SPOKANE, Wash. -- Washington State coach Mike Leach says his team improved during last weekend's 51-26 loss to No. 2 Oregon compared to some earlier games.

Leach said Monday he was proud of the effort the Cougars showed all game against the Ducks. He says the game was closer than the final score, and the outcome rested on a handful of key plays.

Leach says Connor Halliday is expected to start at quarterback again when Washington State travels to No. 14 Oregon State this weekend. Halliday threw for 348 yards, his third consecutive 300-yard performance, against the Ducks.

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