WSU’s Mike Leach on Boise State, his offensive line’s play and his distaste for hurdling

The last time WSU played Boise State, they did poorly and brought about Mike Leach’s infamous “junior college softball team” rant about their lack of toughness. But, it’s a new season, say the Cougs.

We are rapidly approaching the 2017 edition of the game that the Washington State Junior College softball team played against the Boise State football team in Boise last year.

OK, not really.

But it was after the Boise State game last year – which WSU lost 31-28 in Boise – that WSU football coach Mike Leach angrily called out his team and questioned their toughness.

The key quote from that memorable, inflammatory press conference:

“That’s what we are. A J.C. softball team – it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s ‘the team that wins is the one that has the most fun’,” Leach said last September. “Crap like that. All this stuff that has contaminated America where they give every little kid a trophy and don’t keep score in Little League anymore.”

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“We should have won that game,” Leach said in Monday in the first of his weekly press conferences. “I didn’t think we executed well. I thought we were slow and tentative. Of course, none of that counts for this year.”

Things are, however, a bit different this year. WSU goes into this Saturday’s game against Boise State 1-0 and ranked 24th nationally, and will have the its home crowd to lean on as well.

The team has moved on in some regard, but that 31-28 loss to Boise State has not been forgotten.

“We’re just looking forward to running the ball. We didn’t run the ball for crap that game,” WSU offensive tackle Cole Madison said Saturday night. “We’ve just gotta pound it down and make something happen.”

Added running back James Williams, “Last year we played on their level. We just gotta keep up with our speed and stay on our level like (against Montana State). That’s what happened and the outcome was great. We’ve just gotta keep doing that every single week.

Offensive line benefits most from real time reps, says Leach

As a former offensive line coach, Leach is intimately familiar with the nuances that go with playing the five positions up front. From that standpoint, he says getting that first game’s worth of experience was key for the growth of the Cougars’ offensive line.

“They played hard. They’re a position that, maybe more than most, benefits from that…

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