PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State coach Mike Leach is no fan of Boise State's signature artificial blue turf.
"I'm glad I don't have to watch film on it every day, to be honest with you," Leach said Monday. "I think secretly those assistant coaches and those coaches at Boise, despite the fact it's a trademark thing, would rather watch their guys practice on grass so the bodies, there's a little more contrast with them, running around than on blue turf. I'd rather watch it on green than a variety of colors."
Leach's Cougars (0-1) face the Broncos (1-0) on Saturday night at Albertsons Stadium (7:15 p.m. ESPN2) in Boise after dropping their season opener, 45-42, to FCS-level Eastern Washington this past weekend. It dropped Leach to 0-5 in season openers as WSU's head coach.
Leach confirmed Monday that safety Shalom Luani, a Pac-12 honorable mention pick last season, will play Saturday after missing the season opener. Luani was arrested and charged with assault in late August after alleged breaking a person's nose during a fight at a Pullman Domino's.
"I'm not going to share any of that but suffice it to say the facts as I know them are not near what's been publicized, and I'm very disappointed that the court of public opinion has been tainted and contaminated in the fashion it has," Leach said. "At any rate, (Luani's) relationship with our team, that will remain with us."
Luani's absence was felt against Eastern Washington, as Eagles quarterback Gage Gubrud went 34 of 40 for 474 yards, five touchdowns and one interception in his first career start.
With Luani back, WSU figures to stand a better chance at defending Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien, the nephew of former WSU signal-caller Mark Rypien.
But first, a suggestion from Leach on how to deal with that blue turf, which this year is celebrating it's 30th season of existing in some form:
"I'm not sure about it, but I think we ought to look into that," he said. "I think the animal-watch groups and whatnot need to make sure to keep that covered so ducks don't break their necks trying to land on the sucker. That's what I think."
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