PULLMAN – Fresh off one of the toughest one-quarter beatings a team can take, the Washington State Cougars won’t have much time to ponder it.
After giving up 35 unanswered points over the last 16 minutes, 3 seconds of Saturday’s game against Oregon State, the Cougars will travel to Eugene this week to take on second-ranked Oregon and its high-octane offense.
It may be the least opportune time to play the Ducks, who have won at least 10 games every year since 2007. Led by Heisman-contending quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Ducks lead the Pac-12 in passing and rushing.
WSU coach Mike Leach was disgusted with his team’s performance in a 52-24 loss to Oregon State and wasn’t looking for excuses.
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“We’ve got to focus on stuff that helps you change,” Leach said. “Any time you come up with an alibi for the type of meltdown that we had, you’re not going to get better, you’re not going to improve.”
The score was tied at 24 entering the fourth quarter at Martin Stadium. What happened?
“We need to worry about being the best team we can be,” Leach said. “And that would be one thing we quit doing about two-thirds in. We quit worrying about being the best team we could be and then they scored on play after play after play.”
Now the Cougars face the unbeaten Ducks.
“We’ve just got to go out and play our game. So far, the way we’ve played all year, nobody’s been able to stop us,” running back Marcus Mason said. “We’ve only been able to stop ourselves. So as long as we don’t stop ourselves, we’ll win every other game.”