Following Oregon's victory over Washington State this weekend, Ducks Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti blasted Cougars Head Coach Mike Leach for continuing to pass the ball late in the fourth quarter. On Monday, after having a day to cool off, Aliotti apologized to Leach and to Oregon fans in a statement.
"The bottom line is, I'm sorry. I'm embarrassed that I got caught up in the moment after the game," Aliotti said in the statement. "There's no excuse, but sometimes right after the game the adrenaline is still flowing and I made a huge, human error in judgment.
“I'd like to apologize to Mike Leach and [Washington State athletic director] Bill Moos, Washington State and its fans, and Oregon and our fans.”
Aliotti apologized for his comments made after Oregon's 62-38 victory Saturday night. The Cougars, trailing 55-24 to start the fourth quarter, continued to throw the football, despite Oregon's defense lining up with second, third, and fourth string players.
Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday set a new FBS single game record for pass attempts, throwing the football 89 times in the loss to the Ducks. Halliday made 28 passes in the fourth quarter alone, whereas Oregon as a team threw the ball just 33 times over the course of the entire game.
Aliotti was irked by that fact, and was upset that Leach kept his starters in the game and continued to try to mount a comeback against Oregon. Washington State scored - on a passing touchdown - with eleven seconds remaining in the game.
After the game, Aliotti made the comments that he apologized for on Monday.
"That's total bulls*** that he threw the ball at the end of the game like he did. And you can print that and you can send it to him, and he can comment, too. I think it's low class and it's bulls*** to throw the ball when the game is completely over against our kids that are basically our scout team.
I am kind of stunned [Leach] would keep his quarterback and crew in there. And still he threw the ball with 20 seconds left. But he did. They want stats, they got stats. But we got the most important stat, and that's the 'W,' and we are happy about that.''
Leach, in a text sent to The Seattle Times on Sunday night, was dismissive regarding Aliotti's comments.
"I don't criticize other teams or coaches," Leach said. "I focus on coaching my team."
Last week, leading up to the matchup between Oregon and Washington State, Aliotti made comments about the poor Pac-12 officiating crews this year. He essentially told Washington State that, if they passed the ball deep every play, the officials would call pass interference penalties.
In the game, with a combined 122 pass attempts, neither team was flagged for a pass interference call.