WSU has lost so many players this year and still won. Saturday we found out which two players we absolutely could not afford to lose: Jason Hill and Michael Bumpus. Combine that with Arizona getting their starting quarterback on the field again and in hindsight a loss is not surprising.
Strangely, even after we lost Hill and Bumpus for the game (or more....) It still felt like the whole game turned on one play:
Late in the third quarter WSU drove to the Arizona 43 yard line in 9 plays. At the time the Score was 20-17, WSU had scored on its first drive after half time and the Cougar faithful were already visualizing the go ahead score. You felt that if we could score Arizona would crumble. Unfortunately the drive bogged down right there and the Cougars were faced with a 4th and 3. Maybe because Hill and Bumpus were out WSU called a fake punt and failed. Suddenly instead of being pinned at the 10 yard line Arizona's meager offense had the ball at midfield. They drove quickly to a score and the gap was 10 points again. With both of our best receivers out that felt like an impossible mountain to climb and proved to be so. Arizona was able to sit back and wait for WSU to pass, and Alex only completed 2 passes in the 4th quarter.
Suddenly WSU, far from being in the drivers seat for 3rd place, is behind both Oregon State and Oregon (we get no benefit from having beat them), and looking at the prospect of playing Arizona State this weekend without Jason Hill or Michael Bumpus. To end up in third by themselves they need to win both of their games and hope that Oregon loses to USC and Arizona (possible, but not likely) and Oregon State has to lose to both Oregon and Hawaii - Also possible, but its more likely that there will be a three way tie for third place, which means the bowls get to pick which team goes where. Because of its history of filling more seats Oregon wins that battle and goes to El Paso, San Francisco takes OSU because it is a quick drive so they will sell more tickets, and WSU gets to go to Hawaii. UCLA, Arizona, Stanford, and Washington are all either completely out of the bowl hunt or need help. It would be infuriating to see a team like UCLA win out and go to an at large bowl game based upon non-conference wins against Rice and Utah while WSU was playing Auburn - but we've played that game in the past so we have no room to talk. The Huskies could be picked for an at large bowl by beating Stanford and WSU. – less – More from ZoomInfo »