Washington State football is on its’ way folks, the young team that we’ve been watching all season is growing up and realizing they already have the talent to play with most anybody in the conference. Most importantly, they put together a full game yesterday while making the calculated and concious decision that they were better than their mistakes. In the end, the Cougs came up a play short, but in the complete opposite fashion that they did against Colorado at the beginning of the conference slate.
One quote from a coach that I remember hearing several years back has always stuck with me. “When you’re rebuilding as a coach there is a progression that you want to see from year to year. First year you lose big, second you lose close, then you win close and finally you become a contender and start to win some big games.” If you look at the way the WSU season is progressing, we’re already in the second phase of that progression. Contrary to what anybody will tell you, anyone who saw the game yesterday should understand that the reason the Cougs were at the doorstep of the upset was because of Washington State, not Stanford. WSU simply outplayed the Cardinal all night long and 2 big missed plays (a blown coverage for a 75 yard touchdown in the 2nd and a pick 6 in the 4th) saved Stanford’s life.
The Cougars finally realized that excuses are just that. They finally realized that they don’t need “Mike Leach’s guys to come into the system” like all the announcers talk about. They finally realized that they have the atheletes here to make winning plays, if they just go ahead and make them. The defense played their best game, lining up and really dominating a Cardinal offense that was supposed to run for 300 yards against them. The offense played their best game, lining up and really dominating a Cardinal defense that is one of the toughest in the conference, even while giving up 10 sacks.
Bottom line, the Cougs turned their own page yesterday. This is not the same team we saw at BYU, nor is it the same team we’ve been disappointed with for the past 4 games. Utah is in for the fight of its’ life next week, because the Cougars have confidence and the players to win right now, if they execute. Can’t wait to see the continued progression of this team.