BTTV: Leach Hasn't Changed Philosophy

BERKELEY -- Cal head coach Sonny Dykes talks about his former boss's new trend toward the run game.

BERKELEY -- California head coach Sonny Dykes, a former pupil of Washington State head coach Mike Leach, said that, despite the fact that the Cougars are averaging 28.9 rushing attempts per game -- 10.2 more than they averaged in 2013 -- and 120 rushing yards per game -- 90 more than in Leach's first season in 2012, Leach hasn't changed his stripes.

"Part of the deal is, they run the ball more because they've had a lead," said Dykes, who coached under Leach at Texas Tech from 2000-06. "If you look at when they're running the ball, they're running it at the end of ballgames when they're beating people." Last week against Arizona State, the Cougars trounced the Sun Devils 69-7, and rushed 14 total times after halftime (including one sack and two team kneel-downs), and 32 times overall in the game. 

In another lop-sided game, a 42-15 win over Stanford on Oct. 9, the Cougars rushed 30 times (to the Cardinal's 26), for 101 yards, with 20 rushing attempts (19 carries, one sack) coming in the second half.

This season, Washington State has 20 rushing touchdowns -- more than any Cougars team since 2005 (20), a team led on the ground by Jerome Harrison's 16 rushing touchdowns. In no other year since then did Washington State have more than 13 rushing touchdowns.

"They're running it better," Dykes said. "They're more effective running it than they probably have been, in the past, and they're calling it a little bit more, but Mike does what Mike's going to do. He's done it well for a long time. He hasn't had some epiphany, I promise you. He's always moved the ball, he's always scored points, and what they're doing is the same as they've always done. They just do it very well, and that's about as good a compliment as you could give somebody, that they execute their offense, they know what they're doing, they have a philosophy that they really don't waver from, and it's been effective." Top Stories