SALT LAKE CITY — Washington State coach Mike Leach never seems to be at a loss for words. He gave a blunt assessment of how things went in his postgame remarks following Utah’s 49-6 victory over the Cougars.
“Our effort today was pitiful. It starts with our coaches. Our coaches, starting with me and starting with the assistants, we have to be able to reach our players and get a good effort,” Leach said. “Square one is a good effort and our effort was horrible. We’ve had games this year where one side of the ball had a bad effort for a quarter or something, then this side had good effort and the other one didn’t. But we had a bad effort on both sides of the ball for all four quarters.”
Leach’s crisp comments continued.
“Utah’s a good team and deserves a lot of credit,” he later said. “They’re not that good. We’re not that bad. Despite what the score said they could have beat us by 100 today.”
WEDDLE RETURNS: Former Ute Eric Weddle of the San Diego Chargers watched the game from the Utah sideline.
“Any chance I get I’m going to come back and see the coaches, see the team, visit with the players — shed some light on anything I can do to help them out and give back in any way possible,” Weddle said. “Shoot, I need to come back more often if they’re going to play like this.”
STEALING A POINT: It might have seemed strange to some when the Utes made a two-point conversion against Washington State while leading 37-0.
The Utes often spread their players out on extra points, nearly to each sideline, before bringing them back in for the kick. This time however, Jake Murphy took a direct snap and bulled his way into the end zone to make it 39-0.
“We practice that every week. It’s a count thing,’’ explained Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “If the count is right, we go with it. If the count is not in your favor, we shift everybody back in and kick the PAT.’’
“It’s one more thing for the opposition to work on and one more way for us to, at times, steal an extra point,’’ Whittingham added.
INJURY UPDATE (SORT OF): Although Whittingham declined to comment on injuries, he did offer a broad overview of Utah’s situation this season.
“We never talk about injuries, but we’ve had a lot of guys do down this year and it's just next-man-up mentality,” Whittingham said. “'Next guy in pick up the slack' and that’s how we operate.”
Starting cornerback Ryan Lacy missed the game with an undisclosed injury and Whittingham noted it gave Lewis Walker an opportunity to be a full-time guy in the game.
Besides Lacy, backup running back Kelvin York also did not play because of injury.
EXTRA POINTS: Running back John White finished with 101 yards, improving Utah’s record to 11-0 in his career when he tops 100. ... Quarterback Travis Wilson completed 17-of-21 passes for 171 yards, connecting with 14 different receivers. ... Sean Sellwood had two punts over 50 yards, tying Louie Sakoda’s school record of 50 such kicks in his career. ... Cornerback Reggie Topps led Utah with seven tackles. ... Linebacker Trevor Reilly and defensive lineman Joe Kruger were in on multiple sacks for the Utes. ... Defensive back Moe Lee made six stops and had two pass breakups. ... The attendance was 45,069. ... Scouts from the NFL’s St. Louis Rams and AFL’s Utah Blaze attended the game.
Contributing: Mike Sorensen