WSU

Luke Falk, Jamal Morrow and Darryl Paulo weigh in

PULLMAN – Taking a page from their head coach, quarterback Luke Falk, running back Jamal Morrow and Darryl Paulo say the Cougar team will stay focused on the task at hand and won't get caught up in any back-slapping or what the fans or the media are saying about Washington State (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12).

“At the beginning of the season we want to win a Pac-12 championship -- it's within our reach and we control our own destiny," Falk said.  "...We've still got six more games, so six more goals to achieve."

“We’re confident; we want to build on our success,” said Morrow (pictured above). “We’re just working hard and trying to keep a good mindset.”

But they're also human, and Darryl Paulo said Cougar players have been known to look at the standings.


“We talk about it amongst ourselves,” Darryl Paulo said. “We see that the North is wide open.”

Washington State is t-2 with Cal at 2-1 behind Stanford (4-0). The Cougar offense has improved significantly since the season began, with the emergence of more balance between the run and pass.

The biggest reason for that is an offensive line that looks like they're starting to gel and a trio of running backs that can do a little bit of everything: run, catch and block. Running backs coach Jim Mastro preaches that the goal is always to have no drop off regardless of who is in, Morrow said.

“There is no rotation, it’s more just whoever is hot,” Morrow said. “We don’t have a determined 'back pre-game, just whoever is hot or stays hot will continue getting touches.

“We just feed off each other. We are able to give each other breaks too. We always have another guy that can come in.”

Morrow was quick to give praise to his quarterback for the run game’s success too.

“Falk’s doing his job, if he sees a good running lane, he’ll get us into the right play,” he said. “He’s always done a great job, he’s just more comfortable making the changes.”

Falk noted Morrow's two touchdowns when it was his turn at the podium, incredibly they were the first two scores of the third-year sophomore's Cougar career.

“He’s been a consistent player, doing his job,” Falk said. “It’s great seeing him play at this level.”

But the Air Raid can really only go as far as it’s quarterback. If you ask Falk, he doesn’t think much has changed for the Cougs -- they're simply executing better.

“Our confidence level hasn’t changed because of the wins,” Falk said. “We’ve always been confident that we can win. We’re doing our job and playing better.”

Some fans in cyberspace complained about Falk's lack of deep throws earlier in the year, but the last few games he has been airing it out.

“I was just taking what the defense was giving us,” Falk said. “They sent a few extra guys, and we were able to take some shots.”

All three were asked about Saturday's opponent, Arizona.

“From what I’ve seen, they’re fast and physical to the ball on defense,” said Morrow.

“They fly around, and they’ve been successful this year,” Falk said. “They are a really tough task.”

“Their running backs do a great job reading the holes,” Paulo said. “On pass looks, we have to be aware of (QB Anu Solomon’s) mobility and make sure we keep our gaps. Solomon’s a really talented guy.”

QUICK QUOTES:

“It was amazing to get my first touchdown. It was a huge weight off my shoulders, and the second one felt even better. Dom (Williams) did a great job blocking downfield.” - Morrow

“Gerard is a big, fast, strong dude. Keith is quick, nimble and fast. And I think I’m just more agile. We basically all do things the same, we just have different strengths.” - Morrow

“Really we just show (recruits) the family atmosphere. As a running back in this offense, one play you’re blocking a linebacker and the next play you’re catching the ball and the next play you’re running the ball. So, you get to do everything… It’s just fun, you know, being diverse, and we get the ball in space and you get to be able to do your own thing.” - Morrow

“Each week, I find three things that I did well and one thing I did wrong. Sometimes I guess I can be too hard on myself... Three things: I got the ball in play, we had good tempo in the first half and I did well going through my reads. The one thing to fix, don’t turn the ball over.”  - Falk

“(Shalom Luani) brings a lot of intensity. I think the receivers on the opposing teams are afraid to go over the middle because of him.” - Paulo

“I love playing (high-powered) teams and trying to show people what we can do.” - Paulo


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