Defense is showing its worth for No. 11 Washington State

With Mike Leach calling plays and Luke Falk serving the role of conductor, it’s always going to be Washington State’s offense that receives the majority of the attention.

The reason the 11th-ranked Cougars are still undefeated after toppling Southern California on Friday night is because of their defense.

“I didn’t feel like USC ever got any real consistency,” Leach said after the Cougars’ 30-27 win over USC on Friday night. “Both offenses it was really difficult to do — I wouldn’t say that we did across the board. But I thought they played really steady and came up really big on third down, especially the second half. I felt like we were stopping them pretty consistently. Only an explosive here or a big play there was really all that we had trouble with.”

The win over USC vaulted the Cougars five spots in the new AP Top 25 released Sunday as the celebration from the benchmark victory was finally starting to wind down. It’s the highest ranking for Washington State since the 2003 season when the Cougars were ranked as high as No. 6. It’s the first 5-0 start for Washington State since 2001.

Next up is a matchup Saturday night at Oregon (4-1).

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