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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

October 25, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Wulff: Don’t miss the forest for the trees

Washington State football coach Paul Wulff, on his regular Tuesday-afternoon conference call, vowed that the program won’t be deterred from progressing by fan disaffection that increased in Oregon State’s 44-21 victory over the 3-4 Cougars Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.

“Let’s look at this,” Wulff said. “People are upset we lost, because people expected us to win. That’s been a long time coming. Why are they expecting us to win? Because we’ve played a lot better football. We’ve won some games.

“They have every right to be upset. We’re mad, too. But it’s a 12-round fight, we lost round seven, and we’re going to fight back. We’ve got a good, tough young team.”

Wulff, now 8-36 in four years at WSU, said he didn’t assess Saturday night in terms of the program taking a step back.

“No, because you lose a game? I just don’t see that,” he said. “We faced a team that has talent and they played a hell of a game. I don’t buy that. Our players have grown, we’re bigger and stronger and tougher. Ask anybody that’s not a Cougar fan, that isn’t emotionally invested in the Cougar Nation. Every one of them will tell you what great strides we’ve made, and where we’re headed.

“We’re going to keep moving forward. We’re going to get better. We’ve got games we can win.”

Wulff noted that WSU’s game with Oregon is the eighth of the season, and the Cougars still have a shot at six wins and a bowl berth. “When’s the last time we had that?” he asked.

To the suggestion that a lot of fans were taken aback at the OSU result, he said, “Sure, I understand that. Emotionally, they (fans) were excited to win a game they thought we would win. If they’re going to base the program off one game . . . I think they need to be a little more educated on how the process works. There are going to be some wins, some losses, but we’ve got to continue to keep growing.

“This team is going to get better and better. Everybody’s got to look at what’s moving forward. I leave things that happened in the past behind me. That’s how you get better. You watch us play football, and we play hard. That’s the No. 1 thing. You continue to insert good talent, and with experience and that attitude, you’re going to get a lot of wins.”

After Oregon, the Cougars go to Cal, host Arizona State and Utah and play Washington at CenturyLink Field.

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