Mike Leach’s Monday Presser: Max Borghi, Colorado’s defense, and live mascots

Boulder, Colorado - "Part petting zoo, part football," says coach Leach

Washington State head coach Mike Leach addressed the media Monday in his weekly presser.

The head coach gave insight on the current Cougar depth chart, touched on Saturday’s performance, gave feedback on Colorado’s film, and discussed his love for living mascots.

After addressing WSU’s “X” receiving position and the competition between JuCo transfer Calvin Jackson Jr. and Tay Martin, Leach elaborated on true freshman halfback Max Borghi. The promising underclassmen – flipping his commitment from Colorado to WSU – was a clear competitor for the starting job since Fall Camp. Due to his coachability and athletic ability, he has drawn comparisons to Carolina Panther Christian McCaffrey.

“I heard [McCaffrey and Borghi] actually train together,” Leach said.

“I think he’ll get even better than better.”

Addressing Saturday’s home showdown with California, Leach praised the Cougar defense for carding 5 sacks in the 19-13 win. While the Air Raid found moving the sticks to be a small task, the unit was not as adept to execute in key situations.

“Statistically they might be the best defense in the conference, and I think they are a really good one,” Leach said.

Looking ahead to Colorado, the Buffalo have held true to their identity under Mike Macintyre’s reign. Strong on defense and halfback heavy on offense, Leach says they have improved in comparison to last year. Leading the Pac-12 in turnover margin, Leach admits luck plays a factor; however, the Buff’s tendency to “run to the football” is just as much a player.

“The harder you work, the luckier you get,” Leach said.

Believing the Pac-12 could send as many as 10 teams to Bowl season, Leach thinks the west coast’s premier conference is loaded from top to bottom. WSU gets no weeks off in by his assessment.

Branching away from football in typical Pirate fashion, Leach confessed his love for live mascots such as UC’s Ralphie. Without proficient knowledge on Cougars and their quality of live in captivity, Leach was hesitant to make a stance on the return of a living Butch as the university has not had a living mascot since Butch VI in 1978.

“I went to Pepperdine – and I love Pepperdine – and we were the Waves,” leach said. “I’m more into tangible things. I’m more into objects that are alive and that move and that you can use your imagination enough to attach a personality to it a little bit. Like a cyclone, I don’t know how to make that a tangible thing.”

The entirety of Leach’s press conference can be found in the video above.

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