Mike Leach, the highly successful coach of Ole Miss' Cotton Bowl foe Texas Tech, has a dry wit and engaging sense of humor, even if it is somewhat off the wall.
"He's a funny guy, man," said Houston Nutt. "I enjoyed listening to him today. I tell you - Coach Leach is a talented individual. He could have been a lawyer or a comedian and he is one heckuva football coach."
Leach had the media rolling in the Houston Nutt-Mike Leach joint press conference today.
Here are a couple of Leachisms.
On his first experience in the Cotton Bowl: "I was at Oklahoma and we were playing Texas. We were going down the tunnel and Barry Switzer, Darrell Royal and President Gerald Ford were together. Fans started screaming 'who are those two guys with Switzer?' . . . We left a dummy game script laying around for Texas to find. We think they got it. We don't know if they changed anything for it, but I do know we hit them for a long pass on the first play of the game. Antoine Savage, a freshman, caught the ball and he was so excited he spiked the ball on the two-yard line. The ref was as excited as Savage and he called a TD. The ball was laying on the 2. We didn't argue."
On WR Michael Crabtree: "All he cares about are balls in the air. He is very shy about interviews. We'll tell him Sports Illustrated is here to see you and he will disappear. And you can't get him on his cell phone. With all due respect to all of you in the media, he doesn't think ya'll are real important compared to catching footballs."
On the replay being shown over and over of Crabtree's winning catch against Texas: "I'm glad it's on TV all the time. I think everyone should write a lot of stories about it and never let it be forgotten for recruiting purposes. I want it reflected on for decades. I want it remembered, of course, as the greatest play ever."
On the how he ranks Harrell and Crabtree as a duo: "I'm a little busy coaching to rank players, but they are pretty good."
On Ole Miss' style of play: "They absolutely present challenges with their style of play. They invented the Wild Hog (Rebel). Both teams have offenses everyone doesn't see all the time. Anytime you have success offensively, all of a sudden it's a gimmick. If you have success defensively, you played hard and you are tough. Nobody else is trying to score points, only you are, you know. They have a unique offense that comes to you at different angles and there is nothing gimmicky about it because they undertand what they are doing and they block. What makes it a great offense is that they put the ball in everyone's hands and you never know where the ball is going. Everyone thinks if you run it between the tackles you are the Saint of Offense. Some say 'if we wanted to score 40 points we could, but we want to do it this way.' No, you don't have any imagination. It's an alibi for your failure to score. Sadly, in our case, we are playing a team in Ole Miss with imagination and creativity. They are an offense that attracks the whole field and that's why they are a handful."
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