September 19, 2006

The Big Cat Speaks - New And Improved

Last year, if the Cougar football team entered the fourth quarter with a lead, it was a massive understatement to say they could not be relied upon to hold that lead. They wound up losing all but one of the seven games that were decided by 11 points or less. But that was last year.

This year, the Cougars never took the lead in the fourth quarter in the season opener at Auburn and in the home opener against Idaho, by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Wazzu was so far ahead that they could see the curvature of the Earth. So entering the fourth quarter with a single digit lead against Baylor represented the very first time they had been in that position in a real game since last year's Apple Cup when they went into the final frame leading Washington 19-14 and held off the Huskies for a 26-22 win. Could they pull it off again this year the very first time they encountered it? Turns out they could - but not without the usual amounts of Cougar drama that evidently necessitated Michael Bumpus to fumble the ball away for a Bear touchdown followed by a lengthy time-eating final drive that taunted the faithful with three cracks at the end zone from inside the five-yard line before Loren Langley - who had not exactly been doing his best rendition of Jason Hanson - reduced everybody's blood pressure with a short kick through the uprights for the winning points. That is all WSU head coach Bill Doba wanted in the end - although he probably could have done without getting buried in the 9-0 first quarter hole.

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