Washington State Football: Mike Leach and Co. Pushing ‘Reset’ Vs Portland State


The Washington State Cougars have had a nightmare start to their 2014 season, going 0-2 in two games that fans finally thought they were ready to win in Mike Leach’s third year at the helm in Pullman.

There are plenty of excuses and reasons for the bungled opportunities against Rutgers and Nevada; whether it be personnel issues at cornerback, a lack of fight in the offensive line, three missed field goals in two games, 16 players seeing their first action at the college level, referees, and on and on.

The simple fact is though that this WSU team is supposed to be different and everybody knows it. They are supposed to be explosive. They are supposed to be athletic and fast enough to compete in one of the premier conferences in the country. They are supposed to be winning. So far, we’ve seen glimpses but nothing that would suggest this team is ready to compete at a top level week-in and week-out.

And so it is that Washington State linebackers’ coach Paul Volero talked on Monday about what the Cougs are doing to fix the problem, speaking at the Spokane Cougar Club Luncheon.

"“We’re not happy down there right now. But I can promise you this: We are going to get this right. We are GOING to get this right.The players have to learn how to be accountable to one another. The coaching staff has to learn how to be accountable to one another and we all have to figure out how to do this together.”"

Of course Volero is hardly the only Cougar coach talking. Leach has been all over his coaching staff after each of the first two losses and it doesn’t bode well for that group if this misery continues.

You’ll remember in year one it was all about the players getting their stuff together and in year two it was all about steadily improving and learning how to win? Well in year three Leach is apparently expecting more from his staff, which is awesome to see. He has been ultra-positive about their recruiting efforts these past two seasons, calling them the “hardest working staff I’ve ever had on the recruiting trail”, but at some point in time that just has to translate onto the field.

This team should be 2-0 and Leach is not going to hide that expectation. But they aren’t and instead the Cougs need to press the ‘reset’ button against a Portland State team that could completely defile their season by marching into Pullman and stealing a win. One would have to think that if that does somehow happen, heads will begin to roll in Pullman.

But don’t expect it to. Instead expect the Cougs to roll out, in all capital letters, the “UNWELCOME” mat to the Vikings on Saturday. It’s time for this team to take it’s youth, personnel and coaching issues and turn the corner.