Posts tagged: WSU football
Today's was not your typical Monday press conference at Washington State. Coach Mike Leach talked about the win at Utah and the challenge presented by Saturday's game against California, but he also gave quotes like this:
“I'm not really good with technology. All this button pushing and whatnot. I mean, you can just imagine based on what's happened in the last 15 years. Conversations won't happen 10 years from now. There aren't going to be people to talk to, it's going to be this (mimics pushing buttons). 'Do you want to go out on a date with me?' 'I don't know, what do you look like?' 'Well I look kind of like this.' 'OK, what are your interests?' 'Well, what do you think my interests are? Looking into this thing and typing into this just like yours are.' 'Yeah, no kidding, that's what everybody's doing.' 'Well, where do you want to go?' 'Well, what difference does it make? Because all we're going to be doing is looking into machines anyways.' Well, that's true and in the end it's going to be tough to perpetuate the species. There's no question about that. So we're all going to look in this box and eventually be extinct. That's how it ends.”
More highlights from Leach's press conference are available after the jump.
Frankly, I'm not sure what to think. For about six minutes of game time there I thought the Cougars were going to lose badly, if not worse. Utah staked an early 21-0 lead and with the way the rain was pouring down, the wind was swirling and the obvious affects the weather was having on the passing game, it seemed difficult to imagine Washington State coming back against a team that was having success in all three phases.
But come back they did. The Cougars pulled out a 28-27 win on the road, despite the weather, against a physical and talented team. We have lots of coverage from the game, and we'll have a lot more in the days ahead, but for now here are some final thoughts bouncing around my head after that thrilling comeback.
While there is no official semifinal preceding the Pac-12 Championship Game, the emerging rivalries in the North and South divisions have effectively served the same purpose. Each year the biggest conference game is the matchup between North rivals Oregon and Stanford and it is all but assumed that the winner will be the conference champion.
The past two years, the South Division has had a similarly significant contest between Arizona State and UCLA, with the winner representing the division in the conference championship.
The two southern contenders have each had an extra week to prepare for their biggest game of the year, and it will have a worthy highlight as the only conference game played today.
All other games are on Saturday; all picks are for entertainment purposes only.
The Pac-12 was nearly the Conference of Upsets in week four, with three teams needing second-half comebacks to beat heavy underdogs and Colorado barely outlasting Hawaii despite not scoring a single point in the second half.
All the favorites found ways to win, however, and the Pac-12 went 3-0 in its nonconference games, including a 26-10 pasting of Michigan by Utah to continue the conference’s dominance over the beleaguered Big Ten.
Rankings are after the jump.
A transcription of coach Mike Leach's remarks is after the jump.
Washington State's football schedule has been updated to show a 7:30 p.m. kickoff for the Cougars home game against California on Saturday, Oct. 4. With a 6 p.m. start for the following week's game at Stanford that means the Cougars will play at least seven consecutive night games to open the 2014 season.
Washington State went toe-to-toe with Oregon for 60 minutes on Saturday, playing well at every offensive and defensive position. The Ducks have NFL talent at quarterback, running back, receiver, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, cornerback and safety, and if the Cougars had played poorly at even one position then UO's counter would probably have been too great to keep the score close.
But everyone rose to the challenge and it was almost enough to pull off a monumental upset.
Our unit grades are after the jump.
There were 32,948 fewer fans in the seats when the Cougars returned to Martin Stadium. One night after taking No. 2 Oregon to the wire in front a packed house Washington State returned for an hour-long practice in front of two pairs of parents, as well as some reporters and staff members.
Destiny Vaeao was back at practice, although still limited, and there were a couple interesting depth chart notes on the defensive side of the ball. We also spoke with defensive coordinator Mike Breske and offensive line coach Clay McGuire to get their thoughts on the game.
Our practice report is after the jump.
The Cougars came up just a few plays short of knocking off the No. 2 team in the country in front of what was easily the finest crowd I've seen in Pullman. It was like an Apple Cup crowd but with fewer visitors.
Yes, I raised my eyebrow in the direction of the officials more than once in the fourth quarter, but I don't think a missed pass interference call changed what this game ultimately was: a great college football game in which one team was tougher and crisper, but the other team had the best player on the field (Marcus Mariota), a Heisman candidate for obvious reasons who made just enough big plays to give his team the victory.
I can understand if you'd rather not think about this one for a few hours (or a few barley pops) but I have my thoughts from the game after the jump.
Give credit to Utah for making a trip to the Big House to make Week 4 interesting for Pac-12 viewers. The rest of the nonconference schedule is as bland as a beige rainbow.
The week’s most interesting storyline can be found in Colorado, where the Buffaloes take on a Hawaii team that lost close games against Washington and Oregon State. Can we just decide that the winner of that game gets to stay in the Pac-12?
All games are Saturday, all picks should be used for kindling purposes only.
Last week: 7-1 straight up, 1-5 against the spread.
Overall: 26-5 straight up, 8-15 against the spread.
After Washington State finished its final full practice before Saturday's game against Oregon the underclassmen had their Thursday Night Football scrimmage. The defense looked great. The offense, well, they had to do some up-downs.
Our report from practice is after the jump.
The out-of-conference games took their toll on the Pac-12 and now that the conference’s teams are sufficiently beaten up they’ll start to play each other. With a 25-4 record in nonconference games the Pac-12 mostly solidified its reputation as one of college football’s top conferences.
Still, it’s hard not to think that the Pac-12 missed an opportunity to really be considered elite. USC is still one of the conference’s most talented teams and could certainly win the Pac-12 South. If it does, it will make every good program it beats look bad in the process, losing to the team that lost to Boston College.
Even though UCLA went undefeated, the Bruins’ six-point average margin of victory against what wasn’t thought to be an imposing schedule is going to diminish the national perception of one of the Pac-12’s most talented teams for the rest of the year.
At least Oregon took care of business.
Washington State's depth is starting to catch up to the starters. Or maybe the backups just had a good day. Either way, Wednesday's WSU football practice saw some big plays from players you don't normally hear about.
Our practice report is after the jump.
Because we were caught up in the hubbub of some late-night scheduling news and other stuff for the paper we never got a practice report up last night. We make amends for that omission after the jump.