Losing to USC
Leach believed the Cougars had opportunities in all facets of the game. “We could have won on all three sides of the ball,” he said. In his opinion, the loss came down to WSU making more plays in each area. The coach said there was no single play that happened in the game that made a difference between winning and losing.
On offense, Leach thought his offensive line played a physical game and are continuing to get better every week. When asked specifically about Minshew’s passes getting batted down at the line, Leach said the line did a better job opening passing lanes in the second half.
The WSU defense played well but let up some “explosives” to Southern Cal. Between that and holding the Trojans to several three and outs, Washington State’s defense was either “feast or famine” last week, according to Leach. He did think it was odd however that USC had such better footing on the L.A. Memorial Coliseum turf than his team did.
When asked about the number of penalties called in the game, Leach said he was more concerned with net penalty yards. The reason being, a team may get called for fewer penalties because they aren’t aggressive enough.
Additionally, Leach liked the idea of using Kyle Sweet on punt returns, even though he might be slower than Travell Harris. The coach believes the two most important things are first catching the punt and then making the initial tackler miss. A punt returner doesn’t necessarily have to be fast for that.