What they're saying

WE DON'T HAVE quotes from all of the record 177 folks issued press credentials at Martin Stadium yesterday, but here's a pretty good sampling of notable comments concerning the big win over ASU:

"The Washington State Cougars put themselves on the psychiatrist's couch this week and they checked out mostly OK, though in the end the most important thing was simply that they checked out. While the pressbox Freuds and grandstand shrinks were still playing with their ink blots, the Cougars had already moved on to play with Arizona State - - and it was play in the cruelest sense, like peeling the wings off a butterfly." John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"But after having made more comebacks than Michael Jordan, ASU saw its magic freeze up in the Palouse." Paul Coro, Arizona Republic

"Washington State has moved from the inside track to the Rose Bowl to the fast track. And Arizona State just became the latest road kill." Carter Strickland, Spokesman-Review

"The Washington State Cougars found someone to pummel other than themselves. Not surprisingly, they scored a knockout. Demonstrating the concept of applied learning, eighth-ranked Washington State came out swinging Saturday and dropped No. 16 Arizona State, 44-22, before 37,444 fans in chilly weather at Martin Stadium." Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Times

"Cornerback Karl Paymah was solid in place of David with seven tackles and one pass defended. Linebacker Will Derting was a star in place of Davis, with a team-high nine tackles and two sacks. And the rest of the Cougars played as if it was just another win before just another sellout crowd on the road to just another Rose Bowl." Don Ruiz, (Tacoma) News Tribune

"Two of the biggest questions entering Saturday's game: How would Washington State defend receiver Shaun McDonald and how would it block end Terrell Suggs? Answers: Quite well, thank you." Jim Meehan, Spokesman-Review

"With first place in the Pac-10 on the line, popular opinion was that the game would be settled by which team had the better defensive front four. Washington State: eight sacks. Arizona State: two sacks. Scoreboard: Cougars 44, Sun Devils 22." Paul Coro, Arizona Republic

"Adversity --- so often more damaging and divisive than a dropped pass or missed field goal --- seems to have super-glued this team together instead of wedging them apart. Suddenly, coach Mike Price's cornered jungle lion analogy seems for poetic than cliche." John C. Witter, Cougfan.com

"On the seventh day of a tumultuous week, the Washington State Cougars calmly put their world in order. A locker-room tempest, 19 cases of flu, an overnight flight delay -- far from distracting the Cougars, these things seemed to galvanize them Saturday in an impressive 44-22 victory over Arizona State that puts them in full control of the Rose Bowl race." Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune

"Consider it a convincing testimony to their legitimacy and No. 8 ranking that the Cougars could deal with a bout of internal disharmony and still maintain a level of focus that allowed them to absolutely demolish their closest Pacific-10 Conference challenger." Dave Boling, (Tacoma) News Tribune

"They talked about it because if they didn't, that one punch could have shattered all of their goals. That one punch could have knocked them out of the Pac-10 race, could have spoiled the New Year's plans, could have scarred them for the rest of the season." Steve Kelly, Seattle Times

"Washington State offensive linemen said they were well prepared to control defensive end Terrell Suggs, Arizona State's national sacks leader, because they work against guys just as good every day in practice." Don Ruiz, (Tacoma) News Tribune

"Career passing records drop like autumn leaves these days, but Jack Thompson's stood for 24 years at a school that Sports Illustrated named in the late 1990s as the prototype for a quarterback. Yesterday, Jason Gesser, much smaller than most of his acclaimed predecessors, finally caught the 7,818 yards of the "Throwin' Samoan" in a 44-22 WSU victory over Arizona State." Bud Withers and Craig Smith, Seattle Times

"Martin Stadium was rocking. ABC was rolling. With all that rock and roll, Arizona State was doing the shaking." Paul Coro, Arizona Republic







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