COUGARS • UPDATED: 8:15 A.M.
There weren't a lot of people there to see it, but Saturday's contest at Martin Stadium had just about everything you could ask for in a college football game. Hard-hitting defense, explosive offense, clutch special teams, weather, exaltation, heartbreak, controversy and courage. Read on.
• Washington State: OK, before you eat your Wheaties, I want you to check out this photo. It is part of WSU's postgame photo gallery. It shows where Marquess Wilson was when he seems to be catching the last completion of regulation. You know, the one by the goal line. Now you can't see the ball in the photo and the goal line is hard to discern, but at the very least this photo shows the play was so close it probably should have been reviewed. It only makes it clear the official on the photographer's side of the play couldn't have been sure where Wilson caught the ball unless he has X-ray vision. The one on the other side may have had to look through Bobby Ratliff. And it's also obvious the two Utah defenders are about to push Wilson back out of the end zone. In that situation, wouldn't it seem wiser to error on the side of caution by calling it a touchdown, because then it would have been reviewed no matter what? A scoring play in the waning seconds with the game on the line? There is no way the replay official isn't going to look at it. But, because of the clock running down and the quick snap that was needed, by putting the ball inside the 1, all it did was take replay out of the equation. Another reason why I wonder why it is used in college football at all, not because I'm a dinosaur (I am), but because the restrictions placed on it by other dinosaurs limit its effectiveness. ... I'm working on amplifying some other information I was told last night concerning the health of quarterback Connor Halliday. He was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital after the game and was to spend the night there, according to a couple sources I trust. How bad Halliday's injuries are, I'm not sure, but we'll try to find out this morning. I can say this: The redshirt freshman took a multitude of tremendous hits during the first half – that's all I watched last night on the Root replay, which verified what I saw in person – and more in the second. Every player we asked after the game mentioned how impressed he was with Halliday's toughness and focus. That he was injured would not come as shock, though it's a sad part of the game, a part I despise and always will.
• UPDATE: We have been able to confirm through Washington State that Halliday did spend the night in the hospital for observation and imaging. More when we have it.
... With this information as a backdrop, here is my game story from the S-R, along with my notebook, scoring, statistics and four keys. Also, here is John Blanchette's column and some pictures from our Chris Anderson. ... Freelancer Howie Stalwick has this game story and notebook in the News Tribune. ... You can read some of WSU's postgame quotes here and Utah's here, both courtesy of WSU's athletic department. We also want to pass along a highlights video, also courtesy of WSU.
• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller has his helmet stickers from yesterday's game, which included one very big upset. ... Washington: The Huskies couldn't handle the Oregon State offense and fell, 38-21 in Corvallis. The offense didn't do its part either. ... Oregon State: The Beavers not only went over UW with Sean Mannion's passing, they rushed right through them as well. ... Oregon: Watching Alejandro Maldonado miss a 37-yard field goal in Eugene that allowed USC to escape with a 38-35 victory, I couldn't help but think of the great field goal kicking in the WSU game by both guys, Utah's walk-on Coleman Petersen and WSU's Andrew Furney. In the snow. Clutch. ... The loss kills the Ducks national title hopes on a day when they might have been able to secure a spot in the BCS game. ... California: With Keenan Allen playing well, the Bears put a scare into Stanford. ... Stanford: But the Cardinal come away with a hard-fought, 31-28 victory in the Big Game. ... Colorado: The Buffs just don't travel well, that's for sure. ... Utah: The Utes trust Petersen, who took a while to clear his mind before giving the Utes the 30-27 overtime victory, one helped mightily by the defense's four interceptions. ... USC: The Trojans came a pulled field goal away from an epic collapse against Oregon. But they hung on. ... UCLA: After defeating Colorado 45-6, the Bruins are just one upset over USC away from playing for the Pac-12 title. Wow. ... Arizona State: The Sun Devils late-season collapse continued in the fourth quarter of 31-27 home loss to the Wildcats. ... Arizona: With nothing to play for, the Wildcats make every play down the stretch for the upset win.
• That's it for now. We'll be back as soon as we can with any news we find. Until then ...