The WSU Cougars came so close, but it wasn't quite enough against No. 8 Stanford

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It was a gloomy bunch of Cougars who plodded off the field at Martin Stadium after Erik Powell’s potential game-winning field goal went wide right in the dying seconds of the game against Stanford Saturday night.

This morning, as we digest the game, everyone, even Stanford coach David Shaw, concedes that the Cardinal got lucky with that victory.


“They were more ready and prepared than we were,” Shaw said. “Washington State was very well coached, very high effort and high energy guys up front.”

These Washington State Cougars gave the No. 8 team in the country their scariest Halloween ever. As our Larry Stone points out, the fact that this loss stings as much as it does is testament to how far these Cougars have come. The 2015 Cougars go into every game expecting to win, and when they fall short, everyone hurts. No one is apathetic.

The ultra-competitive Gabe Marks was Auber-critical of himself and his team after the Cougars’ defeat

Asked if there were any positives to be taken from the defeat, Marks initially said, simply, “No.”

Asked later if he’d said anything consoling to Powell, who tied a school record with five field goal conversions until that fateful final miss, Marks declared, “We’re in this to win it. If we lose we lose. No one is praising anyone right now. Don’t ask us questions about who’s praising who, we should have won.”

Losing is no longer acceptable to these Cougars. That, I suppose is how you know a team has turned a corner.

Now, some links:

— Here’s my game story from the Cougars’ 30-28 defeat 

— Video: Mike Leach, Luke Falk and Parker Henry address the defeat to Stanford

WSU didn’t sell out, but played to a nonetheless energetic crowd that stayed till the very end. Also, an Alamo Bowl representative was in Pullman to scout the game.

— Seattle Times photographer Lindsey Wasson has this photo gallery of action shots from the game

— Jacob Thorpe has this game story for the Spokesman-Review

— Spokesman-Review columnist John Blanchette says there are many reasons for optimism despite WSU’s defeat

— Chantel Jennings says the win gives Stanford some breathing room in the Pac-12 North race

— says WSU gave as good as it got

— P.J. Kendall of CougCenter says the Cougars outplayed the Cardinal

— Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News had this game story about Stanford’s escape from Pullman

— Tom Fitzgerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says WSU held the upper hand for most of the game and Stanford needed quarterback Kevin Hogan and cornerback Quentin Meeks to bail it out of trouble.