Football focused on staying the course in remaining games

Three games remain on the schedule for the Washington State Cougar football team, but the players are only focused one day ahead.

There is a sense of urgency among the Cougars as they begin the week before their game against the Arizona Wildcats. In fact, Head Coach Mike Leach said in Monday’s press conference that the urgency is higher than ever.

 “We cheated the first part of the season,” Leach said. “We had no sense of urgency whatsoever, and loafed the entire time, so now these last three we’re going to have a big sense of urgency.”

On the other hand, he said you have to get the most out of every game. The team has already expended all its energy into each game and has put everything out on the table, Leach said. 

“There’s nothing you hide in the vault, there’s no secret stuff we have packed away that we’re going to break out for a special occasion,” Leach said. “It’s all broke out, it’s all out there, and we want to do our best every play, whether it’s out there in practice or whether it’s playing the New England Patriots.”

No matter the opponent, the players aim to take the season one step at a time. 

“We can’t look at three games. We’ve got to look at Arizona,” linebacker Darryl Monroe said. “We can’t even look at Arizona right now. We have to look at practice tomorrow; worry about film today. Then when that day comes, and it’s game day, then we’ve got take care of business.”

Monroe also feels like the extra time from the bye week has benefited the team, allowing them to improve on some things to prepare them for the rest of the season. 

“What’s kept us eager and hungry is just the fact that we watched the film and see that there are things we still need to improve on,” he said. “There’s the fact that we’re ready to get out there, but we’re also ready to practice to get better from last game.”

The chance at another game and the beginning of a new week has the players refreshed beyond what simple rest can do. Senior safety Deone Bucannon said each week represents a new opportunity. 

“That’s the great thing about football,” Bucannon said. “Each and every week, you get another chance to show what you have. Something great can be erased and something bad can be erased real fast, so we’re just looking forward to the opportunities that we have.”

The Cougars will continue to prepare this week knowing two things: The season is winding down and the next obstacle in their way is an 11 a.m. game on the road against the Wildcats this Saturday, Nov. 16.