USATodaySports/Lee

Washington State's Mike Leach could be the Cougars' first coach to win four conference road games since Mike Price in 2002

MIKE LEACH'S Texas Tech teams were known for the "Air Raid" offense and their dominance at Jones AT&T Stadium. That might explain why one detail in his 2011 autobiography, "Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life" was overlooked after he was hired at Washington State.

But it is an element worth examining again after the Cougars captured another Pac-12 road victory, 31-27, on Saturday at No. 18 UCLA.

Leach's teams have played much better on the road during his four-year tenure than at Martin Stadium, where they are 4-11 against Pac-12 foes.

After defeating the Bruins, WSU is 8-9 in conference away games. And that accounts for the Cougars going winless in four tries in Pac-12 road games during Leach's first season.

In Leach's book, he said he often eschewed the traditional walk through at road venues, which he does not view as productive. Instead, that pregame routine has been conducted in other areas, such as parking lots.

Perhaps it is a method to ensure his teams are not distracted when they enter mammoth facilities, such as the Rose Bowl.

Or maybe it is a matter as simple as team-building along the lines of leaving quiet Pullman in August to travel to Lewiston for fall camp. Whatever the rational, it has worked at WSU.

Behind sophomore quarterback Luke Falk, who found Gabe Marks for a 21-yard touchdown with 3 seconds remaining to upset UCLA, the Cougars secured their second come-from-behind conference road victory this season. They also defeated Oregon 45-38 in overtime on Oct. 10. And it was not a Pac-12 win, but Falk also secure an away win Sept. 12 when he connected with River Cracraft on an 8-yard pass to defeat Rutgers 37-34.

Leach, who had a 53-11 record as Texas Tech's coach at Jones AT&T Stadium, now will have a chance to swing his sword at becoming one of this program's most successful road coaches.

After all, WSU has not won four conference road games in a season since Mike Price's achieved it in 2002 (4-0).

The final away game of the season is the Nov. 27 Apple Cup. The Cougars' lone conference road loss was 34-28 on Oct. 3 at California.

Leach's Pac-12 road records:
2012: 0-4
2013: 3-2
2014: 2-2
2015: 3-1

In addition to road wins this season, Leach also has ended some lengthy losing streaks. The victory against the Bruins was WSU's first in the series since 2007 and ended a five-game losing streak against UCLA. The Cougars' win at Oregon also concluded an eight-game losing skid against the Ducks.

Leach's win against UCLA was the 10th different opponent he has defeated as WSU's coach. He will have a chance to add another opponent to that list when the Cougars host Colorado on Saturday.

WSU has not played the Buffaloes since 2012, when Colorado pulled off a 35-34 upset victory at Martin Stadium.

Leach's record as WSU's coach vs. the Pac-12:
Arizona: 2-1
Arizona State: 1-3
California: 1-3
Colorado: 0-1
Oregon: 1-3
Oregon State: 2-2
Stanford: 0-4
UCLA: 1-1
USC: 1-1
Utah: 2-1
Washington: 1-2


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