11-on-1 with Cougar LT Joe Dahl

THERE ARE NO shortage of opinions on why the Cougars are 0-2 but WSU o-lineman Joe Dahl says the answer to that question is both simple and clear ...

A new Cougfan exclusive titled “11-on-1” will appear regularly throughout the football season. One individual with ties to Washington State football will be asked 11 questions: Some about football, some personal, some about off-beat subjects. Today’s guest is Joe Dahl, a redshirt junior offensive tackle out of University High School in Spokane Valley.

1. If someone had told you prior to the season the Cougars would start 0-2, what would have been your response?

Dahl: I probably wouldn’t believe ‘em, but that’s just because myself and this whole team believes we’re going to win every game.

2. Simple question, possibly complicated answer: Why are the Cougars 0-2 after playing two teams you were expected to beat?

Dahl: We just didn’t execute. I mean, it’s as simple as that. We practice great. We all work hard. But at the end of the day, that needs to translate to when we’re playing a game.

3. How has the poor start impacted the players’ confidence?

Dahl: If anything, it’s made us so we’re not going to overlook anything. We’re not going to “expect” to win. We’re not just going to expect things to be given to us. It just made us all realize how much hard work we have to put into it and how much we have put into it, but we still need more in order to get the wins.

4. Did the Cougars overlook Rutgers or Nevada?

Dahl: I hope not. I know, personally, I didn’t. We have team goals, and one of them is, win one game a week. I try to take it just one step at a time. I hope that’s how the whole team took it. We just didn’t perform.

5. You’ve got three inexperienced players starting on the offensive line. What grade would you give the O-line after two games?

Dahl: Probably a B. We’re doing good. We’ve done better than what outsiders expected, but we haven’t met our own expectations. We want to have perfect games – damn near perfect games. We’ve had our flaws here and there, but I think we’ve done a pretty good overall job. We just need to get better.

6. Quarterback Connor Halliday is one of your roommates and a close friend. You protect his blind side as the left tackle, so does that put added pressure on you?

Dahl: I try not to let it affect me, but obviously, I’m aware one of my best friends is standing back there. Regardless of who it was, I wouldn’t want that (quarterback) touched ever. That’s just my job, and I want to be the best at doing my job as possible. It definitely adds a little extra incentive when I’ve got to see him at night (laughs).

7. What type of roommate is Halliday?

Dahl: He’s a character. He’s great to get to know. He’s a neat freak. He’s the only one in the house who will get on you if you’re leaving a mess around.

8. Connor recently said that if he had a sister who was dating one of his teammates, you would be his first choice because he’s “never met a more caring guy off the field.” How does that make you feel?

Dahl: I’m really happy to hear that out of him because he knows me pretty well and he gets to deal with me on a daily basis.

9. Martin Stadium looks better than ever with all the recent improvements, including the Cougar Football Complex that towers over the west end zone. How’s it going to feel Saturday to finally play a home game?

Dahl: It’s exciting. It’s always exciting, though. It’s great to play in front of the home fans. We want to win every game here. That’s one of our goals, to never lose at our home place. It’s great to have all these new facilities. I just hope the fans bring the same energy (as the players).

10. Is a bowl game still a realistic goal this year?

Dahl: Obviously. We want to win the rest of the games from here on out.

11. The Cougars open Pac-12 play at home next week against powerful Oregon. Any chance you guys look past this week’s game with the Portland State Vikings?

Dahl: Absolutely not. No. We treat every team the same around here. Our team motto is: Respect everyone, fear no one. We have the same respect for them as any other team we’ve ever played.

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