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Cougs defy the odds, this time in a good way!

WSU dug itself a giant hole Saturday, but in the end, that just made victory more delicious.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Cougar fans, and welcome to the Sunday after one of the greatest wins any of us have ever seen a Cougar team earn. Where to begin? Being a sports fan is a constant up-and-down proposition, and being a fan of the Cougs is largely filled with more 'downs' than 'ups.' Saturday night was no different, as we all went from the pit of despair to the heights of elation in just a a few short hours.

Allow me a little tangent if you will. If not, I won't be offended if you skip ahead. The afternoon started quite inauspiciously for myself and, more specifically, my wife. As she was bringing the kids in from playing in the yard, she bent down to pick up my two year-old just as he decided to jump up the step leading to our door. Back of kid's head met mom's chin, mom's chin forced lower lip into teeth, lower lip lost. This resulted in a nasty cut and a late afternoon trip to the ER.

So while we were sitting in the waiting room, mom was getting stitched, dad had UW-Stanford on the TV and Cal-Colorado on the iPad (Emergency Room wifi!), and the boys were enjoying their rare free pass to watch as many Paw Patrol episodes as they wanted. I was hoping the doc could fix her up quickly and we could get back home. Well, we got home just in time to see the score at 21-0 and Mike Leach giving the team a pep talk. Once again, I resigned myself to sitting through yet another WSU no-show. The only thing I had going for me at that point was the four packets of Chick-fil-A sauce that I scored on the way home from the hospital.

I don't know exactly what Leach said, but my lord the team improved drastically. There was the offensive line opening up holes and Morrow/Wicks (we need to come up with a catchy nickname for those two, but their names don't make it easy) gashing the Utah defense...Halliday staying cool in the pocket and hitting Dom Williams for two (TWO!!!) 4th down touchdowns...the defense hassling Travis Wilson just enough to make him uncomfortable...Kache Palacio hustling down field and forcing/recovering a precious fumble...Halliday hitting Vince Mayle, Mayle picking up a crushing block from Robert Lewis, and taking it the distance. Finally, there was defense coming up with two stops to seal the game.

As I watched the second half unfold, the game's first six minutes became that much more maddening. I kept telling myself, "We are so much better than Utah, and it really isn't that close. If only the roof hadn't fallen in early on." Lo and behold, the Cougs showed us all that they are, in fact, better than Utah. It all added up to one of the most incredible WSU victories I can remember, and I've been a fan of this team since I knew what football was. The resiliency of those players is quite incredible.

A win like that doesn't happen two years ago, maybe not even last year. Heck, a comeback win like that hasn't happened in 36 years. No matter what happens the rest of the season (I'm near certain alot of good things are forthcoming), I don't think any of us will forget what those players and coaches accomplished on a night when they could have just as easily folded the tents and counted the hours until the charter took off.  Go Cougs.

WSU beats Utah

Cougars rise up, take down Utes - - Sept. 28, 2014
The fact that Washington State won the game 28-27 does little to reflect just how dominant the Cougars were for almost an entire game on the road.

Halliday passes Brink for career passing touchdowns - - Sept. 28, 2014
Despite wind, rain and a heavy pass-rush, quarterback Connor Halliday overcame a rough start to have a great game for the Cougars, setting a school record in the process.

Final thoughts from the Utah game - SportsLink - - Sept. 28, 2014
The Cougars have played well enough in seven of the last eight quarters to  give themselves a shot against any remaining team on their schedule. A win against California next weekend would go a long way toward making sure the crowd is as good against Arizona and USC as it was against Oregon.

Cougars confident the whole night they could rally for their 28-27 victory over Utah | Bud Withers | The Seattle Times
Said linebacker Jeremiah Allison, "One thing we’re taught to do is not look at the scoreboard. I think if Coach Leach could turn off the scoreboard, he would." Not at the end, when the glow of the lights against the Wasatch Range trumpeted one of WSU’s all-time victories

Washington St at Utah Open Thread - Block U
So I went looking for Block U's recap of the game, but apparently my browser is malfunctioning, because I couldn't find one. Instead, enjoy the Comments section, especially how "Stanford is beatable" becomes "We will probably lose seven in a row."

Opportunity lost: Utes squander lead, game to Washington State in Pac-12 opener | Deseret News
For the second-consecutive week, it rained on the Utah Utes. This time, however, the drops were mixed with tears.

Washington State refocuses, comes from behind to beat Utah | Deseret News
"I thought Conner and our offense did a good job just fighting through it," Leach said, "just waiting it out, just waiting until we got our opportunities."

Brad Rock: Guaranteed wins don't exist for Utes | Deseret News
New season, same problem. Utah looks like a world-beater if it’s playing outside the Pac-12. But inside the league it’s a different story.

Washington State shows resolve in comeback win | The Salt Lake Tribune
When the 21-0 deficit loomed above them, the Washington State Cougars could’ve rolled over. The wind and rain, whipping down on the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium, was almost coaxing them to do it. But Washington State coach Mike Leach told his team the hole was their own doing, and they could get themselves out of it. All they had to do was endure.

What we learned in the Pac-12: Week 5 - ESPN
One thing I learned from the ESPN Pac-12 Blog is that, despite coming back from a 21-point deficit, not one Cougar was good enough to earn a "Helmet Sticker." Alrighty then, ESPN. Keep on truckin.'


Men’s XC Team, Abby Regan Win at Stanford Invite - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Another week, another win for the Washington State men’s cross country team as the Cougar men took the team title and Abby Regan won the women’s individual title at the 41st Annual Stanford Invitational held at the Stanford University Golf Course Saturday


Stop Whining About Pumpkin Beer
I was all-in with this article until the author derided Southern Tier Pumking, the greatest pumpkin beer EVAR.


The Power of Sleep | TIME
I'm going to guess that a large portion of our readership did not get the appropriate amount of sleep Saturday night. That's just fine with me.