PASADENA CA - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Jeff Tuel #10 of the Washington State Cougars drops back to pass against the UCLA Bruins during the first quarter at the Rose Bowl on October 2 2010 in Pasadena California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Mike Leach and the Cougars take on BYU in a nationally televised game to start the 2012 season.
New Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach will start his first season with a nationally televised game on the road at BYU this Thursday. The games kicks off at 7:15 p.m. PT and 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Leach brings his high-scoring spread offense to a Washington State team that finished 4-8 last season including a 2-7 mark in conference play. In 2011, the Cougars were last in the Pac-12 North division. Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel will likely be handed the keys to Leach's offense. Tuel started all 12 of the Cougars' games and was Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 in 2010 before only playing in three games last season due to injuries.
BYU, coming off of a 10-3 season, has a returning starter in quarterback senior Riley Nelson who took over last season and went 6-1 in games he started. Nelson has been named to the 2012 Davey O'Brien Award and Maxwell Award watch lists.
Game time, TV channel: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Point spread: BYU is favored by 13.5 points with the over/under being set at 61 points.
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