To say Washington State was flat would be generous.
Concave is more like it.
The day after his team turned up missing in a 38-14 loss to UCLA, WSU coach Mike Price took the blame for what amounted to an indifferent approach.
“We played uninspired and it’s my job to inspire the football team and motivate the football team,” Price said Sunday. “And I didn’t do it.
“We’ve got to play better than that, or we’re not going to win any games the rest of the year.”
The Cougars, who visit Stanford this week before closing out the regular season against Washington, have lost two straight. Saturday’s defeat offset the fact that UCLA committed more penalties and had more turnovers.
“Our improvement needs to come from within,” Price said. “Otherwise, our goals are not going to be reached and all this bowl talk is just going to be flushed down the toilet.
“We’re not going to any bowl except the toilet bowl unless we get an attitude adjustment.”
Improbably, Saturday’s loss didn’t cost the Cougars much ground in the Pacific-10 Conference standings - WSU (5-4, 3-3) remains tied for third place.
Losses by California, USC and Arizona were particularly helpful, helping the Cougars stay in the running for one of the four bowl berths allotted the conference.
“It’s really an unusual year,” Price said. “We’re still in it.
“There is still a lot that could be accomplished for this Cougar football team, the way this league shaking down and who beat who and what the losses are.”
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review's sports newsletter
Get the day's top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.