Game 1: BYU Cougars vs. Washington State Cougars
BYU will host Washington State on Thursday, Aug. 30 in the season opener. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live from LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, on ESPN, and KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com.
Fans should tune into the live Countdown to Kickoff pregame show at 7 p.m. MT on BYUtv and BYUtvsports.com. Also tune in to BYUtv and BYUtvsports.com for the live postgame show following conclusion of the game. Pregame radio coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio (SiriusXM channel 143).
Digitally, the game will also be available on WatchESPN.com, which is available to fans with video subscriptions with Time Warner, Verizon, Brighthouse and Comcast.
BYU (0-0) vs. Washington State (0-0)
Aug. 30, 2012 8:20 p.m.
LaVell Edwards Stadium
BYU vs. Washington State Storylines
Leach Return to Provo
BYU alumnus Mike Leach returns to Provo as head coach of the “other” Cougars this time, after graduating from BYU in 1983. Leach never coached for the Cougars but studied and watched the storied teams of the early ‘80s under LaVell Edwards.
Five Straight Season-opening Wins
Bronco Mendenhall and the Cougars have won five straight season openers and are looking for a sixth. All but one of those season-opening victories have been over a BCS program, including the last three over BCS teams. Opening its season for the fourth time against a Pac-12 foe under Mendenhall, BYU looks to improve to 3-1 when playing a Pac-12 opponent in the season opener.
BYU enters the season with a senior quarterback in Riley Nelson. The last 11 senior starting signal callers have put together a 117-23-2 record since 1977, a winning percentage of .831. That’s an average of almost 11 wins per season. Steve Sarkisian led BYU to an NCAA record 14 victories in 1996. Ty Detmer and Kevin Feterik tied for the lowest win total in a senior season, still nabbing eight victories apiece. Washington State also has a senior quarterback in Jeff Tuel.
BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman has a reception streak of 19 games and counting, the 21st longest streak in the nation. Washington State wide receiver Marques Wilson has caught a pass in 24 straight, tied for the ninth-longest streak.
Another Familiar Face
WSU outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons played linebacker at BYU from 1993-96 and later coached as a graduate assistant under LaVell Edwards.
Watch Out Here I Come
Both BYU and Washington State have at least one player on the following award watch lists: Biletnikoff (WR - BYU Hoffman/WSU Wilson), Butkus (LB - BYU Kaveinga/WSU Long), Lombardi (Line or LB - BYU Hansen, Van Noy/WSU Long), Maxwell (Outstanding Player - BYU QB Nelson/WSU WR Wilson), Nagurski (Best Defensive Player - BYU Van Noy/WSU Long), Davey O’Brien (QB - BYU Nelson/ WSU Tuel). BYU also has players on the following watch lists: Doak Walker (RB - Alisa), Outland (Lineman - OL Hansen) and Ray Guy (P - Stephenson) while Washington State features a Lou Groza honoree (PK - Furney).