With the Cougars getting the final say in a week that featured a lively debate about whether Arizona State steals its opponents’ offensive signs, Washington State coach Mike Leach couldn’t resist a jab at the Sun Devils after his team’s 38-24 win.
PULLMAN – With the Cougars getting the final say in a week that featured a lively debate about whether Arizona State steals its opponents’ offensive signs, Washington State coach Mike Leach couldn’t resist a jab at the Sun Devils after his team’s 38-24 win.
Asked what adjustments the Cougars made defensively after starting slow, Leach quipped, “In the first half we stole a bunch of their signals and that helped us a bunch the second half.”
The Cougars did not, however, erect any oversize sheets to hide their calls on the sideline that way Oregon did against Arizona State on Oct. 29.
Running back Jamal Morrow said he heard about the controversy but that the team didn’t lose sleep over it.
“We weren’t too worried about it,” Morrow said. “Luke (Falk) could have made our changes on the run if he had to when it comes to doing our calls.”
Alamo Bowl present again
For the second week in a row, the Alamo Bowl sent a representative to scout Washington State.
Derrick Fox, the president and CEO of the Alamo Bowl, watched from the press box as the Cougs won their sixth game of the year to become bowl eligible.
Fox said it’s not unusual for the bowl to scout a school more than once in a season. The Alamo Bowl also had representatives at the California-Oregon game and at USC-Arizona.
Even though the Alamo Bowl has first pick of Pac-12 teams after the College Football Playoff makes its selections, Fox said they won’t necessarily take the loser of the Pac-12 championship game.
The Alamo Bowl’s contract with the Pac-12 allows them to take any team within one win of the conference standings leaders going into the Pac-12 championship game.
“So the loser of the championship game could be a team that’s in consideration for us, as well as if there’s someone else in that division or someone in the other division who didn’t make the championship game,” Fox said.
Also, if it comes down to two teams with identical win-loss records, the committee looks at things such as program trajectory to help it make a decision.
“If one team is 9-3 and looking for a new coach, and this other 9-3 team might have its best record in 20 years, who’s going to be more excited?” Fox said.
Dahl doesn’t play
Washington State left tackle Joe Dahl did not play against Arizona State, breaking his streak of 33-consecutive starts that dates back to the 2013 season.
Dahl did not practice this week, likely due to an undisclosed injury.
In his absence, WSU moved left guard Gunnar Eklund to left tackle, and Eduardo Middleton moved from right guard to left guard. Redshirt senior Jacob Seydel got his first start of the season at left guard. Seydel started four games at right tackle last season.
This marked the first time this season that WSU has had to shuffle its starting lineup on the offensive line.
Mike Leach said he thought the offensive line played “great” in the second half.
Defense gets Molton and Dotson back
Issac Dotson returned to the lineup after missing the last four games. Dotson also moved from his original position of nickelback earlier this season, to back up Shalom Luani at free safety. He finished with six stops against ASU – tied with Luani as the defense’s fourth-leading tackler.
Freshman Darrien Molton missed the last two games but started at right cornerback for the Cougs on Saturday and made an immediate impact, coming up with his first career interception late in the fourth quarter to ice the game for WSU.
- WSU quarterback Luke Falk went 36-of-55 for 497 passing yards with five touchdown passes, to bring his career total to 46 touchdown strikes. That ties Drew Bledsoe for sixth-most in program history.
- Wide receiver Dom Williams had six receptions for 123 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He now has a school-record nine multiple touchdown games in his career. Williams has 27 career touchdown receptions, trailing only Jason Hill’s 32 for the school record.
- WSU had its second sellout of the year, with an announced attendance of 32,952. That is the seventh sellout of the Mike Leach era.
- Former WSU men’s basketball coach George Raveling was honored at the basketball game at the Bohler Gym on Friday night, and he raised the Ol’ Crimson flag at Martin Stadium before Saturday’s game.