Nov 16, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Isiah Myers (88) tries to catch the ball as he is defended by Arizona Wildcats cornerback Jonathan McKnight (6) during the second quarter at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Washington State is a different program than they’ve been in the past, that much is obvious after last week. It’s not the ’97 Rose Bowl team or the early 2000’s, but this team is tougher than what I can remember hoping for on a weekly basis.
I feel like over the past however many seasons, we (WSU) would have caved in to “Team Ka’Deem” after our missed field goal last week and lost the game by two or three scores. That could’ve easily happened, but we didn’t allow it to.
Maybe it was the motivation of the past week’s events that fueled us, where we just weren’t keeping the Zona faithful up at night and we just had something to prove. Maybe it’s that they only brought half their allotted amount of fans to scare us into a loss and they were supposed to have a fear-mongering crowd support that just didn’t quite live up to its’ billing. Or maybe the wind was too strong for Arizona to deal with in their own home stadium.
More likely, it’s that veteran leadership in players like Darryl Monroe, Justin Sagote, Deone Bucannon, Damante Horton, Nolan Washington, Anthony Carpenter, John Fullington, Matt Goetz, Elliot Bosch, Isiah Myers, Dom Williams, Vince Mayle and Connor Halliday just wouldn’t let the Cougars lose.
The first three at LB were all over the field and made tackles on KaDeem and B.J. “Dank” Denker that were rock-em sock-em worthy. I would venture to guess that was one of the longest ice bath’s of the season for Carey. The veteran corners were incredibly consistent. Not once did they get beat over the top (where Zona has made a living recently) and they rolled up on every short pass play with impressive closing speed. All three rocked Carey at one point or another in the game, Horton nearly picked off two balls and Carp denied the last ditch attempt in the end zone.
The offensive linemen were better than really good, they were borderline comic-issued super heroes! 100 plus yards rushing, only four sacks (each a coverage sack where they gave Halliday at least four seconds to find someone) and even a play of 10… TEN seconds of time for Halliday on the final touchdown drive. That’s nearly impossible, even in NCAA 14 for the Xbox!
Myers redeemed himself for a tough season. He ran over a guy in the first quarter, juked another and ran in between three defenders twice for first downs in the middle of the game and then spun away for a touchdown to win the game. When Dom was targeted, the ball was caught… period.
Vince Mayle played with food poisoning! Oh yeah, and he played sensationally, especially considering the situation!
"Played this game with food poisoning haha hardest game of my life! #GoCougs!— Vince (@Vince_Mayle) November 16, 2013"
Vince, that may very well have been the most outstanding performance of your life as well, including the two touchdown effort in Berkeley!
Then there was Halliday, who won the Athlon Sports Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week!
Yes, let’s cool the jets here, it was only one game. But don’t discount where this is headed folks. I mean, let’s be real, when’s the last time we went into our final two games of the season doing more than just praying for a miracle win?
… Ok, so we’re still praying.
*editor’s note: I know I’m missing three special performances and contributions to that win, they have not been overlooked. I will get to them before the weekend.