FROM CORVALLIS — Here's the transcript of Mike Leach's postgame comments following Washington State's 19-6 loss here Saturday.
(In general) “I thought both defenses played real well, I thought both defenses played physical and I don’t pay much attention to those ratings, rated this rated that, the defenses on both sides played better than the offenses, there’s no question. I think our defense took a step today, I think they played with good effort. I thought they did a lot of good things on defense … I thought we were pretty disjointed on offense, I think when we faced adversity, I thought Oregon State’s defense was more physical than our offense, we had too many guys getting slung around and when that happened rather than rely on our technique it became a series of streetball. I thought we spent most of the day playing streetball on offense. Our effort was good. There were guys grinding away, running hard, trying hard and all that type of thing. Overtrying if anything. I thought we resorted to street ball rather than do the things you practice all the time … Really I think both defenses got both offenses out of their rhythm and Oregon State did a better job of that than we did.”
“Offensively it just became a series of errors. We’re getting beat up front because the Oregon State defensive front is more physical than we are, and so quarterback goes back and he’s on his first read, he can’t go beyond it because of time or maybe the receiver gets jammed up and I think our receivers definitely need to be more physical, and then about the time he’s got the time to read the field we’re not able to do that because he’s had people in his lap the last four or five plays and doesn’t trust it to go on. There’s guys trying to make too much happen and that leads to errors. It was a series of overcorrections throughout the game.”
(Why put Connor back in?) “Because I thought he’d settle down. He practiced a lot and he looked good in practice. I thought he’d settle down and he’s going to be a great player but he wasn’t settled down this game.”
(On QB moving forward) “We’re going to look at the film and talk about it. I thought Jeff did some good things. Connor got intercepted, Jeff got sacked. Either way we need to improve both of them.”
(Is this team rebuilding?) I don’t really know what rebuilding is. No matter who you have you go out there and you play the best you can. Whoever’s the best at each positon you play him, coach him up, push the kid and go out there and make plays. Let’s say you’re a team that maybe has better talent than everybody but 10 teams, so then what you’re rebuilding against everybody but those 10 teams? I don’t know what it is. It’s just a series of talents, potentials that you try to accelerate and you go out there and try to play the best you can. I don’t know what it is. You’re always triyng ot get better. If you’re the best team in the country you’re triyng to get better. If you’re the best team in the country you’re trying to rebuild too. I haven’t really gotten my hands around that one.”
(On where they're at compared to expectations) “I think our freshmen are better than we expected because we have, I lost count, we have 11 or so that played significant roles today so I think our freshmen are better than expected. I didn’t expect to start any quite honestly.”