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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Notes from Mike Leach after WSU beats Eastern


FROM PULLMAN -- Here's part of what WSU coach Mike Leach had to say after Washington State held on to beat Eastern Washington 24-20 at Martin Stadium on Saturday. Read on.


(Why Marquess Wilson was on the field for the last play) "He’s good at playing the ball in the air. It really shouldn’t have come down to that. I think Eastern Washington deserves a lot of credit. They’re used to winning, they expect to win. They’re also a group that plays really hard. I thought we relaxed in the third quarter which I thought was disappointing and any time you get one of these deals where everybody’s just  a few miles apart, they’re fun games. Everybody thought about going to this school or this school, everybody went to high school together, stuff like that. ... The one thing I thought they did impressively, they didn’t seem to have the ups and downs that we did. What we did well is more than good enough. We just have to be consistent with it and right now we’re a really up and down team. Our spatters of positive plays are real positive, our inconsistency on all sides of the ball is the negative part. Positive is, a lot of times you win games and you don’t get major contributions from all three sides of the ball. This game we got contributions from all three sides of the ball, had key plays by special teams, key plays by offense, key plays by defense."

(On if holding issues have been a problem in practice) "We haven’t got any of them called back in practice. Yeah, we’ve had some of that. Our offensive line’s got to be tougher people. Right now they’re a little too quick to feel sorry for themselves and let their technique break down, or oh, they get tired so rather than repsonding with great technique we’re going to hold. That’ll be addressed tomorrow and it’ll be an experience they won’t forget. They’ll be talking about it when they’re my age."

(Any bassett-hound faces?) "Less. A few. We improved on that and quite frankly I think because there were a lot of ups and down in this game and I thought we improved on it and I thought that was really key to our winning the game. As we had the ups and downs I thought we did a lot better job responding. We still need work. We're still a little too quick to get discouraged, you know, a little too quick to think about whether we’re going to respond to adversity rather than responding to it. I thought we improved tremendously."

(Were you close to taking control a couple times?) "I don’t think there’s any question about it. We really were. We’ve got to be a team that puts them away. Both offensively and defensively, we let them off the hook at times, and had them and just let them off the hook."

(On how Jeff Tuel played) "He certainly did some good things. Had some good drives. They do a pretty good job feeding off him. He had some good drives and then I think certainly did some good things. I thought Connor did a good job leading them too."

(On Tuel's injury) "We don’t have injuries around here so he’s 100 percent and I would think if anything he can run a 4.5 now instead of a 4.7."

(Any satisfaction from the win) "This isn’t really the satisfaction business under any circumstances. There’s always plenty do. As long as they have film you’ll find all kinds of work on it."

(Do you need to manage Halliday's high risk/reward style?) "I think to really be a great player yeah, it’s got to be managed. The high reward part’s great. The high risk part’s dangerous."

(What did you think of Furney's field goal?) "I thought it was good. What were your impressions? You’ve evidently seen a lot more 60-yard field goals. I haven’t seen many."

(Did you think he had a good chance to make it?) "He hit it in pregame but even then it’s tough because it’s got to go a long ways and you’ve got to get it up high. I thought it was good. I thought we protected well and he hit it and it kept going and going and going and he made it."

(Positives?) "I think on all sides of the ball we’re explosive. Now we have to be consistent. It’s not good enough to be explosive and you fall flat or you go dormant. Right now we go dormant for too long a period of time. The other thing is, when teams get really really good, like when one side of the ball has a drive or makes a stop, the other side responds with something big and powerful. In other words if you put it in for a touchdown, then that’s the time the defense gets a three and out. Then that’s the time you follow up with another drive. Those things happening in clusters I think are pretty important and that’s what we need to make happen because right now there’s not a lot of context to it. There’s good plays ... but then it’s never in piles. … From that standpoint we’re not very synchronized so we’re playing with one hand tied behind our back a little bit. But I’m encouraged by the fact that we’re capable of it. There’s a whole lot of teams out there that aren’t even capable and we are."

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