MONROE: We love Halliday

PULLMAN – It is said that the best cornerbacks have short memories. The Washington State Cougars hope to prove that is true of all football players as they attempt to bounce back from last Saturday's late collapse against Oregon State in time for this Saturday's game at second-ranked Oregon. Meanwhile, middle linebacker Darryl Monroe made it crystal clear his team's feelings on Connor Halliday..

"I think it's already behind us," center Elliott Bosch said Monday of the OSU loss. "Everyone was really frustrated and disappointed after the game. We came in Sunday, guys lifted (weights) and watched the (game) film and learned from it. Then we put it behind us and went out to practice."

MIK Darryl Monroe offered a similar perspective.

"We're not just going to ‘neglect' what happened or what we did wrong," he said. "We're going to look at it. We're going to correct it.

"But after that day, it's over with. You can't change it or dwell on it. We went out to practice (Sunday night) excited and ready to have fun and get better."

COUGAR PLAYERS SAY they are encouraged by the fact that they've won their first two conference road games of the year for the first time since 2006.

"We love going on the road … we like hearing all the boos," cornerback Damante Horton said.

"Going on the road doesn't scare us," Monroe said. "It's a challenge. Everyone's against you. We're used to having everyone against us. To me, going on the road, hearing the boos puts a smile on my face."

The Ducks' 6-0 record, combined with their gaudy offensive and defensive statistics, doesn't put a smile on any opponent's face.

"They have a lot of good players, and they play together as a team," Horton said.

"They're really good at what they do," Monroe said. "They minimize their mistakes as an offense. It makes it really hard on the defense."

In stark contrast, the Cougars are tied for the national lead in interceptions (15) and turnovers (20). Halliday leads the nation with 13 picks; Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has thrown no interceptions.

"Connor has a big responsibility," Monroe said. "I mean, if you want to compare his job, it's kind of like a head coach or president. Going for it on fourth down, if you make it, everybody loves you. If you don't, everyone hates you.

"He already has enough pressure. He already has enough people against him. We love him. We're always going to be there for him."

HORTON AND MONROE said many of the Cougars' recent struggles on defense are due to issues between the ears as much as between the sidelines.

"I feel like sometimes we come out, we're not all the way focused," Horton said.

"I think 90 percent of the game is mental," Monroe said. "Not just our team, but any team. If you're not right in the head, then you're not going to be a good player or a good football team or a good coach."

Bosch and Monroe said they agreed with Mike Leach that the Cougars panicked in the fourth quarter Saturday. The Beavers snapped a 24-24 tie by scoring the game's final 28 points in barely 8 minutes.

"Like Leach always says, we tried to score 14 points in one series," Bosch said. "We didn't stay the course, keep doing what we were doing. We were fine, but everyone (later) was pressing, trying to make (tremendous) plays, trying to do something special, which didn't need to happen."

When times get tough, Monroe said, the Cougars need to "just stop and relax. Think about what's going on. It's kind of like life."

Oregon has tended to make life extremely difficult on teams when they visit Autzen Stadium. It's one of the loudest football venues in the country. Plus, it's homecoming week and the Ducks are expecting their 93rd consecutive sellout of 54,000.

"I think we'll respond great," Bosch said. "Everyone is itchin' to get back out there, have a great week of practice. Having that fourth quarter (against Oregon State) fuels you to even work harder."

Monroe added, "We always have a chip on our shoulders, but now it's like that chip is even heavier. It's like we HAVE to go out and get a win."

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