Inexperience continues to stifle BYU's once-proud offense. In Saturday's 20-10 loss at Washington, the Cougars failed to reach 200 yards passing for the fifth consecutive game - an infamous streak dating back to last season.

BYU coach LaVell Edwards isn't panicking, though. He's quick to point out that the Cougars are very young offensively. Losing six starters will do that to a team.And kids, being kids, often times make mistakes.

"I feel good about where we're at. We're making progress, we're healthy and that's what I hope to be able to accomplish," Edwards said. "We've got (nine) games left and we're in good shape to go on and have a good season. We've got to keep working to get better, and I really think we will get better."

Offensively speaking, however, things could hardly get worse than it did against Washington. BYU struggled with passing, catching and running the ball. The trio of pitfalls cost the Cougars a chance to upset the ninth-ranked Huskies.

"It was just bad. Sometimes I couldn't hear, I was getting plays mixed up and just struggled all day," Feterik said after completing 16 of 33 passes for 169 yards. "We couldn't get the running game going. It was tough. (The Huskies) brought it to us. They were stunting up front and shifting as we hiked the ball, so it was confusing our linemen."

Same goes for tailback Ronney Jenkins. He failed to provide an adequate encore for his career-record 171-yard rushing performance a week earlier.

"Personally, I felt I wasn't as focused as I should have been," said Jenkins, whose second-quarter fumble was returned 35 yards for a touchdown by Washington's Toure Butler. "I could have done a lot of things better."

BYU's running game established itself in the 26-6 win over Arizona State, but the passing attack has yet to attain any sort of prominence. Dropped passes have been the main culprit, but a lack of steady execution and tough defenses in Alabama and Washington also contributed.

"It's tough. You throw a pass and someone drops one it is frustrating," Feterik said. "The receivers and quarterbacks aren't clicking right now. I don't know what the problem is. We catch balls in practice and we come out to a game and things just don't go well."

On Saturday, BYU's special teams could relate. The Cougars gave up a 98-yard kickoff return to Butler.

Add quarterback Brock Huard's 52-yard touchdown pass to Chris Juergens with Butler's two scores, and it could be said that Washington defeated BYU on three big plays.

"It's kind of a fluke deal," BYU middle linebacker Rob Morris said. "You take away two plays and one long pass and you're talking a 10-6 ball game. But, you can always pick things out like that."

The Cougars, however, did play excellent defense. Though they never sacked Huard, the All-America candidate was forced to make plenty of quick decisions. He was 16 for 33 passing with two interceptions and just one touchdown - the fewest in his career as a starter and Washington's lowest output in four seasons.

It wasn't enough, though, to lift BYU to victory.

"It's frustrating because I know what our offense can do," said free safety Jason Walker, who had both interceptions. "I strongly believe that we are a better team than the one we just lost to. They'll come around, the offense will be fine."

*****

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

BYU flashback

Score: Washington 20, BYU 10

Record: 1-2 overall, 0-0 WAC

Offense: What was more disappointing, tailback Ronney Jenkins or BYU's passing game? Both had trouble keeping a handle on the ball Saturday. Grade: D+

Defense: BYU becomes the first team in the Brock Huard era to hold Washington to just one offensive touchdown. The Cougs, however, did have costly penalties. Grade: A

Special teams: The Cougars surrender a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Owen Pochman's field-goal streak ends at seven. Grade: D

Next up: Murray State, Saturday