Washington State coach Mike Leach mum on quarterback’s status before tonight’s Holiday Bowl vs. Michigan State
By BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO — The first question for Washington State coach Mike Leach during Wednesday’s pre-Holiday Bowl news conference was about the cast on quarterback Luke Falk’s non-throwing left wrist.
The seventh question was about the pet raccoon Leach had when he was a kid, which he mentioned in an article he wrote for the Players’ Tribune.
Naturally, Leach was much more forthcoming about the raccoon, which was named Bilbo Baggins after the character in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” than he was about his quarterback’s health.
Despite whatever’s going on with his wrist, Falk is still expected to lead No. 21 WSU (9-3) against No. 18 Michigan State (9-3) tonight.
The Washington State senior quarterback, who threw for 3,593 yards and 30 touchdowns, was photographed Tuesday with a cast on his non-throwing left wrist. During an appearance later that day, Falk was careful to keep the wrist out of view.
Here are some things to look for in the 40th Holiday Bowl:
Toward the end of Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio’s session, the moderator asked if there was one more question.
“Is it a raccoon question? I trapped one once,” Dantonio said.
The Spartans have gone from playing in the national championship semifinal in 2015 to 3-9 last season to 9-3 this season. So it was an emotional moment when the seniors went through their final practice this week.
“I think any time you take the jersey off for the last time or practice with your teammates you start to go through emotions, you’ve got to get closure,” Dantonio said. “We try to make that special for them at the end of our practice and it becomes an emotional experience for some of our guys.”
MILESTONES IN REACH
Dantonio is 99-45 (.688) in 11 seasons as Spartans coach. A victory in the Holiday Bowl would make him the eighth active FBS coach to own 100 wins at his current school.
MSU sophomore QB Brian Lewerke threw for 2,580 yards and 17 touchdowns against seven interceptions, and ran for 486 yards and five touchdowns.