Cougars Take It One Day At A Time - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cougars Take It One Day At A Time

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PULLMAN, Wash. -

A cat fight of sorts will take place on Saturday, as the Auburn Tigers play host to the Cougars, with Washington State playing its first SEC team since 2006.

That was also a season opener, also at Auburn – ranked No. 4 in the nation – and the Cougars fell, 40-14 en route to a mediocre 6-6 season.

Cougars head coach Mike Leach said didn't hate what he saw from his team at Tuesday's practice, but he didn't love it, either. "I thought we looked decent," Leach said. "I thought it was a pretty good Tuesday. Got plenty of work to do, but we looked good for Tuesday."

Leach has announced that redshirt junior Connor Halliday will be the team's starting quarterback, with Leach pointing to the Ferris High School graduate's development as a reason he's atop the depth chart. "He's continued to progress, and he's familiar with the receivers, [and] smart under center. He's done a good job."

Defensive coordinator Mike Breske called today's practice a "Tempo Tuesday" for the defense, running his team hard in preparation for Auburn's high-flying offense under first-year head coach Gus Malzahn. Breske mentioned Oregon and Arizona State as team's who run an offense similar to Auburn's.

Breske, brought to Pullman with the hiring of Leach, likes the way his defense looks in its second year. "We're still a young defense, but we're a year older within the system," Breske said. "We had a great offseason. We've just got to take one practice at a time, one play at a time, and keep that in our sight."

Taking it one game at a time was a theme for coaches at Tuesday's practice, one that outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons echoed. "One game is not going to make our season," Simmons said. "We know that, and hopefully our players know that.

"The biggest thing that we've been talking about is just getting out there, doing your job, and if they do that, we feel like the chips will fall where they may and we'll all be happy this time next week."

The Cougars practice tomorrow, leave for Auburn on Thursday and have a walk-through on Friday in preparation for Saturday's game.