Conference Call: Leach Talks Rutgers

Washington State Mike Leach received many Rutgers-related questions during his weekly time on the PAC-12 conference call. In on the call, here is a look at some of the questions and answers from Leach about the season opener.

Q: How much will you look at last year’s results for Rutgers and Washington State in preparing for this game?

A: “I think you have to throw quite a bit out because both are very different teams. There’s a lot of new things for both teams. In the secondary there’s new faces for Rutgers. On the defensive line, there’s a lot of new faces for us. We’ve got a little more depth. I think that, at least in the case of our two teams, I think that’s the case.”

Q: What have you seen from Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova?

A: “I think he leads and operates their offense and has. You think about college football, there’s almost nobody that started games for four years, he started some his first year. He’s been king of the hill there for a long time. I think he really is kind of key to their offensive effort.”

Q: Do you watch a lot of film from last year and how Rutgers played against the spread?

A: “You pay attention to comparable sets and scheme as you go through the film. We certainly pay a little more attention to that than somebody that packs it in there. Rutgers played a pretty decent variety of teams. … Rutgers had a good combination.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Rutgers rotating eight or nine defensive linemen?

A: “Pretty much everybody we play does that, so everybody is trying to keep their d-line fresh. It really doesn’t change much. If they get to you, you have to adjust. If they’re not getting to you make adjustments in another direction.”

Q: Do you need to limit Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft?

A: “I think that’s kind of important. He’s kind of a guy they like to go to in key situations. Tight end, just by the definition of a tight end, there’s a physical mismatch there. You have to be conscious of those guys, especially if he’s got good ball skills. This guy has proven to at times.”

Q: Do you anticipate a home-field advantage?

A: There’s a lot of Coug fans in Seattle – more than any other spot in the country. Hopefully they turn out. I think it will be some. Hopefully they turn out. It’s a Thursday game, so that will kind of limit it a little bit. … It’s the loudest stadium in the NFL. It does get loud.”

Q: Do you think Steve Longa is going to have a big impact against you guys?

A: “He’s just a good player with experience. He’s one of their key guys, so you just have to go out and play well.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Rutgers offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen?

A: “I’ve never spent any time with him. I’ve met him and certainly been impressed with what he’s done over the years. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been. His guys are always these tough, hard-nosed, very fundamental guys. They can run play-action. By the same token, his offenses are ones that you better not fall asleep on because out of the blue, Ralph’s teams will go deep on you when you least expect it. I’ve always thought he’s done a very good job as far as his offenses have gone. He’s done it at a number of stops. I do think he’s a very established, sharp guy.”

Q: How do you feel about your secondary?

A: “Well we’ve got new faces there. The thing about new faces is all of them that everybody misses were new faces at one time. They’ve had pretty good training camps. For all we know, they’ll be better than the guys that left. By the same token, there’s always a little adjustment too.”

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