It's what we all said we wanted to see this year, and halfway through the season, anyone who says they don't see it has simply already made up their mind about this coaching staff and just doesn't want to see it.
WSU went toe-to-toe with the No. 3 team in the country, and with 30 seconds to go in the third quarter, the Cougars were on the 12-yard-line with a chance to pull within a touchdown.
HEADING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER!
I don't even want to hear a word from people who are like, "I don't care. I just want a win. Blah, blah, blah." If that's you .. well, you can find someplace else to go tonight, because I don't want to hear it. This team has every reason in the world to be proud right now. You should be proud. We all should be proud.
Were there mistakes? Sure. Two huge ones led directly to touchdowns in the first half -- terrible punt coverage on one, a screwed up blitz on the other. Maybe both drives would have ended in touchdowns. But maybe they wouldn't have. And then a case of the dropsies hit seeming every receiver on the team, including one by Marquess Wilson that was a sure touchdown. Later in that drive, Tuel threw his fateful interception. And Alex Hoffman-Ellis is still averse to tackling and just generally being in the right spot. (Although I'll allow he made a nice play on that strip of LaMichael James.)
But that ought to make you even more excited: The Cougs didn't play their very best game, and they put a scare in the No. 3 team in the country. If you don't think Oregon was scared, you clearly did not watch their broadcast over the Internet -- their announcers sounded flat-out worried at times, and in fact really only sounded even reasonably comfortable after the interception and subsequent touchdown.
I remember a Husky fan who frequents our site asking us how we'd measure progress. He said he'd measure it by asking at the end of the game if we thought our opponents respected us.
After we sent a player to the hospital with a vicious hit; after we knocked Darron Thomas from the game; after Chip Kelly had to keep his starters in (what was left of them) for the entire game ... I dare say that Oregon respects us now.
And that, folks, is reason to be proud.