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WSU faces Arizona in football, boat race breaks out

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That was fun everybody!

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

18 October, 2008, was a beautiful sunny day on the Palouse. At Martin Stadium, Pete Carroll and USC were taking a knee inside WSU territory at the end of the first half, enroute to a 69-0 whipping of WSU in Paul Wulff's first season. It was probably the ultimate humiliation of our football team, in a season full of them. On that same day, Mike Leach led seventh-ranked Texas Tech to a 43-25 victory at Texas A&M, enroute to an 11-2 season.

Eight years later, head coach Mike Leach led WSU to a 69-7 victory over Arizona, WSU's largest margin of victory ever against a conference opponent. It was WSU's seventh consecutive win, the longest streak in over a decade. Meanwhile, unranked Texas travelled to Lubbock and defeated Texas Tech 45-37, dropping Tech's record to 4-5. In terms of Cougar Football (and probably Texas Tech Football as well), 2008 seems like a lifetime ago. What a long, strange trip it's been.

I'm still trying to figure out the most bizarre part of our latest Cougar Football Saturday. I'm down to two things - 1) That WSU scored 69 freaking points against a conference opponent (hell, ANY opponent) and won by over 60, or 2) That WSU did all of this while the sun was in the sky. On what was possibly the greatest day ever weather-wise for a November game, WSU somehow managed to outdo the beautiful setting.

I realize that Arizona is pretty darn bad this season, but margins of victory that big just don't happen in conference play. It was almost as if the Cougs were playing a Big Sky Division III team. That's how easy it looked. A WSU pass that hit the ground was an extreme outlier. A WSU run that didn't gain five yards seemed like a disappointment. The defense played as if Arizona's blockers were subject to WSU intramural flag football rules. Hell, there were guys catching punts and returning them for actual positive yards!

The strangest part, for me personally, occurred shortly into the second quarter. I think the Cougs led 31-0 at the time, and my wife sent me a text saying she'd committed us to dinner with the neighbors at six o'clock (EDT) AND I WASN'T EVEN UPSET BECAUSE I KNEW THIS GAME WAS OVER. (I may or may not have accessed the neighbor's wifi so I could watch on my phone.) But you don't care about me, you care about reveling in WSU's seventh(!!!) consecutive win. Let's get to it.

The Good

  • Uh, everything? Let's start with the quarterbacks - They threw 52 passes. Only five fell incomplete. None of them were intercepted and six of them resulted in touchdowns.
  • The running backs - 153 yards on 26 carries and scored another three touchdowns. Not bad.
  • Five different receivers caught at least five passes.
  • Erik Powell - 2-for-2 and no missed PATs!
  • 10 - as in the number of tackles-for-loss. That's some havoc right there.
  • Leading by 48 and throwing deep anyway.
  • Isaiah Johnson-Mack - The first of what hopefully is many touchdowns.
  • Did I mention the weather?
  • Another great crowd to compliment the weather.

The Bad

  • Hoo boy, gotta get REAL nit-picky here. That first play from scrimmage - Cougs lucked out that an Arizona lineman was five yards downfield, especially since that is rarely called. WSU still would have won by 40.
  • Cody O'Connell is a tremendous player, but he totally whiffed on WSU's first touchdown. BOOBIE was undeterred.
  • That ONE punt - I mean, what the hell happened on that drive, Cougs?

The Ugly (Usually an introspective segment, but not today because 69-7)

  • Arizona - What on earth happened? You guys were in the Pac-12 title game and a New Year's Six game just two seasons ago. Now you're losing by 60+? My word.
  • Yeah, I've got nothing else.

Football

No. 25 Washington State dominates Arizona | The Spokesman-Review
Mike Leach finally acknowledged that victory was in hand when he pulled starting quarterback Luke Falk with a minute and a half remaining in the third quarter of No. 25 Washington State’s 69-7 victory over visiting Arizona.

WSU players of the game | The Spokesman-Review
Luke Falk has played superbly throughout Washington State’s seven-game winning streak, but he has never been better than he was on Saturday against Arizona.

WSU running back/receiver Keith Harrington makes 2016 debut | The Spokesman-Review
Keith Harrington was a credible scoring threat on the ground and through the air for Washington State in 2015, but entered Saturday’s game having yet to play a snap this season because of an undisclosed injury.

John Blanchette: Cougars respond to dramatic events with calm, assured win | The Spokesman-Review
It speaks to the disturbing headlines and roiling discord beyond the stadium walls this season that Cougar game day can now be anticipated for its normalcy and comforting properties. When has that ever been the case?

Pac-12 Week 10 Roundup, Rankings, Bowl Projections & What You Need To Know | College Football News
Now, there’s no question about it – the Cougars really are going to deep in the Pac-12 title hunt until the end. They’re getting better as the season goes on.

Arizona's 69-7 loss to Washington State is Wildcats’ worst ‘nightmare’ | Arizona Wildcats football | tucson.com
Anger, frustration, confusion and even embarrassment are in abundant supply around the Arizona football program these days. The Wildcats have lost six games in a row, and the latest was by far the ugliest: a 69-7 defeat at Washington State that ranks among the worst setbacks in the history of UA football.

Notes, quotes and stats from Arizona Wildcats’ 69-7 loss to Washington State | Arizona Wildcats football blog | tucson.com
Cougars QB Luke Falk on his and his team’s play: "You know, I’m not really focused on the individual stats or anything like that. But I thought it was a really good, complete win.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Pretty light week in this category, which tells me that it's been too long since I've been to the beer store. So let's go with Toppling Goliath's Pseudosue Pale Ale. It's still one of the best pale ales you'll find anywhere. Problem is, you can only find it in Iowa and part of Florida.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Purchase of Karbach Is Its Ninth Craft Beer Deal
Anheuser-Busch InBev buys Karbach Brewing Co., its ninth craft brewer deal so far and its second of 2016

Non-Sports

Eight Women in Love | Online Only | n+1
Mussolini’s secret police overlooked a sheet of paper: a single edict from the city of Milan, asking Mussolini to pay spousal support to Ida Dalser. When this piece of paper was found, Ida had been dead almost seventy years.