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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

October 8, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Halliday’s the guy, and Leach riffs . . .

Just listened to Washington State’s weekly press teleconference, and Mike Leach affirmed Connor Halliday as his starting quarterback. That’s a little surprising — not the choice of Halliday, but the fact Leach declared the choice early rather avail himself of the chance to keep a veil over the Halliday-Jeff Tuel competition.

“He’s been playing the best, until he threw three interceptions,” said Leach, referring to Halliday’s performance at Oregon State in a 19-6 loss. “We’re at the point where we have to invest the reps in somebody. We have to make a choice.”

After Halliday threw two interceptions in the first half, Leach sat him down and Tuel came on to finish the half. Leach said he did it to let Halliday “see the field and settle down.” Then Halliday returned at the outset of the third quarter, and on his second throw, tossed another pick and Tuel replaced him the rest of the day, compiling better numbers but also throwing a late interception.

Leach called Tuel “one of the greatest team guys I’ve ever been around. He’s a very supportive guy, very skilled and a good player. If he was our quarterback, I’d feel real comfortable.”

WSU turned the ball over five times at OSU, leading Leach to say, “Offensively, it was a disaster. We didn’t play well at all.”

Leach was also at his quotable best. In reference to leadership by upperclassmen, he said some of it was good, but with others, it has an “empty-corpse quality.”

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