Where to Begin?
The tumultuous season the Washington State Cougars have had was recently given an exclamation point with a 49-6 ass-kicking from the Utah Utes.
The Cougars came out flat, continued to play flat and ended the game flat, adding another loss to a six-game skid under Mike Leach, and assuring the new head coach his first losing season.
There is no longer optimism in the Cougar nation. It is well known that Leach’s scheme comes with a strict learning curve, but this output was unexpected. It’s fair to say that this far of a step back from the previous season was not anticipated from anybody.
This game was a complete negative, and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of Cougar players and fans.
What Went Right?
What Went Wrong?
How much time do you have?
The Cougars came out with a steady drive to open the first half. Their drive reached Utah territory, but on a 4th-and-13, Leach elected to go for it. This was highly controversial, and it resulted in a pass thrown behind Marquess Wilson for an incompletion and a turnover on downs.
That was the highlight of the Cougars’ afternoon.
The rest of the half was 3-and-outs from the Cougars’ offense and long runs from Utah’s John White IV.
Pac-12 network didn’t refrain from informing its viewers of the famous stat that every game White runs for over 100 yards, Utah is 10-0. The games he ran under 100 yards, 0-10.
This stat was constantly shown on the television screen before and after White reached 100 yards in the first half, further informing the Cougar fan base of the unlikeliness of a victory.
The score at halftime was 31-0.
After the competitive outing the Cougars had in Stanford the week previous, this was a shot to the stomach. Then Utah decided to go for the jugular.
The opening kickoff of the second half was returned for 100 yards for a touchdown by Reggie Dunn, who has done so three times in the past two weeks. The Utes then elected to go for the two-point conversion, and got it with ease. The score was 39-0 after the opening seconds of the second half.
There was no fight in the first half from Washington St. – and there wouldn’t be for the remainder of the game.
The most effort that was shown all day was Leach sprinting out onto the field to call a timeout with 12 seconds left, simply to refrain from going scoreless for the first time in his career.
The post-game interviews were entertaining as always from coach Leach. He called the team pathetic, weak, sad and several other adjectives that don’t exactly identify a proud coach.
Leach was so disgusted with his offensive line’s performance that he sent them all out to the press for a Q & A. They deserve the embarrassment.
The Sunday practice was reportedly cancelled, but Leach simply changed it into a conditioning practice. This was a result of Leach’s anger toward the Cougars’ performance. Spectators that watched the practice stated that “a football was never picked up, and players were seen kicking their helmets in exhaustion” from the intense practice.
The practice was apparently too rough for Marquess Wilson, who left the drills 20 minutes in and reportedly cleaned out his locker.
It isn’t confirmed if he was suspended from the team or if he quit, but this could very well be a sour end to the bitter saga that was the Wilson-Leach relationship.