WSU Football Notebook | Cougs get national notice
For the first time this season, Washington State has received votes in the two major national college football polls. The 34-23 upset over...
Seattle Times staff reporter
For the first time this season, Washington State has received votes in the two major national college football polls.
The 34-23 upset over No. 16 Oregon on Saturday in Pullman earned the Cougars four votes in The Associated Press poll (sportswriters) and two votes in the USA Today poll (coaches).
The Cougars didn't get enough votes to be ranked in either poll, but at least joined the "others receiving votes" category.
Oregon dropped to No. 25 in the AP poll and No. 24 in the coaches' poll.
The Cougars (5-3, 3-2 Pac-10) also are No. 25 in the Bowl Championship Series standings released Sunday.
The Ducks didn't arrive back in Eugene until 3 a.m. Sunday because of a problem their chartered Delta 757 encountered at the airport in Lewiston, Idaho.
In maneuvering to the runway, the plane's front wheels went off pavement, according to Dave Williford, Oregon sports-information director. A special towing bar had to be brought from Spokane to get the plane back onto pavement after a six-hour delay.
One reason the victory over the Ducks is being so savored is that the offense and defense both played well.
Defensive coordinator Robb Akey said it was "huge" that the offense built leads of 14-3 and 21-3.
"That took away [Oregon's] ability to be patient and try to bang the ball," Akey said, referring to how the Ducks had to go more to a passing attack.
"When that scoreboard starts going up in our favor, that takes away one of their options, so that was a good team win," he said.
• After getting only one sack against the Ducks, the Cougars no longer lead the nation in that department. The NCAA ranks teams by average number of sacks a game and Louisville leads with 29 sacks in seven games, an average of 4.14. WSU also has 29 sacks, but in eight games, an average of 3.63. Defensive end Mkristo Bruce, held sackless the past two games, has dropped to No. 3 with 1.25 sacks a game.
Craig Smith: 206-464-8279 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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