COUGARS • UPDATED: 6:15 P.M.
With an early start time for Saturday's game, there was enough time to get organized afterward, write and then put together items for this morning's post. Plenty of time. So we have more than usual for you on the link. Read on.
• UPDATE: Not a lot from Paul Wulff on his press conference tonight. We have a story in tormorrow's S-R and will pass that along in the morning. Cougars came out of game Saturday healthy. More in the morning.
• Washington State: Though this post won't show up until the morning, we're actually putting it together in the middle of the night. Instead of suffering through a too-much-food-too-late bout of insomnia, we're at the computer getting it done. Then maybe we can sleep. ... We're not going to get into the debacle that was Saturday among Pac-12 officiating – it seems like every game had one, two or more plays that elicited a rash of "that's unbelievable" tweets, or a coach saying he was "disappointed" in the officiating (see below) – other than to wonder how officiating can be so inconsistent. For example, late in the UW game, a Husky defender was flagged for hitting a defensiveless player, a good call as he led with his helmet. Just a few plays later a Husky receiver pealed back and hit a Arizona defender with a vicious block that was obviously another penalty as he used his helmet to deliver a blow to the UA player's head. No call. Between these type of plays and then flags for plays where the contact is well below the shoulders, the conference is losing all credibility. ... Let's move on to the links. We have our game story from this morning's S-R along with our notebook, the scoring, the stats, and our keys to the game. ... From Bud Withers with the Seattle Times, there is this column, a notebook and a two-minute drill. Freelancer Howie Stalwick has his game story, a sidebar and a notebook. ... There is also this summary from CougCenter. ... The Cougar locker room from the Register-Guard. ... Besides the links, we have quotes below (mainly ones that weren't in any of the stories above, but there is some overlap) and video highlights.
Paul Wulff on the outcome: "No moral victory. We came here to win and we didn't get it done." ... "We're still mad. Moral victories, those things don't matter to us anymore. We're beyond that. We want to win games."
On the halftime penalty: "It wasn't on me. We had somebody say something to the official. A player. A non-dressed player."
On what the Cougars learned Saturday: "If we come out and play with the focus we did today, and we take care of the football, with a little higher level of execution, we can play with anybody in the country."
On if the addition of a tight end more often helped the protection: "That and we kept them off balance. We ran the ball pretty effectively."
On the defensive line's play: "I thought they dominated in the first half. I thought we defensed them as good as any one, they just big played us."
On the long touchdown pass when the receiver got behind safety Casey Locker and cornerback Damante Horton: "Their eyes obviously went to the scramble, just enough for him to get behind. That was a big play."
On what Locker can do to avoid personal fouls: "We've talked to him about getting low. This week we did, about going low on kids." ... "That's tough (because I've) been on both sides of that, having kids who've been taken out really low. Blowing knees and ankles. We have to stay below the, I don't know, the chest."
On Oregon: "They play fast and they have faster guys at most positions than the people out there. And they execute their system well. You slip up a little bit and the guys is going to go all the way."
On the kickoff return for a touchdown: "We had two guys there and one missed the tackle. That kid's fast."
On Marshall Lobbestael's performance: "Just OK. Marshall can play a lot better than he did. He missed some throws. We dropped some balls. He did a nice job on some reads, but there were things he could have done better."
On the slow start after halftime: "Came out in the second half and they had two plays, then they hit that screen play with that kid. One guy missed four times."
On the red-zone problems: "That's been our issue in the red zone. We get down in there and we falter. The field shrinks, the defense is tighter and there is less room for error."
Horton on his interception: "I've got to get a touchdown. I see a couple blockers, I see one more person coming. My legs started getting tired and I think I'm going to get caught. ... I would have been upset and everybody would have talked about me."
On Oregon: "They just made a lot of big plays."
On the long touchdown pass: "I should have just went with him. It was a scramble play, I could have went with him and made a play."
