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Nick Aliotti 'stunned' by Mike Leach

With a lopsided defeat well in hand, the Washington State Cougars had other business to take care of Saturday night against the No. 2 Oregon Ducks.

For their late effort, Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday set a Football Bowl Subdivision record for pass attempts with 89 -- and drew the ire of Duck defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.

Aliotti called it a "low class" move by Washington State coach Mike Leach.

"I am kind of stunned he would keep his quarterback and crew in there,'' Aliotti told reporters after the Ducks' 62-38 win, according to The Oregonian. "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.''

Aliotti apologized for those comments Sunday night.

"The bottom line is, I'm sorry," Aliotti said in a statement released by the school. "I'm embarrassed that I got caught up in the moment after the game. 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 wish I could take it back, and I promise it won't happen again.

"I'd like to apologize to Mike Leach and Bill Moos (Washington State athletics director), Washington State and its fans, and Oregon and our fans."

Trailing 55-24 to start the Cougars' first drive of the fourth quarter, Halliday made 28 more passes to break a 15-year-old FBS record set by Drew Brees with Purdue -- by six attempts.

"That's total (B.S.) that he threw the ball at the end of the game like he did,'' Aliotti said, referring to Leach after the game. "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 (B.S.) to throw the ball when the game is completely over against our kids that are basically our scout team.''

Halliday completed 58 of 89 passes total for 557 yards and four touchdowns for Washington State (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12). He didn't hand the ball off once during the fourth quarter.

But the Ducks (7-0, 4-0) picked off Halliday four times, including one interception that was returned 51 yards for a touchdown by Terrance Mitchell early in the fourth quarter. Halliday leads the nation with 17 interceptions.

"I'm repeating myself," Aliotti reiterated, unprompted, several questions later in the media session. "But again, in the end he's still throwing at a time when most guys would try to end the game and go home."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.