HOT COUGAR ACTION: WSU Vs. USC, The Day After

I'm going to be brief this morning, partly because I'm getting ready to head up to Seattle for the Seahawks soon, and partly because Brian covered most everything a lot better than I could already.

In case you didn't figure it out, he was in Pullman and working as a credentialed media member. Many of his observations were formed after both watching the game up high in the press box and talking to coaches and players after the game. If you haven't read his thoughts, you can check them out here (offense and special teams) and here (general thoughts and defense). 

Last thing. I want to highlight Bud Withers' column for the Times this morning. I think it does a good job capturing the conflicting nature of where this team is at. Is it improved? Undoubtedly. Is it enough? I think that's still a very open question. What Withers does say is that it's time to follow the example started by the offense yesterday and really turn this team loose:

They've got two-thirds of the season left, eight games to make a statement about where they and Wulff are going. As they say on the golf course, tee it high and let it fly.

Withers is a WSU alum who has been covering the program and the Pac-10 for a long time, so his perspective is valuable. It's a good read. Make it a point to check it out.

On to the links!

WSU's loss to USC, the day after - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Sept. 26, 2010
Going into the week, there was a part of me that felt the USC matchup was about as good as it was going to get for WSU the rest of the season. ... Then Saturday came, the reality of what USC presented seemed to hit home and the Cougars once again shot themselves in the foot. How?

USC smothers WSU 50-16 - Spokesman.com - Sept. 25, 2010
If Saturday’s Pac-10 opener with the University of Southern California was to be a measuring stick of Washington State’s progress, the answer is obvious. The Cougars don’t measure up yet.

USC thunders WSU - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Sept. 25, 2010
It had been a long time since Washington State had taken an opening kickoff and marched to a score. Two years and five days in fact. But that’s exactly what the Cougars did Saturday, though it was mostly an afterthought following the 50-16 drubbing by USC at Martin Stadium.

John Blanchette: No defense for WSU's - Spokesman.com - Sept. 25, 2010
It is almost morbidly fascinating to watch coach Paul Wulff attack the weekly referendum on his performance, adding yet more youth in gasoline-on-a-bonfire fashion. Early on Saturday, he benched one of the game captains – senior safety Chima Nwachukwu – in favor of 18-year-old Deone Bucannon, who made a season’s worth of mistakes. He also made an interception and led WSU in tackles, in part because the linebackers tasked with making them whiffed. But can youth always be the alibi?

There’s no defense for Cougars in 50-16 loss to Trojans | MORE TOP SPORTS - The News Tribune
Two weeks ago, after Washington State had to rally dramatically to beat underdog Montana State, Cougars safety Chima Nwachukwu declared, “The defense is going to have to carry this team.” Houston, we have a problem.

Cougars keep tackling like dummies | WSU Cougars - The News Tribune
The Washington State football team and the Seattle Mariners baseball team have a lot in common. In other words, they whiff quite regularly when trying to hit.

Cougs good? No. Close? No. Funny? That depends | WSU Cougars - The News Tribune
Solomon joked about placing a banana peel in front of starting quarterback Jeff Tuel so he can take over the position. Solomon praised Tuel and other WSU quarterbacks, none of whom can match Solomon’s perfect passing (3-for-3 for 93 yards) during his two seasons in Pullman after redshirting in 2008.

WSU football: Cougs can’t tackle, can’t stop USC in 50-16 beating | Moscow-Pullman Daily News Blogs

Sports | USC runs right through WSU | Seattle Times Newspaper
Chris Ball, the Washington State defensive coordinator, took a postgame podium Saturday and addressed an old theme — the Cougars' tackling. Given the recurring nature of the problem, his weary statement was fitting.

Cougars | Washington State two-minute drill | Seattle Times Newspaper
Turning point: After WSU had put up a touchdown on its opening drive, a two-play sequence turned the momentum to the Trojans. Kicker Nico Grasu's pooch kickoff didn't go far enough and a USC "up" man deflected it out of bounds at the Trojans' 41. On the first snap, Havili blew through the befuddled Cougars for a 59-yard touchdown run.

Cougars Drop Contest To Trojans, 50-16 - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
Matt Barkley completed 16 of 25 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns as No. 20 Southern California beat Washington State 50-16 on Saturday.

Scout.com: Amid D's meltdown, Bucannon steps up vs. USC
Perhaps hard to believe after a game in which the defense forced nary a punt and surrendered more than 600 yards, but one of the the most notable individual performances for the Cougars in Saturday's loss to USC was on the defensive side of the ball. True freshman safety Deone Bucannon turned heads and looks to have supplanted senior Chima Nwachukwu in the starting line up.

Scout.com: Maybe one silver lining in WSU loss to USC
TO THE DEGREE there are silver linings in a 50-16 setback, there was one Saturday in Washington State’s loss to USC in sun-drenched Martin Stadium. The Cougar offense showed real signs of life against a bona fide FBS team, with the first series of the game serving as Exhibit A.

WSU-USC Photo Gallery - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE - Blog

Offensive Defeat - WSU Football Blog
Do we have the seeds of a new offense? For these eyes, the modified pistol we ran today looked really good at times. Obviously, we need to learn how to run the stinking football, but with the exception of one or two times, we had a first down on nearly every drive.  That result alone represents amazing progress.

Other WSU Sports

Volleyball Falls at Oregon State 3-1 - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State volleyball team (6-6, 0-2 Pac-10) lost in four sets Saturday night to Oregon State (8-8, 1-1 Pac-10) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. Oregon State won with set scores of 25-15, 24-26, 25-22, and 25-15.

WSU Successful on Day Two of Cougar Classic - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The WSU women's tennis team concluded the second day of play at the 2010 Cougar Classic with a doubles championship, and will send three players to the singles semifinals.

Roberts and Englund Lead WSU to Wins at Anderson Invite - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
Washington State freshman Ruby Roberts and junior Justin Englund won the individual titles and led their Cougar teams to wins Saturday under sunny skies and 80 degrees at the Erik Anderson Memorial Invitational Cross Country meet at Plantes Ferry Park in the Spokane Valley.

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