While I pull some of the stuff together from the game and try to read my shorthand notes, I'll give you this.
- The hit on Kenjon Barner that knocked him cold was a complete fluke play. Anthony Carpenter was there to take on the lead blocker, who inexplicably peeled off just as Carpenter was getting there. Barner just happened to be behind the blocker and took the brunt of the wedge-breaker's impact. Carpenter didn't even see him until he hit him. It was a scary, scary play.
- There are some that called WSU and the fans in attendance classless for what ensued. One moment, players and coaches were celebrating a big hit and fumble recovery. Within seconds, the stadium went silent. It stayed silent for a good five minutes. Barner was applauded when he sat up and there was a "Go Cougs" chant afterward. There was nothing classless about it. It was scary for everyone in the stadium because the hit really was vicious. Finally, Barner's father came back to the sidelines with a few minutes left in the game. He was applauded by Oregon and WSU fans alike as he walked over there. It was a nice show of respect for a father that was clearly shaken.
- Barner, by the way, is in stable condition at Pullman Regional Hospital. He will likely stay the night for observation.
- Jeff Tuel made one bad read. He got greedy and admitted as much. Instead of peeling to the outside, he forced the ball inside and Casey Matthews jumped it. Outside of that, he had a dang good day. Good reads, good throws and good checks. Jeff Tuel is one of the top quarterbacks in the conference and he's showing it every week as he continues to grow.
- Marquess Wilson was a bit dinged up during the game. Don't panic, he should be fine. He was nicked-up before that drop on the crossing route that likely would've gone for a touchdown. That play, by the way, was the same as the big play in the UCLA game.
- This team has talent. They know they have talent and they're just beginning to show it to the world. We saw some of that on display today. Were there blown assignments? Sure. Were there mistakes on both sides of the ball? Yes. But even with those mistakes, WSU was hanging with the 3rd ranked team in the national throughout the entire. The starters played until the final whistle for Oregon, something nobody expected before the game.
- I've been down on C.J. Mizell. I didn't like his lackadaisical effort in practice and the mistakes that happened on gameday because of it. I'm now a huge fan of Mizell. It's not lip service when he says "he gets it". His play was improved, but his attitude is, too. He apologized for not bringing it in practice after the game. He felt like he could've helped his team early in the season and let everyone down. I would love nothing more than to see him succeed. He took a big step this week and, especially, today.
- The coaches -- every single one of them -- deserve credit. The team was ready to play, the gameplan was sound and they coached a very good game. Sure there's some things that can nitpicked, but overall they did well. This team fought for 60 minutes today and a lot of that can be traced back to the work the coaching staff has put in getting players to buy-in and believe.
I'm proud of this team. I expected nothing from today and I was pleasantly surprised. Over the last few weeks, we've been watching the Cougars grow up in front of our eyes. As Jeff said, this is what we wanted to see. If they can sustain this kind of play the rest of the year -- and continue to progress at the rate they have -- this team will win games. They're so close, as all the players say, it's not even funny.
Be back with more shortly.