MOORE: In search of Chad Davis

PAUL SORENSEN THIS week on CF.C detailed why our football team is so bad and why we need to be patient. We need to understand our problems could not be fixed overnight, that Paul Wulff is looking to build a strong team long-term. OK, I get it. I really get it. But it got me thinking about our awful offense this year. So I went in search of one who might be able to offer some insight -- Chad Davis.

You remember him, the quarterback of our '94 team that could have been a Rose Bowl champion but was an Alamo Bowl champion instead, thanks in part to Davis' problems throwing the ball.

During that season, the Cougs had one of their best defenses ever. The Palouse Posse was unbelievable. It stonewalled all comers. I remember it being very strange to watch a Cougar defense that was that damn tough. Rare are the moments in Cougar football history that I don't dread what will happen when the other team has the ball on third down.

Typically, the other team gets a first down or a touchdown, or we're flagged for pass interference. The worst example of this dread happened in the '98 Rose Bowl when we had a good defense, but it just wasn't able to get Michigan off the field on third down.

BUT THE PALOUSE POSSE…I wanted to see the opposing team on third down; I knew they wouldn't make it. I knew we'd be seeing their punter soon. Kind of like other teams look at us now; I love Reid Forrest, but I've seen way too much of that kid, and I'm still torn on whether I like that rugby stuff that he occasionally pulls out or not. I'm leaning toward "not."

That Palouse Posse defense could have been even better than it was if the Cougs had had a decent offense that season. As you recall, they didn't. In fact, they were so anemic that they rank as the third-lowest scoring team in WSU's modern history at 15.1 points a game -- and the defense either scored or gift wrapped a substantial portion of that average.

That '94 team, with even an average offense, might have won the national championship. This might be embellishing the truth, but when it comes to the Cougs, I embellish whenever possible. Honestly, I really don't think it's that much of a reach.

That team should have played in a bigger game than the Alamo Bowl, and because of our offensive problems, they had to hang on to beat Baylor –- naturally the Palouse Posse saved the win.

Davis takes most of the blame for that team being so inept offensively. Davis didn't have a big arm but was OK on short passes as I recall. I remember liking him and pulling for him and hoping he'd get better, but he didn't. Davis had many detractors.

I CALLED HIM the other day and didn't get a call back. He's been busy.

Just last week he resigned as the head coach of the Westmoore High Jaguars in Oklahoma. He quit for personal reasons after only one season. He tried implementing a no-huddle offense, but the no-huddle went nowhere, the Jaguars were shut out four times and were one of the lowest-scoring teams in Class 6A in Oklahoma.


CHAD DAVIS

Wherever he goes, whatever the decade, no offense follows Chad Davis.

AS BAD AS that '94 offense was, this one's worse, and we're stuck with it for two more weeks.

You know what that probably means – two huge losses to end the season, one to the Beavers, one to the Huskies, and a pair of games in which the Cougs struggle to score.

More than anything else, that's what bothers me most about this year's and last year's teams. We can't move the football and we can't score. I thought we hit bottom in 2008 when the Cougs were the lowest-scoring team in school history, at least in the modern era, averaging 11.9 points.

This year's team is averaging 13.1 points a game and needs to score at least 13 points in the last two games combined to avoid being the most punchless Coug team ever.

You would think that the Cougs would be able to average 6.5 points in their final two games, but if you've watched them this season, you know that it's nowhere near a given. In fact, it might involve a little praying to the football gods because this team is that offensively challenged.

I'm still trying to figure out how we scored 14 points against Arizona State – what are the odds that a team that is sacked 12 times and rushes for minus-54 yards finds the end zone twice, once on a pass that was intended for a different receiver and the other on a 99-yard shocker of a connection between Jeff Tuel and Johnny Forzani, the kid with the coolest football name.

THAT'S WHAT'S SO tough to take – in all of my 35 years of watching Cougar football, we've had some bad teams, but we generally found ways to score. Sure, the other team scored a lot more frequently, but we'd lose 52-26 or 45-31 and be halfway entertaining.

This year's offense has been hampered by injuries and inexperience and the biggest factor of all - LOFT (Lack Of Friggin' Talent.). It could have been different if James Montgomery hadn't gotten hurt so early in the year – that kid was a bona-fide Pac-10 player. And now when we don't have a healthy Jeff Tuel, which is the case again this week, we're down to Kevin Lopina and Lobbestael, who must be gun-shy with so many defenders in their face all the time.

The offensive line is young and banged up, the receivers are young but have potential, and when you add it up, it certainly looks like another long afternoon at Martin Stadium against the Beavers, featuring too many Forrest appearances again.

(I'm glad the game won't be televised…I'm having a hard time watching anymore, and I love listening to Robertson and Walden anyway.)

These kids have gone through enough. They don't need to be in the record book for having the worst offense ever. All they need is 13 points in the last two games. Surely they'll do that. Won't they?

I'm thinking I might not want to hear your answer.

Jim Moore is a '78 alum of Washington State. These days he also writes for seattlepi.com and can be reached at jimmoorethego2guy@yahoo.com. He has a Facebook page and you can follow him on Twitter @cougsgo. He's on "The Kevin Calabro Show" on 710 ESPN Seattle every Wednesday at 3 p.m.


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