Sunday morning victory links

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday morning links are fun again!

It's amazing what 12 months can do.

A year ago today, the Cougars lost an ugly 19-6 game to Oregon State. The loss was WSU's third in a row and dropped the Cougars to 2-4 on the season. Connor Halliday played horribly, finishing 9-of-20 for 81 yards and three interceptions. That game may not have been the low point of last season, but it was close.

Now, a year later WSU is 4-2 and coming off a 44-22 road win against Cal. The Cougars have already bettered their win total from last season and have notched two conference road wins. Sitting here thinking about Saturday's game, it's amazing the change that's happened in such a short period of time.

My friend Nate and I usually text during and after WSU games. A big victory during the last few seasons resulted in a lot of all caps, an obnoxious amount of exclamation points and a massive celebration. Yesterday's conversation was less pure jubilation and more excitement about the performance of the offensive line and the steps the program has taken. A similar comment was made in the postgame thread. WSU fans are no longer losing their minds over a conference win. We're happy, we're excited, but it's no longer a shock to see the Cougars play well, even in conference play. Think about the last five years and you realize just how far this program has come.

WSU links:

Cougar defense forces big turnovers to mask leaky effort vs. Cal | Cougar Football | The Seattle Times
It may be hard to convince anybody of this, but Washington State’s defense came in for a lot of plaudits here Saturday on an afternoon when Cal threw for a school-record 506 yards.

Jacob Thorpe’s keys to WSU’s win over California - Spokesman.com - Oct. 6, 2013
WSU’s offense was ready to play from the get-go, scoring touchdowns on drives of 92 and 85 yards to start the game. Cal, conversely, needed 19 minutes to score its first offensive points.

Halliday plays through pain, leads Washington State past Cal | Bud Withers | The Seattle Times
Washington State had just scored its most points in a conference game in 10 years, and yet Connor Halliday wasn’t satisfied.

BERKELEY, Calif.: Washington State beats California 44-22 | WSU Cougars | The Bellingham Herald
If Washington State could protect Connor Halliday, the Cougars were confident he'd have a big day.

Cougars roar past Golden Bears - Spokesman.com - Oct. 5, 2013
Washington State University took the monkey off its back, whipped it around, and flung it into San Francisco Bay. Thanks to a stellar game from quarterback Connor Halliday, the Cougars never trailed in a 44-22 dismantling of the Golden Bears, who had beaten WSU in their eight previous contests.

Coming-out party - Spokesman.com - Oct. 6, 2013
If it’s possible for a highly regarded defensive player to have a breakout game, then a pair of Cougars accomplished the feat on Saturday. Defensive tackles Kalafitoni Pole and Ioane Gauta led a defensive charge that saw Cal’s Bear Raid offense held to just 20 offensive points, including 14 on a pair of long passes because of breakdowns in the Cougars secondary.

WSU's Historic Day - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Oct. 5, 2013
While we fight through some technical difficulties to bring you the postgame video interviews (don't worry, they're coming), let's look at some numbers to help put WSU's 44-22 victory over the Golden Bears in perspective. Quarterback Connor Halliday wasn't the only Cougar to put up big numbers, althoug his were certainly the biggest. Check out these statistics compiled by WSU's Bobby Alworth, after the jump.

Cal perspective:

Cal loses a must-win game to WSU, 44–22 - California Golden Blogs
What happens when you lose a can't-lose game? The loss was filled with injuries, penalties, and turnovers and freshman quarterback Jared Goff finally looked like a freshman as Wazzou beats Cal 44–22. If you have some expletives to shout, this is the thread to do it.

Cal taken apart by much improved Washington State - San Jose Mercury News
For four minutes Saturday afternoon, the monsoon rain and crucial mistakes of the week before at Oregon were forgotten. The Cal football team took the opening kickoff and moved quickly to the Washington State 5-yard line.

Washington State beats California 44-22 - Wire College Football - The Sacramento Bee
Twice in the opening 16 minutes, California was on the verge of scoring a touchdown when a fumble near the goal line ended a promising drive.

Cal football falls prey to Washington State in third straight loss - The Daily Californian
On Saturday at Memorial Stadium, the Cal football team’s clash against the Cougars lived up to its billing as a battle of two Pac-12 bottom dwellers.

Cal falls to Washington State 44-22 in battle of Air Raid offenses | Cal Bears Blog | an SFGate.com blog
"This was obviously not a good performance by us," Dykes said after a 44-22 loss to visiting Washington State.

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