Without a doubt, the worst part of writing this morning link post is having to write it after a loss. Writing it after a bad loss in a night game is just adding insult to injury.
I've been sitting here staring at this white box for a while, trying to figure out what the heck I'm going to fill it with. I've written and deleted and written and deleted, but so far all I have is this same empty white box.
Judging by the reaction here and elsewhere, it appears I should be furious, but for whatever reason I'm just not. Sure, I'm disappointed. Like everyone else I had high expectations coming into this season and a 30-6 loss was not what I imagined.
But while others debate whether or not there are any wins left on the schedule, my opinion of the season hasn't changed. Maybe I just have my head under a rock and am a complete idiot -- it wouldn't be the first time -- but I just don't believe we are as bad as what we showed last night.
There were plenty of issues, but re-watching the game a bit now, WSU doesn't look as physically over matched as they just look unsure. They look like a team thinking about what they should do rather than just playing football. From blown coverages to missed reads, the mental issues are what really plagued the Cougars.
Sure, there were some physical downfalls as well, but nothing I saw made me believe this team can't improve and do it quickly. When WSU was blown out by Oklahoma State in the 2009 opener, there was a huge gap both physically and mentally between the Cowboys and the Cougars. WSU blew assignments, missed reads and had all of the other issues they did last night, but the Cowboys manhandled WSU while BYU simply out executed them.
An opponent getting wide open on a third down due to a blown assignment can be fixed. The coaches now have film to use as a teaching tool to correct these issues. Has Jeff Tuel ever faced a defense running a scheme similar to what BYU ran last night? Probably not. Would I expect him to be better against it next week after working on it and breaking down film? Absolutely.
There were issues, but for the most part, they were fixable issues. Mike Leach wasn't brought in to win one game, he was hired to build a perennial contender and go to bowl games. He can still do that regardless of last night's outcome. This team is going to get better. Leach is still going to lead WSU to where Bill Moos and everyone else thought he could, it's just not going to happen overnight. That part is painfully obvious thanks to that 30-6 whipping.
WSU fails to score touchdown as BYU spoils Leach’s debut - Spokesman.com - Aug. 31, 2012
They played with tempo. They played with confidence. They moved the ball up and down the field, in short bursts, long bursts, by pass and by run.
Apparent injury keeps freshman starter sidelined - Spokesman.com - Aug. 31, 2012
Redshirt freshman Xavier Cooper was listed atop the Washington State depth chart at defensive tackle, but he wasn’t able to play in the team’s season opener against Brigham Young on Thursday because of an undisclosed injury.
Christian Caple’s Keys to the Game - Spokesman.com - Aug. 31, 2012
What went right Not a whole lot. Jeff Tuel got the offense moving a little better in the second half, though it was too little, too late and the Cougars still never put the ball in the end zone. Teondray Caldwell showed his big-play potential with a 63-yard kickoff return, and WSU did clamp down in the red zone a couple of times to force BYU to settle for field goals.
WSU, BYU quotes - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Aug. 31, 2012
They're limited, but we do have some postgame quotes from both teams to pass along for you. Read on.
A rough night in Provo - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Aug. 30, 2012
Players and coaches made their way out of the visiting locker room at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Thursday night, bags of Chick-fil-A in tow, family members awaiting conversation.
ASU rolls, WSU gets ripped - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN
BYU 30, Washington State: 6: Mike Leach's debut as Washington State's coach was... awful. Really, nothing good about it. At all.
Riley Nelson threw for two touchdowns and third-string quarterback Taysom Hill added another on his first collegiate pass as Brigham Young beat Washington State 30-6 on Thursday night to spoil Mike Leach's return to coaching.
BYU WON: All the hype surrounding the return of new Washington State coach Mike Leach to college football did little to stop the tough, physical, Provo-based Cougars from delighting their home crowd with an impressive 24-point win over the Cougars from Pullman.
New Washington State coach Mike Leach says his team is closer to playing well than his players might think.
That brings us to Washington State, the Pac-12 team with perhaps the most anticipated debut under new coach Mike Leach.
Mike Leach strode off the field here Thursday night after Washington State's 30-6 season-opening defeat to Brigham Young, still willing to acknowledge a smattering of WSU fans who hailed him as walked up a tunnel.
Mike Leach’s return to the college coaching ranks was every bit as big a dud as his vaunted offense late Thursday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Jeff Tuel completed 8 of 9 passes to start the game, but No. 10 was picked off by Uona Kaveinga after being tipped late in the first quarter. BYU scored on back-to-back touchdown passes to lead 14-0.
The last time a Washington State coach had his first road here in the foothills of the Wasatch Range, Mike Price stood proudly on the field, savoring his team's 46-41 shootout victory over Brigham Young.
Mike Leach's Washington State debut was a certifiable dud, at least to anyone whose first exposure to the 2012 Cougars was Thursday night's nationally televised 30-6 loss to BYU.
An offseason of unparalleled excitement ground to a halt in less than two quarters for Washington State's football team Thursday night in Provo, UT. Or, perhaps that was the running game.
So will Washington State’s über-suffering multitudes give Mike Leach a second chance to make a first impression? Do they have a choice?
BYU came out ready to play Thursday night. The 2011 team started slow and played from behind, but this year's squad came out firing, looking to make big plays early.
The BYU Cougars are turning out to be good as gold in season openers under coach Bronco Mendenhall, even if Thursday’s performance featured a hefty portion of bad behavior that kept the visiting Washington State Cougars in the game much longer than an antsy LaVell Edwards Stadium crowd would have liked.
Since the inception of the Bronco Mendenhall era at BYU, the Cougars have been notorious for slow starts and playing from behind — especially at the beginning of the year. After two first downs on the opening drive of Thursday's season-opener against Washington State, an eerily similar feeling began to sweep over LaVell Edwards Stadium when BYU's punt team made its way out onto the field.