Carl Winston on the offensive performance: "We were moving the ball down the field, just when we got in the red zone we made a couple mistakes. They played a great game."
Winston on who he picks up: "Whatever guy is closer, coming in harder. At that point you've just got to make a choice."
On the practice drill that helps the most with pass protection: "We're always going one-on-one versus the linebackers."
Lobbestael on the backs: "Our running backs are pretty special. They can catch, run and pass block."
On the turnovers: "Interceptions will kill you and today that was something I didn't do well."
On the red-zone problems: "Got to make better plays, got to make better decisions down there." ... "Our run game was the best it's been so far. We've just got to finish drives."
Jared Karstetter on moving up the Cougars' all-time receiving list: "At this point I just want to get to six wins. We have to win three out of these last four, starting next week with Cal. That's all I'm focused on, to be honest."
On the red-zone problems: "When you're given opportunities, you have to execute and cash in.
Guard B.J. Guerra on Oregon: "Some of the looks they gave us were wacky. They left the middle open a lot. We just felt like the front they lined up in, we could take advantage of that in our run game."
On the red-zone problems: "It has everything to do with execution."
Alex Hoffman-Ellis on the defense: "We did a very good job in the first half, then we come out and let them score in 45 seconds and started giving up big plays." ... "Sometimes there's going to be one-on-one battles on the field and we're not winning those battles enough."
On the long touchdown pass: "That guy threw up a prayer and that prayer was answered, just while he was getting hit. They just made a play right there."
On the play of the defensive line: "In the first half – and pretty much the whole ballgame – they couldn't run it up the middle on us. Their big runs came on the edge." ... "Our d-line did a really good job of clogging up the middle." ... "And we got pressure on the quarterback. That really helps."
Oregon coach Chip Kelly on special team play: "Our special teams obviously gave us a great boost today. They got the punt and returned the kick for a touchdown. I thought our defense did a great job of making them work the field. We didn't have the ball very often on offense, we made a few mistakes there, but we'll get better. We'll take 7-1." ... "In this league, you know, I always talk about the turnover battle and special teams are the key to victory. What our special teams did for us was really the key today."
On getting into offensive rhythm in the third quarter: "We understand people are going to try and keep the ball away from us. We just have to keep plugging away and understand that we're going to play a full game. I thought our guys came out in the second half and did a real nice job and we'll take it."
On the decision to play both Oregon quarterbacks: "Yeah, you know he (Darron Thomas) had two interceptions. They both went through our receivers hands first and then threw an unbelievable pass to LT (Lavasier Tuinei) to jump start us a little bit there. We just felt that Bryan (Bennett) gave us a better chance in the second half."
On credit for Washington State's quarterback Marshall Lobbestael: "That's a good a good football team. You know they did a nice job. Marshall being the backup quarterback, I think a lot of people would like to have him."
On Oregon's red zone defense: "Our defense does a really good job in red zone defense and they've done all year long. We're eight games in and it doesn't surprise me how those guys were playing."
On Kenjon Barner's third game in a row running over 100 yards: "He was knicked up a little bit, but really persevered throughout the day and gave us a good start there in the second half."
On slow start: "We were just off a little bit, offensively. I'll make this statement, we don't like being close at halftime, I can tell you that. That's not obviously a goal of ours as we go through it. Ball here, ball there, you know LT (Lavasier Tuinei) it goes through his hands and it's a pick and you got momentum on our side because of what our defense and special teams have done. And we're up eight nothing, feel like we're clicking and moving a little bit and then to throw a pick six on their last two minute drive, I thought we were moving the ball fairly good. We went for it on fourth down. You don't think on fourth and seven its going to be returned for a touchdown, but I give credit to those guys. The one thing that I always talk about is a team well coached, is how hard do they play, and Paul's (Wulff) got those guys playing very hard."
On Thomas' reaction on not playing in second half: "Darron handled it great. It's all about the team. This team is all about we, not all about me. I just felt in the best interest of what we had to do for him, that we were going to go with Bryan (Bennett)."
