A New Era Begins
The Washington State Cougars will be kicking off their 2012 season just one day from now when they take on the BYU Cougars.
The contest between these two Cougar squads will begin a new era in Washington State football as Mike Leach makes his official debut for a Cougar squad that will be looking to revitalize itself after eight straight seasons without a bowl appearance.
On the other side of the ball, the BYU Cougars are coming off yet another impressive season, finishing 2011 with a 10-3 record. While BYU will has had its fair share of story lines heading into the 2012 season, the Cougars are poised to once again start a special season in Provo.
In a contest that should show how much the Cougars have evolved, here is what I expect to see from Washington State in week 1 of the college football season.
1. Jeff Tuel Gets the Start
While Leach has yet to officially name a starting quarterback, all indications are that senior Jeff Tuel will make the start for the Cougars when they take on BYU.
Despite being rattled by injuries, this quarterback has already shown that he has the ability to make big plays and lead a potent offense down the field.
Though Connor Halliday will get to see some action during the game (most likely), Tuel will show why he should be the Cougar starting quarterback.
2. Marquess Wilson Shows Off
Marquess Wilsonis coming into a 2012 season with a lot of hype surrounding his ability to really open up the field for Leach and the Cougars.
Though Wilson will draw a lot of attention from the BYU secondary, a potent air attack should really give him openings to showcase his skill and really put up some great numbers in the first game of the season.
3. A High Scoring Affair
The contest between the BYU Cougars and the Washington State Cougars should yield excitement as well as quite a few points.
While BYU did allow just 20.4 points per game last season, the Cougar offense is expected to be quite potent this season and should be able to exploit some of the BYU players in the first game of the season.
Likewise for WSU, the BYU team will be able to put up quite a few points on a Cougar defense that remains questionable heading into the season.
4. Freshemn All Over the Field for the Cougars
Earlier in the week Leach stated that he would be playing quite a few freshmen on both sides of the ball, something that he said may equate totoo manyfreshmen on the field.
Though there are clearly experience issues surrounding this statement, it will be good for these young guys to see the field early on and get game jitters out.
Expect Leach to live up to his words.
5. A Game Down to the Wire
To go along with the high scoring affair that this game should be will be the fact that this game will come right down to the end. While it may not be the final play of the game, this game will be tightly contested into the fourth quarter and be one of the more exciting games in week one.
The game, which comes with anticipation from both squads, will be broadcast live on ESPN starting at 7:15 pm PST.