For the third-straight week, the Cougars were losing by at least 30 points at halftime and this time, they weren't able to mount a furious rally and make things interesting like they did last week against UCLA. Despite last week's promising comeback against UCLA, the Cougars looked as bad as they have all year against a fairly average Arizona State as they lost 46-7.
Known for their prolific passing game, the Cougars were actually beaten by the Sun Devils through the air early and often as they gave up more than 300 yards and 6 touchdowns to Taylor Kelly and Michael Eubank through the air. On the other side the Cougar passing duo of Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday were inefficient and threw 2 interceptions and just a single touchdown that came in garbage time with just a minute left. As usual Tuel and Halliday were heavily pressured and forced into bad throws as they were sacked 7 times and clearly lacked their best target in the now dismissed Marquess Wilson.
The Cougars ran into a team that was just about as desperate as them and also was in a tailspin, but instead of stepping up the Sun Devils level, the Cougars wilted and now look like they may be quitting and just wishing that the season were already over. It originally looked like the Cougars may have turned the corner a bit when they took Stanford to the wire four weeks ago, but now it looks like that game was likely just a fluke as the Cougars haven't shown up in the 3 games since then other than a brief window of competition during the UCLA game.
Still winless in conference play, the Cougars now risk falling back to the lowest level of the Paul Wulff era in 2009 unless they can pull off an upset next week in the Apple Cup against a Washington team that is playing well and eying 8 wins. The Cougars may have quit against teams like Utah and Arizona State, but it will be another terrible sign in the Mike Leach era, if the Cougars can't even get up for their annual rivalry game and he will now have to find a way to inspire his team to compete against the Huskies in just five days. Even though a 3-8 season isn't what Cougar fans hoped for and it will still seem like a step backwards after last season's 4-win campaign, a huge upset in the Apple Cup could go a long way in keeping some of the heat off of Mike Leach along with giving themselves and their fans a reason to be excited for next year.