Washington State players said Monday they can’t dwell on an ugly home loss to Oregon State last weekend.
Not with No. 2 Oregon on the schedule Saturday.
“We have to put it behind us,” center Elliott Bosch said of the 52-24 loss to Oregon State on Saturday.
The loss featured an epic collapse that began late in the third quarter, when Washington State was leading 24-17. They gave up five unanswered touchdowns in just over 10 minutes of game time, most enabled by WSU turnovers.
Quarterback Connor Halliday was intercepted on three out of four pass attempts at one point. The Cougars had five consecutive possessions end in turnovers.
Coach Mike Leach said after that it was as bad as his team can play.
But Bosch said this year’s team is resilient and the players believe in Leach’s system.
“Everyone believes in what we are doing,” Bosch said.
“We have another game this week to look forward too,” Bosch said. “That fourth quarter fuels you to work harder this week.”
Linebacker Darryl Monroe believes the Cougars (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12) got tense when the tide started going against them,
“We were just a little bit too frantic,” Monroe said.
As for the long lasting effects of the loss?
“I woke up and the sun came up,” Monroe said. “Life keeps going on.”
He believes the Cougars will learn from the loss.
“Coming off this loss, we are more hungry and humbled,” Monroe said. “We have to go out and get a win.”
That will be a tall order against an Oregon team that is playing at a very high level. Oregon (6-0, 3-0) has romped to victory in all of its games.
“We don’t fear them,” Monroe said.
Washington State still has hopes of qualifying for its first bowl since the 2003 season. After the Ducks, they will have games against Arizona State, Arizona, Utah and Washington left. All have winning records.
The Cougars have given up 1,000 passing yards in the past two weeks, against California and OSU, and need to tighten up their defense.
“I think we have undisciplined eyes,” Leach said. “The majority of the yards … are on big explosive plays. It’s not play after play.”
Despite Halliday’s struggles at quarterback on Saturday, Leach has said there are no plans to bench the junior.
“All quarterbacks have a bad game, or one like that,” Leach said. “He had a bad fourth quarter, but we have a whole team that had a bad fourth quarter.”
Leach said the Cougars played well the first three quarters, only to witness a near total collapse.
“I think we panicked,” Leach said. “Both sides of the ball were trying to make too much happen. One overcorrection led to the next.”