Scores

Final

Washington St 6

(0-1, 0-1 away)

BYU 30

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN

10:15 PM ET, August 30, 2012

LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT

1 2 3 4 T
WSU 0 6 0 06
BYU 7 17 6 030

Top Performers

Passing: R. Nelson (BYU) - 285 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: M. Alisa (BYU) - 13 CAR, 54 YDS

Receiving: K. Friel (BYU) - 6 REC, 101 YDS, 2 TD

BYU hands Mike Leach loss in his Washington State debut

Associated Press

PROVO, Utah -- New Washington State coach Mike Leach says his team is closer to playing well than his players might think.

He says it's just a matter of eliminating the bad, being a bit more consistent with the good and remaining confident.

"We've got to be a mentally tougher team," Leach said following a 30-6 loss Thursday to Brigham Young. "When something negative happens, we can't have all these basset hound-looking faces on the sidelines."

Washington State crossed midfield only six times and got inside the red zone only once.

"Any time we were about to ignite or catch fire, something negative would happen," Leach said.

Leach's normally high-powered Air Raid offense remained grounded, failing to score a touchdown for only the third time in Leach's 10-plus-year coaching career.

"We squandered too many plays. We'd get a play or two going and look pretty good, and then we'd squander two more and never really got into a rhythm," he said.

BYU senior quarterback Riley Nelson threw for two touchdowns and third-string quarterback Taysom Hill added another on his first collegiate pass to spoil Leach's return to coaching.

BYU intercepted Jeff Tuel twice and sacked him three times while limiting Leach's vaunted attack to 224 yards total offense.

Washington State finished with minus-5 yards rushing.

Nelson finished 25-of-36 for 285 yards. Tight end Kaneakua Friel led BYU with six catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Washington State came out passing as expected, with Tuel starting 8-of-9. But his 10th pass was intercepted by Uona Kaveinga, and the momentum shifted to BYU before a "white-out" crowd.

It was Leach's first game since being fired by Texas Tech in 2009 amid allegations he mistreated a player with a concussion.

While there was much buzz about his return, against his alma mater, the results were the same for Washington State.

Leach never played football at BYU, but he gained inspiration for his spread passing attack from LaVell Edwards, for whom BYU's stadium is named.

At one point in pregame interviews, Leach said his team looked more like BYU of old than BYU.

Not on Thursday.

BYU rolled up 426 yards offense, nearly twice that of Washington State.

Nelson started slow but finished strong.

After Kaveinga's interception, Nelson engineered a 10-play, 80-yard TD drive to give BYU a 7-0 lead. He had two big third-down completions to Cody Hoffman on the drive, for 28 and 12 yards, and found Skyler Ridley open for the 7-yard scoring pass.

Hoffman, BYU's leading receiver in 2011, bruised his left quad on the 12-yard catch and did not return.

BYU's second touchdown came with Hill in shotgun formation as the Wildcat quarterback. The freshman faked to the runner in motion left, then scrambled right and found tight end Friel wide open for an 18-yard TD. It gave BYU a 14-0 lead with 13:26 left in the half.

Andrew Furney's 47-yard field goal put Washington State on the board with 10:42 left in the second quarter, and he added a 41-yarder just before halftime after a TD pass to Marquess Wilson was nullified by holding.

BYU found one way to keep Leach's offense off the field -- long drives. BYU's three first-half scoring drives were all 10 plays or more, the third going for 16 and capped by Riley Stephenson's 28-yard field goal.

BYU's defense, meanwhile, played up to its billing, holding Washington State to just 3 yards rushing in the first half and limiting Tuel to 108 yards passing.

Brigham Young had some new players step up.

Ridley, a former scout team player, was in only because Hoffman was injured midway through the first quarter.

And Jordan Johnson, who returned an interception 64 yards to set up a third-quarter field goal, was making his first start at cornerback. His last start, in 2009, had been at quarterback in high school.

On the other sideline, Leach wasn't having much fun.

The Air Raid attack had served him well at Texas Tech, where he was 84-43 with 10 bowl appearances. It went nowhere Thursday. The last time a Leach team had failed to score a touchdown was in Texas Tech's 12-3 loss to TCU on Sept. 16, 2006.

The man dubbed the "Pirate of the Palouse" has a $2.25 million contract but there is a ways to go to bring Washington State back to respectability in the Pac-12.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WSU
BYU
1st Downs1824
Total Yards224426
Passing229303
Rushing-5123
Penalties8-7310-112
3rd Down Conversions5-1510-17
4th Down Conversions1-11-1
Turnovers20
Possession24:2635:34

Passing Leaders

Washington StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Tuel30/452295.102
BYUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Nelson25/362857.920

Rushing Leaders

Washington StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Winston471.805
Caldwell441.002
BYUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Alisa13544.2016
Foote4266.5011

Receiving Leaders

Washington StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Wilson46115.3023
Myers55010.0011
BYURECYDSAVGTDLG
Friel610116.8225
Falslev55511.0021

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWSUBYU
TD01:36Skyler Ridley 7 Yd Pass From Riley Nelson (Riley Stephenson Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERWSUBYU
TD13:26Kaneakua Friel 18 Yd Pass From Taysom Hill (Riley Stephenson Kick) 014
FG10:42Andrew Furney 47 Yd 314
FG04:29Riley Stephenson 28 Yd 317
TD01:43Kaneakua Friel 25 Yd Pass From Riley Nelson (Riley Stephenson Kick) 324
FG00:00Andrew Furney 41 Yd 624
THIRD QUARTERWSUBYU
FG11:52Riley Stephenson 21 Yd 627
FG03:00Riley Stephenson 31 Yd 630

Research Notes

At Texas Tech, Mike Leach's teams averaged more than 37 points per game for 10 seasons. Washington State scored just 6 in Leach's debut. That's the fewest points a Mike Leach team has scored since scoring 6 in a loss at Colorado in 2006 and tied for the 3rd-fewest overall
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