On James' performance coming back after injury: "He did a decent job. He's been out for a couple weeks. The one thing I saw with him and he said the same thing, when he started to get into a rhythm in the second half. Started to get some runs and we knew we could get some runs. That kid is a warrior and he was chomping at the bit, doing up downs in the end zone and doing everything that we've asked him to do. He was just kind of out of rhythm today, but it's good to have him back I can tell you that."
Bennett on when he knew he was going to play: "I knew at halftime. They called my number and it was time to go in. I wasn't expecting it."
On gaining confidence on the field: "The experience from last week and the week before helped me feel more confident. It's all about timing, repetitions and confidence. I am always learning during the week, but playing time builds confidence and experience, which helps on the field."
Defensive end Terrell Turner on Washington State: "They are a great team on both offense and defense and I give them props. We were excited to play against them."
On Oregon's depth: "It's great because we have great quarterbacks on first string to the fourth string. We have DT (Darron Thomas) willing to play and Bryan (Bennett), too and we also have a redshirt freshman who is willing to go out."
On winning: "We just keep getting better and better each week. It doesn't matter if we have to win by one point or by 100, as long as we come out on top."
Barner on playing better in the second half: "We came out and made adjustments and just game together as a team. We corrected the mistakes we were making in the first half."
On Bennett's play: "Bryan had an excellent performance; we expect nothing less than that from him. I feel very comfortable with him as the quarterback. He makes the proper reads and is very calm, cool and collected."
On his performance: "I just go out there and perform for my team and make plays for them so they can make plays for me."
On taking more carries and looking like an every down running back: "Even if you're not the every down (running) back, you always have to play like you are. I enjoy just going out there and making plays for my team."
De'Anthony Thomas on the game: "It was a good win. Washington State came out hard and they didn't take the game for granted."
On his performance: "I just come out hard every week and play football. I just practice hard all week long and then just come and make plays and help the offense in games."
On breaking the true freshman touchdown record: "I wasn't worried about it at all. I didn't even know about it. I'm just trying to get experience and score more the rest of the year. I still have a lot to learn though because I'm still a freshman."
On Bennett's play: "Bryan is prepared each week, just like Darron (Thomas). He's getting good reps and his confidence is us, he's playing really well."
• Here are the highlight's, courtesy of WSU's athletic department ...
• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller hands out his weekly helmet stickers. ... Washington: The Huskies carved up an Arizona team weakened by suspensions in its secondary. The main weapon was running back Chris Polk, who scored five times in the 42-31 victory. The defense still had its struggles though. ... Oregon State: A week after playing inspired football in Seattle, the Beavers revert to their lackadaisical play and are blown out in Utah, 27-8. ... Oregon: The Ducks wanted to get starters Thomas and James some work, but that might have backfired a bit, especially at quarterback where Bennett looked much better of the two. The defense came up big when it needed to, however. ... California: The Bears will need a win next week in a big way after turning the ball over, making some poor pregame decisions and losing at UCLA, 31-14. ... Stanford: The Cardinal had to go three overtimes (this was a great game from start to finish) to put away USC in the Coliseum, 56-48. Andrew Luck made a big mistake late, but came back to lead Stanford to the win. ... Colorado: Another Saturday, another blow out for the Buffs, as they fall 48-14 at ASU. ... Utah: A strong first half and a strong defense help the Utes to their first Pac-12 victory. ... USC: The Trojans have a lot of what-ifs after not being able to get past Stanford. One is with the end of regulation and a time out that wasn't called. ... UCLA: Despite playing with their eighth-string wide receivers, the Bruins pound California. Maybe the win will take some of the heat off Rick Neuheisel. Probably not. ... Arizona State: With UCLA looming next week, the Sun Devils roll over Colorado. ... Arizona: To rub salt in the secondary's wounds, the football gods add a couple injuries to the Wildcats woes during the loss at UW.
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back after Paul Wulff's press conference this evening. Until then ...