Still, Laufasa said, "We're a much improved team from last year.
"You take away the mental mistakes and turnovers and we win."
Spoken not like an underclassman walk-on – the Kirkland native redshirted last season after transferring from NCAA Division II Central Washington – but like a man who knows what he's talking about.
After all, despite racking up just 10 yards, Laufasa put two of the Cougars' three touchdowns on the board on Saturday in their 31-24 loss at Jordan-Hare Stadium. His effort matched one-third of the team's total rushing touchdowns in 2012.
The first, a 4-yard touchdown run, capped a 75-yard, 12-play opening drive that stunned the Tigers.
In the second quarter, Washington State regained the lead when Laufasa converted another short touchdown run, this time from one yard out.
"I was really pumped," he said about the touchdowns. "Obviously, I would have been more excited with the win."
COACH Mike Leach said in a postgame radio interview that despite giving up "too many explosives," his team played hard.
Among the strong points were that the defense "did a lot of good things" and the offensive line "played hard – they're in better shape."
Sophomore Gabe Marks, who had a career-high nine catches for 81 yards, said that despite the strides the team made in the wake of last season's abysmal 3-9 showing, they weren't going to celebrate.
"We're not going to go back home and be happy because we lost by a touchdown," he said in a postgame interview with The Seattle Times. "We're all (ticked) off because we lost that game we should have won."
Leach said that he expected Auburn to be a strong opponent.
"They are way better than last year," he said. "I mean they have had one top recruiting class after another so they are bound to have a great team."
BUT IN POSTGAME remarks to The Birmingham News, Marks didn't give their opponent too much credit.
"They weren't very physical," he said. "You hear about the SEC and stuff you think they're gonna be all in your face, but they were playing a lot of off-man."
Junior quarterback Connor Halliday summed up the experience as "frustrating."
"(But) we don't let this get to us," he said. "We're going to stay confident for next week."