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Washington State football: Mike Leach believes defense can play better

Washington State football head coach Mike Leach spent plenty of time discussing how he feels the defense can improve after a lackluster performance against Oregon.

William Mancebo - Getty Images

Washington State head coach Mike Leach spent more than half-an-hour with the media on Monday and had some candid words about the team's defense following a 51-26 rout at the hands of the Oregon Ducks on Saturday during his weekly press conference.

When asked about the defense's performance vs. the Oregon, he explained:

"I didn't think it was OK, but I thought we had tremendous effort and we had a lot of people playing together hard and I thought as we grow as a team we can play more precise. And down the road when we have other opportunities I think we'll be a better team for it. You've got a team like Oregon that's several years in the making and a lot of things have gone their way that they've earned and then they've stacked up several recruiting classes and done a lot of really good things to build what they have. That's what we need to get to."

The loss to Oregon showcased a real weakness with the Cougars' squad. But then again, it was Oregon on the other side of the ball, and running up the score is what the Ducks do best against even the best opponents. They scored 28 points in the second half and were led by dynamic running back Kenjon Barner, who carried the ball 20 times for 195 yards and three touchdowns.

Leach's comments won't necessarily make Washington State fans feel any better about their chances of making vast improvements in 2012. He's essentially said that he needs better players and has to compete with the likes of Oregon in recruiting as an obstacle.

The Cougars will next showcase their defense and try to bounce back on Oct. 6 when they take on Oregon State at 3 p.m. PT.