PULLMAN — With a game against No. 5 Stanford waiting this weekend, there can’t be anyone happier than Washington State cornerback and Seattle product Nolan Washington that this game is being played at CenturyLink Field. Right?
“Football is football,” said Washington, who played at Kennedy High. “If you play it in Seattle, if you play it in Pullman … it doesn’t really matter. I just want to win.”
Ah. OK, but surely, he’s at least excited to play in front of friends and family.
“Yeah, I guess,” Washington said. “But this team is my family. Being around these guys makes it better for me. I’m just glad I’m a part of this team.”
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“I’d play in a desert if they told us we had to,” said linebacker Darryl Monroe.
This is an attitude reflective of the Cougars’ collective tunnel-vision, at least outwardly.
Honor thy neighbor?
Much attention was given to the tense postgame exchange between WSU coach Mike Leach and Idaho coach Paul Petrino on Saturday after the Cougars beat the Vandals 42-0 in Pullman.
Then again, who hasn’t had a disagreement with their neighbor every now and again?
Yes, Leach and Petrino live in the same Pullman neighborhood, though Leach said he hasn’t seen the Idaho coach around and had never met him before Saturday.
As for what might have raised Petrino’s dander — perhaps the return of a few WSU defensive starters on Idaho’s final drive — Leach says he’s unsure.
“I have no idea what he’s upset about,” Leach said. “I don’t care. And if I did know, which I don’t, I wouldn’t share it with you. Next question.”
If Petrino was indeed upset about the Cougars putting some of their starters back in, he’s not likely to receive an apology from Leach.
“There hadn’t been a shutout in a long time (since 2003), and nothing’s more important to a defense than a shutout,” Leach said. “That’s kind of a major goal, and that’s what you take a lot of pride in.”
• Washington State’s game at California on Oct. 5 will kick off at 1 p.m., and will be televised by FOX Sports 1.