Mike Leach era begins tonight for Washington St.; can his new team shock BYU?
I don’t know about all of you, but I’m excited for tonight, when we’ll get to see former Texas Tech coach — and 1999 OU offensive coordinator Mike Leach — begin his tenure as Washington State’s coach on the road at BYU, Leach’s alma mater.
From what’s been said and reported, Wazzu senior quarterback Jeff Tuel has picked up the Air Raid offense pretty quickly, and he’s got some talented receivers at his disposal. But it also sounds like we’re unlikely to see any vast improvements from the Wazzu defense, so a high-scoring shootout is probably Wazzu’s best shot.
Yes, BYU is the better team on paper, they’re playing at home and they most certainly should win this game.
But to me, this all seems set up too perfectly for Leach: On the road as a two-touchdown underdog to his alma mater, with talented offensive players who are already grasping his schemes.
There will be plenty of struggles for Leach this first year, but bowl eligibility — which Wazzu hasn’t attained since 2003 — is definitely possible with Washington State’s schedule. This game could prove to be the difference.
In today’s Oklahoman, I picked Washington State, a 13.5-point underdog, to win the game 35-31. Sports editor Mike Sherman was the only other staff member crazy enough to join me on board the Pirate Train.
What does everyone else think? Am I crazy for picking Wazzu tonight? What do you expect to see from Leach in his first Pac-12 season?
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