Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Washington St. (0-0) at BYU (0-0)
Thursday, 8:15 p.m.; LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470); Natural grass, Provo
Radio: 1160AM, 102.7FM
Weather: Temperatures in the 80s at kickoff, partly cloudy, 20 percent chance of precipitation.
For Washington State ... the Cougars are kicking off the Mike Leach era, and they would like nothing more than to win their first game on national television — at Leach's alma mater.
For BYU ... the homestanding Cougars want to make a big splash in their season-opener to set the tone for their second year as an independent.
For Washington State ... the last time the Cougars won a road game in the season-opener was 2004 at New Mexico.
For BYU ... the Cougars have won five consecutive season-openers, dating back to 2007.
For Washington State ... the Cougars manage to consistently move the ball against BYU's defense and force turnovers.
For BYU ... the Cougar offense rushes for 150 yards or more and the BYU defense is able to put consistent pressure on the quarterback.
Jordan Johnson, BYU: Making his first career start, the sophomore cornerback is expected to match up often with Washington State's star receiver, Marquess Wilson, who has two 1,000-yard seasons on his resume.
BYU quarterback Riley Nelson vs. Washington State's defense: The senior QB should be able to take advantage of weaknesses in the WSU defense. Nelson is focusing on avoiding turnovers and completing a high percentage of his passes.
Washington State: none.
BYU: DL Ian Dulan (sore back) and backup Zac Stout (Achilles) will be sidelined.
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