Washington State Football: Mike Leach felt the Cougars could have played better

MIKE LEACH was all business during the Pac-12 coaches conference call Tuesday morning. But he had a little lingering lament in one response.

Trying to get much of a read on Mike Leach during a 10-minute phone call is similar to Googling “Cougar Football”. You might get something informative sandwiched between general responses.

“Focused and worked hard,” was Leach’s initial reply when asked about the mood of the team at practice Sunday night. Then he threw in a comment which reminds just how challenging it is to flush a team’s performance in their last game. “We could have played better.” Hardly a news flash but an indication that frustrating losses can even stick with a head coach.

That thought by Leach extended to his grading the performance of Andre Dillard and Cody O'Connell who comprise a new look to the left side of the Cougar O-line.

“I thought O’Connell played pretty well. I thought Dillard can definitely play better…(he) played a little out of control.”

One thing that hasn’t changed for Leach would be his assessment of the guys who were starting their first FBS-level college game. He stood by his postgame comments suggesting “stage fright” may have contributed to ineffective play by the WSU defense in the season opening loss to Eastern Washington.

Before signing off Leach wouldn’t go as far as to say the Cougs may have left some plays on the table by not checking into a running play. He did agree there could have been opportunities for more rushing yards.

“I thought some of our runs should have gone further. We could have finished blocks better at the offensive line. We could have run the ball harder. We tiptoed a little bit.”

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