Leach Back and WSU Better for It

There’s a new Energy in Washington St.  Mike Leach has entered town as the Cougars new football coach and expectations have not been higher.

Not since Dennis Erickson entered the scene in Pullman have the fans of Washington State been so excited about an upcoming football season.  They can thank Leach for that because the Cougars will be playing a brand of football not seen since Erickson.

Leach is entering spring practice with the promise of implementing a completely new system.  The attack he put in place at Texas Tech propelled the school into the upper echelons of college football.  Now he wants to bring that type of play to the Cougars.

The coaching staff has one specific job to perform.   Improve the offensive line and give the new Quarterback, whomever that might be, time to maneuver the passing attack.  Washington State returns its top two rushers and three starters along the line.

Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel will be competing for the QB position.   Leach says the two have enough skills, but both are coming off injuries in 2011.  So both have to prove they can run Leach’s offense.

Whoever the QB is, they have one big receiver to rely on.  Marquess Wilson will be the man for the Cougars up field.  Wilson has 137 receptions for 2,394 yards and 18 TDs in his first two seasons.  Now the concern after Wilson will be who will line up on the other side.  The Cougars lost their No. 2 and 3 receivers from last season and have nobody ready to take over as of yet.

Defensively the Cougars will move forward.  All four starters are back in the secondary, so that should be the strong point.  Now if the coaches can put together a front to help the secondary then things should be promising in Pullman.

It’s good to see Leach back on the sidelines after his tenure ended at Texas Tech two years ago in an implosion.  It was inevitable that he would return, but where was the question.  Pullman will bring with it a scenario that can allow Leach to regain his reputation and the serenity to do it in.  He’s not in a pressure-cooker that will be looking at his every move.  A simple 9-3 season will make him a hero at Washington State.  Anything better and they might build him a statue.

Leach has a job ahead of him, make no mistake of that.  He takes over for Paul Wolff and a program that started 3-1 last season, but they won just once more the rest of the way.  That caused Wolff to lose his job and Leach to enter.

Leach will improve the record and the sound bites from up north.  Expect Washington State to be relevant again in College Football within two years.

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