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Tale of the tape: Colorado 35, WSU 34

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — As usual, we take a capsulated look at Washington State's performance, this time of a 35-34 loss to Colorado at Martin Stadium. Read on.


OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME — It's Colorado quarterback Jordan Webb, if only for his fourth-quarter heroics. Webb threw for 345 yards on 29-of-42 passing. He threw two touchdown passes, one of them in the fourth quarter, and scored on the quarterback draw that won the game. That was Webb's call, by the way — he said the Buffaloes came out in a run-pass option set, and it was his decision to check into the draw play based on how few players WSU had in the box.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME — Travis Long had another solid game, recording 2.5 sacks and seven total tackles. He continues to cause matchup problems for opposing linemen and has 6.5 sacks this season. Daniel Simmons had an interception and a nice breakup, too. Colorado's Chid Uzo-Diribe had two sacks.

PLAY OF THE GAME — You can pick any one of Colorado's final three touchdowns. Or maybe it was the interception that set up the 70-yard toss from Jordan Webb to Nick Kasa. We'll go with that one, because of how open he was, and because of how clearly it showed that WSU simply wasn't ready to put the game away.

STAT OF THE GAME — 255, the number of total offensive yards Colorado had in the fourth quarter. 154 of those came on two plays, the 70-yarder to Kasa and Tony Jones' 84 yard touchdown run.

QUOTABLE — “I don’t know how the hell we’re not awake. I mean, the wealth of wins that we’ve enjoyed around here, so we’re not awake? We’ve got this rich tradition of kicking everybody’s ass, and so we’re not awake? I don’t know how the hell you can’t be. How can you not be awake? Now I’m not saying you’re wrong. The saddest thing of all is I suspect you’re right. But it’s pretty hard for me to wrap my arms around right now.” — coach Mike Leach, asked if the loss can serve as a wakeup call for WSU

WHAT WE LEARNED — The same thing we learned the last two weeks, only in much more disappointing fashion for the Cougars — they're not a team that knows how to win. Not yet, anyway. Leach said the Cougars are “afraid” of being successful, and that they get too high when they're ahead and too low when they give up a bad play. The highs wind up leading to complacency, and the lows lead to busted plays and poor execution. Leach said he doesn't think WSU is at a physical disadvantage. But mentally, they're still weak, and that keeps showing in these late-game meltdowns. Only this one winds up hurting a lot more.

NEXT UP — Saturday, Sept. 29 against Oregon at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. It's a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. As I type this, the 3-0 Ducks lead Arizona 10-0 late in the first half.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple


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