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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. “He’s doing great. You can use your imagination all you want about the cast,” Leach said about Falk, who despite whatever’s going on with his wrist is still expected to lead No. 21 WSU (9-3) against No. 18 Michigan State (9-3) on Thursday night.
The early grumbling over Michigan State’s berth in the Holiday Bowl, I sense, has long since passed. The destination, the date and time, the level of prestige, the frustration that a school 60 miles east of East Lansing was more desired by another bowl — the Spartans and their fans have come to terms with all of it, I think. They’re all in on the Holiday Bowl.
But if I didn’t just describe you — and you’re planning to watch or, more important yet, play in this game — here are four reasons to be fired up for Thursday night’ Holiday Bowl. Or at least to think the outcome has some significance.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and Washington State head coach Mike Leach took part in a final preview press conference in San Diego on Wednesday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt on the eve of the 40th annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 28. Kickoff between No. 16 Michigan State (9-3) and No. 18 Washington State (9-3)
“He has had something on his hand all year and hence we named him ‘the Kingslayer.’ Beyond that you’re on your own.” Falk and the Cougars are looking for a better Holiday Bowl than a year ago, when their normally high-powered Air Raid offense was shut down by Minnesota in a 17-12 dud.