FROM PULLMAN -- Mike Leach gave pretty standard-issue answers to nearly every question he was asked Monday, but a blase press conference turnedmore interesting when he was asked to give some Pullman-specific dating advice.
That's not exactly an original question, because Leach did something similar when he was coaching at Texas Tech. But his answer was at least amusing. We have that and the rest of Leach's session with the media transcribed below.
(Thoughts from Saturday) "I thought we did a pretty good job getting in a rhythm on both sides, I thought defensive in particular we played a better second half. Offense, in and out. Offense I thought some really good series. The worst series was coming off. Really the same thoughts I had on Saturday."
(On continuing the Idaho series) "I don’t care one way or the other. They’re a good opponent and all that and we enjoy playing them. It’s difficult to say. Idaho’s independent, so right now we have some opportunities to get some games with them and a lot of dates may match up. If they get into a conference it may be more difficult."
(Does it feel like a rivalry?) "I don’t pay a lot of attention to that. The fans always gauge that a little more than the teams do. It’s our next opponent, we’ve got to get a week better, we’ve got to improve. Discovered plenty of work to do on film and we’re excited to get at it."
(On the Petrino family) "They’ve always been good coaches. I'd go back to Bob when I was offensive coordinator at Kentucky and he was the offensive coordinator at Louisville and we played them when I was at Oklahoma and just been aware of what he’s done. They come from a coaching family, I think they’re good football coaches who have ben at it for years. It started with their father who did a good job. I just think they’re smart, dedicated people."
(On Idaho using two QBs) "If they like it, it’s good for them. That’s not how I do it. I think you put your reps in a guy and develop him."
"I think they throw it decent. I think they throw it pretty good. They’re more play-action, they’re more quick-game underneath type of stuff. We go further downfield but we throw it a little more than they do, too. The thing that’s always made them good is they have a really good package that complements itself and over the years they’ve polished it up to the point where it’s most effective for them, and they’ve selected the plays that they’re going to run and be good at, so I think there’s a lot of dimension to what they do and it’s good stuff."
(On Chad Chalich) "I think he’s a pretty good player. I think he’s good. I think he throws it pretty well. He’s got pretty good feet and I think he’s getting better all the time. All the games I’ve got (on film), he’s steadily improved."
(On Idaho) "I think they’ve steadily improved. It’s understandable that they would. They’ve definitely improved. Northern illinoins, a lot of people thought they might win the MAC, which they might. They’re a good, solid team and they have a good, solid quarterback and Idaho was in the game the whole time, probably should have won the game."
(Do you worry about carryover from the offseason fight?) "No. I didn’t pay attention to it hardly when it happened. I don’t worry about that at all."
"We’ve just got to go out and play good. our whole focus is on having a productive practice and playing well and worrying about being the best team we can be and playing the best we can play."
(On the difference between 2-1 this year and 2-1 last year) "I think we’re playing better. We’ve played tougher opponents. The biggest thing this year is we work real hard. So you’re going to improve when you work hard. We’re a far cry from perfect, but we work hard so we’ve got the opportunity to make the most of our chances to improve."
(On Connor Halliday's game) "Thought he played really well. Thought he really got in a rhythm, thought he was real accurate, thought he made really good reads. I can only think of about two I didn’t like. However many touchdowns he threw, he should have thrown an extra one. It was just a busted route. So I thought he played well and led the unit well, and also did a pretty good job not letting them drag."
(On Austin Apodaca) "He does really good in practice. He just needs to go in there and get enough plays so he can show what he can do. First ball he threw was really good. Hit (River) Cracraft right in the chest. But then don’t try to make too much happen, just settle down and go play."
(On Kache Palacio) "He’s fast and he’s physical and does good things. Had a really good spring doing it and then in camp I thought he had kind of a slow camp but he’s gotten better as time has gone on. Hopefully he hits stride and starts playing really well there."
(On forcing turnovers) "We need to just go play good. We’ve got to try to get turnovers and protect the football. Our secondary I think’s getting better and better, (Damante) Horton and (Deone) Bucannon both playing well, Daquawn Brown really emerging, Taylor Taliulu same thing. We just need to keep improving."
(Thoughts on Pac-12 so far) "Like it was from the beginning. It’s a really good conference and from top to bottom there’s a lot of teams that are very good and I think they’ve steadily proven that and I think that it’ll continue that way as teams go through conference. I think there will be some really toughly contested games."
(On keeping focused) "So far. I think we’ve done a pretty good job maintaining our focus and need to keep doing it."
"I think they’re more fully invested. They work real hard so when you work really hard and you’re really committed to something, I think anything you achieve is more meaningful and I think there’s a sense of that and it all starts with the effort we’ve had up to this point this year."
(First date advice in Pullman?) "Try to have somewhere where there’s not salad, because girls will try to show off and act like all they eat is salad, so try to put them somewhere where they’re in a position where they have to put real food in their mouth. They want to do that thing where they only pick at salads and stuff like that, so once you get past that, because that’s sort of a speed bump in the whole thing, you want to get past that immediately. I would go to Black Cypress if you really want to make a good impression. If you want just good, solid food and aren’t as into the atmosphere, I’d go to Mongolian Fire, which I really like. So one of those two. But if you go to the more high-end Black cypress I’d talk to Nick beforehand because he has the menu and it’s all really good and I’d just instruct him that the point of this is to make her eat. Because if you can make her eat she’ll talk. Other than that it’s all this pretention and stuff like that. The key thing is make her eat, then she’ll relax, then there’ll be some dialogue and you can get to know her and see if you’re interested in dating her beyond dinner. He’s got some great appetizers and he’ll come by and keep hitting you up – here’s this, try that – and I think it should work out really well."
(First date with his wife?) "Went to A&W, had just finished a rugby game, went to A&W, had a coupon book, she said 'what are you getting?' She’s looking at the menu, 'what looks good? what are you getting?' I handed her the 2-for-1 coupon book, I said 'I don’t know, but here’s the menu.' Seems to me we got some kind of bacon hamburger thing. She got a rootbeer freeze. I do remember that."
"It’s just right there. It was right across the parking lot from the rugby field. Then there was a Polynesian food place called the Bamboo Hut but that was closed at that point. The Bamboo Hut was a middle of the day thing that was open from like 11 to 3 or something like that. That was a Joe Salave’a kind of place. There’d be some food involved there."
(Would you recommend using a coupon book?) "It worked for me. You’ll cut the weak out of the lineup right away if you do it that way. You’ll only be involved with committed people if they’re going to do the coupon book. It doesn’t hurt. If you’re just trying to dress your life up a little and pretend you have a relationship, then maybe you don’t want to use the coupon book if it’s some kind of a volume deal. But if you want to zero in on one or two, break out the coupon book, saw off the weak right off the top so you can get down the path to find the right one. It’s worked out pretty good, because I’ve been married … I can’t remember, a long time. 30 years or something."