Mike Leach gets out needle on Duck facilities

WHEN YOU DISCUSS Washington State and Oregon, both offenses are assumedly going to be the main topic of discussion. Not last night, though. WSU head man Mike Leach had something else on his mind during the U.S. Bank Cougar Coaches Show. Leach spoke at length about both school’s facilities. And the balance of power has certainly changed, he said ...

Oregon is no longer on top, says Leach.

When you see Ducks’ gear around the country, it’s quickly recognized, he said. They have an image, one that quickly comes to your mind when you hear the name. Their football building is eye-opening too.

But they’re no longer at the top of the heap, says Leach.

“They have great facilities over there,” he said. “They used to have the best facilities in the entire conference. They don’t anymore, though.”

As soon as Leach said that, cheers erupted from the WSU fans who had made their way to Zeppos to catch Leach with host Bud Nameck.

ITS BEEN DISCUSSED more than a few times, but Leach has no problem speaking at length about it anytime, anywhere: The new facilities at Washington State are the best he’s even seen. There’s no denying Oregon has great ones too. Arguably the best in the conference. Just don’t tell Leach that.

“You know, with Oregon, the blueprint was in place,” Leach said. They started out with good coaches, of course. I don’t know who the president was, but I imagine he had a good plan like President (Elson Floyd). Bill (Moos) was the AD there.

“They branded and created a name for Oregon. An identity really. Before, Oregon was just Oregon. It was faceless. You heard Oregon and it was no different than say Delaware or something.”

As for Washington State’s new digs?

“Everyone identifies what’s going on here,” Leach said. “It pays big dividends and it will continue to do so with our next recruiting classes. It’s the biggest locker room I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a better weight room.

“We have two chefs cooking for our guys, not just one. It’s all incredible. People see it and think ‘Washington State, boom! They have incredible facilities. Have you seen their logo and (uniform combinations?) Oh, yeah, that’s cool.’”

AS FOR THE PREPARATION on the field, Leach said his players have had a good week preparing for the No. 2 team in the country.

“We bounced around good,” Leach said. “Our guys are flying around with intensity. We had Thursday night football and the defense was dominant. I saw some good stuff from Beau Glover, Frankie Luvu and Hercules Mata’afa. They’re explosive guys and I thought they were pretty impressive.”

One change in the starting lineup this week is that junior WIL linebacker Jeremiah Allison will get the starting nod this week over Tana Pritchard. A Twitter question was sent to Nameck about what Allison did to earn the nod vs. Oregon.

“He’s just a fast, explosive guy,” Leach said. “If he hits something, it goes flying. We’re really excited about his level of play right now.”

LEACH ALSO DISCUSSED the expected crowd at Martin Stadium this weekend. Moos asked Cougar fans earlier this week to pack Martin and make noise and Leach has no doubt Cougar fans will answer the call. The game is sold out - even 200 standing room only tickets were sold by Monday.

“I think it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” Leach said. “For this type of deal, I think it’s going to be better than people realize. They’ve seen pictures of it, but haven’t experienced it yet. It’ll be a lot of fun against Oregon and we’re excited about that.

“We took a step against Portland State last week and we’re youthful enough where we can continue to make steps.”

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