Here's what Mike Leach, Jim Mora and David Shaw had to say Tuesday about the Cougs as WSU prepares to host UCLA

MIKE LEACH, along with UCLA coach Jim Mora and Stanford coach David Shaw, all weighed in on the surging Cougars during the Pac-12 coaches conference call -- what Washington State (3-2, 2-0 Pac-12) has done and what they expect Wazzu to do Saturday when they face the Bruins in Pullman (7:30pm, ESPN). Shaw offered insights on the play of Luke Falk and his potential in the NFL.

Leach was asked if it's a challenge to prepare a game plan when the status of Rosen in uncertain:

"Well, they’ll have a quality quarterback in there so that doesn’t really make any difference. They have really good players and you prepare for that. Somebody’s going to be there and they’re going to run the same stuff."

Leach had this to say about UCLA's defense, statistically one of the best in the conference:

"Physical. Aggressive. Seems like everybody can run out there. I don’t see any real weak spots."

Asked if his biggest concern regarding QB Josh Rosen and his availability for Saturday was Rosen's leg or shoulder injury, Mora channeled his inner Mike Leach:

"Just his health, just want to make sure he’s healthy. We don’t give out a lot of injury information. Whoever’s ready to play, they’ll play."

Mora on the key matchup in the game:

"That’s a tough one. ...the run game, it’s been a struggle for us. We have a lot respect for (WSU) defensively and feel like in order to have success against anybody you’ve got to be able to run the football. I guess you could say our eleven against their front seven...running the football.

"And anytime you play a team who passes the ball as effectively as Washington State does with the confidence they do, being able to somehow divert the rhythm of the quarterback is important. I can’t point to one specific player matchup it’s just kind of unit/unit matchups."

Mora on pinpointing UCLA run game struggles this season:

"I think anytime that you’re struggling in any part of the game, it’s much deeper than one group. It’s usually a function of the eleven players on the field, the coaches that are teaching it and getting everyone on the same page at the same time."

When asked what he expects to see Saturday night from the Cougs, this is what Mora had to say:

"Oh man, I think that they’re rolling. Offensively you look at them statistically and they’re one of the top offenses in the country, not in the Pac-12 but the country. Defensively they play extremely hard and the get after the ball. They play with great energy. I just have tremendous respect for things that are happening there in Pullman and the things coach Leach is accomplishing with those players. They way that they’ve really bought into the system and the process, it’s very evident on tape that there’s a lot of passion and a lot of confidence."

Here's what Mora had to say about Jayon Brown, who leads the Pac-12 in tackles with 53 tackles in six games.

"It started for Jayon really last year when Myles Jack got hurt and he stepped in for him. He’s just been preparing himself very well for that moment. He had an immediate impact. He plays with great energy, great passion and his teammates have the ultimate respect for him."

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David Shaw, who along with Leach was co-coach of the year in the Pac-12 in 2015, had this to say about the play this past Saturday of Luke Falk:

"Last year I thought he got overshadowed by the other names in the conference and the other names nationally. He played really well last year.

"First of all, Mike Leach didn’t get the credit nationally that he deserved. He should have been up for national coach of the year. He did a phenomenal job.

"This year, when you watch Luke he’s that veteran quarterback. He’s composed. He’s confident. He’s accurate and he’s aggressive. He knows when to check it down and when to take shots down the field. This guy has ever tool that you’re looking for to play on Sundays. I don’t think he’s one of those guys that you say, ‘he’s a spread quarterback, you don’t know if his game will translate.’ This guy can sling it, throw it accurately and throw it on time."

Shaw on whether Stanford's and others double-teaming of Gabe Marks has led to a drop in production for WSU's star receiver:

"No. It’s hard when you’re playing against a Mike Leach team to focus in on one guy because...they make you play laterally the entire field. You can’t really focus on one guy because they’ll hurt you someplace else. (WSU) has multiple guys. They just don’t have the one receiver. They have multiple receivers that can make plays. On top of that, if you’re playing too soft, they’re running the ball really well. Every time you run the ball that takes away a pass attempt. The receivers aren’t going to catch as many balls although they’re (WSU) seem to be catching their fair share."

RELATED: UCLA 101: Cougs are underdogs no more


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