Washington State was certainly in the mood to talk this week after a spirited win over UNLV. The theme of the news conference on Monday was simple: we're getting better. And who can argue with that?
Coach Mike Leach on play of QB Connor Halliday:"He's way ahead of schedule for a guy who's only played a handful of games. He doesn't have many snaps under his belt. I thought he played really well when you consider that. I think he's talented. As far as explosive and going downfield – really good at that."
Leach was also quick to point out that it isn't just about Halliday, but about the other parts of the team as well. The offensive line affects the quarterback, who affects the receivers and so on.
Coach Leach with regard to the offensive line:"I think our O-line is getting a little better, which I think helped. I think we had a couple of receivers make some big plays, which I think was good. I think we shouldn't have had any three and outs, which continues to be a problem."
And just like the first two games, Leach preached the need for more consistency.
Coach Leach on Marquess Wilson:"I think Marquess can play better. And I think Isaiah Meyers, I think the steadiest guy we've had at receiver has been Isaiah Meyers. [Wilson] needs to focus… I think obviously he can catch. Everybody knows he can catch. They weren't difficult ones. Occasionally guys drop balls, so he'll catch them."
There was a question about the Pac-12 possible instituting an injury report system similar to the one employed by the NFL. Leach was asked whether he would go along with it if every other team agreed to it.
"I would still refuse. I would still be elusive on it. It would still violate the HIPAA law, which would be interesting to me if the Pac-10 could get that law overturned. Nah. It's nobody's business. And plus, obviously, if some kid doesn't want to you to know, why should you? No, I still wouldn't tell."
Connor Halliday, who threw four touchdowns in last week's win said he doesn't know whether he will start Saturday's game against Colorado. But all he can do is all he can do.
"If I get a chance I'm going to do everything I can to be successful. If my role needs to be on the sidelines cheering on Jeff [Tuel] that's what I'll do. If my role is to be out there playing I'll do that as well."
Halliday on whether there is a building confidence in the locker room:"I think there's confidence building in the locker room. Every time you can get a win streak going – granted, it wasn't against the stiffest of competition, so we'll see…. But it would be great to get a three-game winning streak."
If the Cougars win on Saturday it will be their first three-game win streak in six seasons.
Linemen on both sides of the ball often get overlooked. Leach feels the line is making progress though, and so do the players.
"I think it was our best game so far, but I think, as a unit, we haven't played a complete game together," said center Elliot Bosch.
Bosch admitted the offensive line started to let down as the game went on.
Defensive lineman Ioane Gauta on how he feels about the progress of the defense:"Just the chemistry, the front seven – we got closer in camp, and as the season progresses we just get to know more about each other… and get a feel of how important we are to each other."