FROM PULLMAN — If you were surprised that Washington State failed to score a touchdown against Brigham Young on Thursday, you weren't alone.
And you weren't the first to feel that way, either. Just imagine how Texas Tech fans must have reacted in 2006, when their Mike Leach-led Red Raiders were held without a touchdown in a 12-3 loss to TCU in the third week of the season.
So upset with his team's effort was Leach that he told reporters after the game:
“That was the sorriest offensive effort that I have ever seen,'' said Leach, who questioned his players' toughness while adding that he and his staff were out-coached. “Today I coached the worst offense in America, which makes me the worst offensive coach in America. There's going to be some changes, because I'm not going to sit here and watch this stuff.''
His players must have taken it to heart, though, because in their next game — against a 1-AA (FCS) team (same classification as Eastern Washington, though EWU is probably a tougher opponent) — Texas Tech routed Southeastern Louisiana, 62-0.
Now, there are some key differences between that Tech team and this WSU team. TTU was coming off a Cotton Bowl appearance and was ranked to begin the season. The Cougars are still trying to learn how to win, and play with the attitude necessary to do so.
Notice that Leach didn't publicly rip into his team on Thursday night. That's likely because he knows they still have some work to do — adjusting to a new offense and defense and all — whereas he expected much more out of his Tech team in '06.
Still, they obviously responded both offensively and defensively to his challenge. It will be interesting to see if the Cougars can do the same, and what method Leach employs in trying to get WSU to respond to Leach's first touchdown-less game since that '06 season.