisconsin something to think about for a moment in the course of the 42-21 final Saturday. -- Michael Hunt, Milwaukie Journal-Sentinel

"At Wisconsin, anything's possible. You go down on State Street and they're still selling pieces of the moon down there." -- ABC's Brad Nessler.

Walkosky, who came from Toledo, is primarily responsible for coaching special teams. Welcome to BCS football, Dave. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

Badger fans were rewarded with a legitimate nonconference opponent, and the Badgers responded with a workmanlike performance on both sides of the ball. They made adjustments on defense as the game progressed and displayed a variety of looks and talent on offense. -- Joe Hart, The Capital Times

In one of America's greatest college sports towns, Washington State hung tough with No. 7 Wisconsin for three quarters, then saw its upset hopes float away like a sailboat on nearby Lake Mendota. -- Craig Smith, Seattle Times

The Cougars came into Camp Randall Stadium with an experienced quarterback and receivers and just enough wrinkles in their attack to put UW back on its heels. Reeling was more like it. -- Mark Stewart, Milwaukie Journal-Sentinel

Consider this: Washington State amassed 193 yards of offense in the first quarter alone. Credit some aggressive play-calling by the Cougars, but it must also be pointed out that these guys are holding their own physically, which was a question mark about both the program and their league. -- The Capital Times Blog

Despite playing against a physical and mobile front four, UW ran the ball effectively enough to contribute to a huge edge in time of possession (36:47-23:13). -- Jeff, Potrykus, Milwaukie Journal-Sentinel

The Badgers expected Washington State to pass the ball more. Instead, the Cougars came out, spread the field and kept the ball on the ground. They ran for 99 yards in the first quarter and ran 10 times for 83 yards in their first two possessions. -- Mark Stewart, Milwaukie Journal-Sentinel

Ken DeBauche inadvertently brought Washington State back into the game with what amounted to a minus-14 yard punt midway through the third quarter...The problem is he batted the ball -- either out of frustration or ignorance of the rules -- and was penalized 15 yards for batting it forward. The Cougars took full advantage. -- The Capital Times Blog

On Wisconsin's first five scoring drives — when the margin was 14 points or less — the Badgers converted a third-and-seven on one drive, a third-and-10 on another, and a third-and-10 on a third one. WSU got little production from its front four, save for 6 ½ tackles by end Matt Mullennix. -- Craig Smith, Seattle Times

If this was a sneak peek of what's to come for the Washington State football team in 2007, heed this early-season advice: Offense on, eyes open. Defense on, look away. -- Todd Milles, Tacoma News Tribune

The pivotal match-up came down to a one-on-one battle between a fifth-year senior (UW wide receiver Luke Swan) and a freshman (Washington state cornerback Chima Nwachukwu). Advantage UW. -- Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukie Journal-Sentinel

Just as the loss at Auburn in '06 wasn't a death sentence — the Cougars rebounded to get to 6-3 — this one doesn't have to be. Washington State ran the ball astonishingly well against a quality Big Ten defense, 157 yards' worth, and you can't lay this one on Walkosky, as much a newbie as some of his pupils. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

"He'll get better. The good thing is, I think we'll get better." -- Bill Doba on true freshman Nwachukwu and the defense

"They have an unusual punt formation. Basically, I stole our formation from Toledo's special teams coordinator in the game against Bowling Green. Bowling Green ran the same thing, and because of what (Toledo's head coach) was doing because he knew how to defend it, I did the same thing." -- Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema

"I think somebody blocked it with their knee." -- ABC's Paul McGuire, on Romeen Abdollmohammadi's field goal attempt in the second quarter

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