What They're Saying: Post Stanford Edition

THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN of Chris Ivory, the Lazarus-like rise of Washington State's bowl hopes, and missed opportunities were recurring themes in several tabloid recaps of the Cougars' 33-17 victory against Stanford on Saturday. With quips, quotes and takes on Alex Brink's big day, Cardinal QB Tavita Pritchard's "homecoming," and more; from Spokane to San Francisco, here's what they're saying.

As scenarios go, there could scarcely be a better one for the Washington State Cougars. It makes all the nitpicking irrelevant – and, lordy, will the Cougars of recent vintage go into the Nitpicked Hall of Fame. You could hear it Saturday with every little eye-rolling calamity they endured against Stanford, a death struggle by way of the Marx Brothers.John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

Ivory turned several runs that initially appeared doomed into positive gains by bouncing off tackles, including one in the second quarter for 34 yards."That was a Jerome Harrison play, if you ask me ... He was making a lot of runs that reminded me of Jerome Harrison tonight," offensive lineman Dan Rowlands said of WSU's star running back in 2005. "He makes us look better." Brandon Scheller, Seattle Times

Stanford QB Tavita Pritchard, out of Clover Park High School, has a reverence for WSU football. His father, David, played there (offensive line), and his uncle, Jack Thompson, was a legendary Cougars quarterback. Pritchard threw for a career-high 263 yards Saturday on 22-of-40 accuracy. He converted five third downs with passes, and two fourth downs (a pass and run), but was sacked four times and intercepted twice in falling to 2-4 as a starter. "As much as I would like to say that I am (a) 100 percent Stanford guy ... there is 10 percent still with the Cougs. You can't leave too much behind from your childhood." Pritchard had 30 family members and friends in attendance. Todd Milles, The (Tacoma) News Tribune

In a game with a lot of big numbers, the most important thing for Washington State was a letter — W for win. The Cougars remained in the bowl hunt Saturday with a 33-17 victory over Stanford in which quarterback Alex Brink passed for 449 yards and a touchdown. Craig Smith, Seattle Times

Abdollmohammadi kicked the first of his two fourth-quarter field goals to make it 23-17. Belch, who missed two first-half field goals before nailing the 24-yarder, was foiled in an attempt to kick a 52-yard field goal when the Cardinal was called for delay of game. "For some reason, the offensive line ran off the field," Harbaugh said. "I still don't know why." Howie Stalwick, The (San Jose) Mercury News

It was that type of game. When it was over, one team would lament its lost opportunities, the other would express its joy at surviving. But that's what Saturday's 33-17 Pac-10 conference victory over Stanford was for Washington State. A game the Cougars survived. And, with it, their bowl hopes survived. Vince Grippi, Spokesman-Review

Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard will not get to relish his experience against Washington State, the program and place that represents so much of his family history and childhood memories. Instead, his mind will be on instant replay, returning to the missed passes, the missed kicks and the missed opportunities that again stood between Stanford and success. Michelle Smith, The San Francisco Chroncile

See, even modest victories like this one tend to take some of the steam out of the bilious invective out there in Anonymityland that demands change in coaches, quarterbacks, schemes and recruiting focus – and now, preferably, if not yesterday. So such victories must be summarily dismissed. Except, of course, by the Cougars – who right now are the only ones who count. John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

Seemingly dead a month ago after losing 53-7 at Oregon, Washington State has resurrected its season by winning two of its past three games. If the Cougars win their final two games against Oregon State and Washington, it is likely they'll play in a bowl game for the first time since 2003. Bowl game? The Cougars were having none of that talk afterward. "One at a time," Abdullah said. "It's all we can do." Nick Daschel, The Columbian

November has not been a kind month to WSU in the past, but coach Bill Doba's bunch collected their first November victory since the 2005 Apple Cup, a 26-22 win against the Huskies. Can life be more compelling on the Palouse than it is now? Todd Milles, The (Tacoma) News Tribune

With two games remaining, the Cougars could still receive a postseason bowl bid, and Brink said the team would like to convert big offensive yards into touchdowns against Oregon State and Washington. "We realize there's a lot left to play here. Now we have to focus on getting touchdowns," Brink said after four drives resulted in field goals. John Wiley, Contra-Costa Times

Tavita Pritchard fulfilled a childhood dream Saturday night when he played football at Martin Stadium for the first time and threw a game-clinching pass. Unfortunately for Pritchard, his game-clinching pass wound up in the mitts of Washington State safety Husain Abdullah, who raced 55 yards to the end zone with three minutes left to put the wraps on a 33-17 victory over Stanford. Howie Stalwick, The Olympian

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