ASU rolls, WSU gets ripped
August, 31, 2012
By Ted Miller | ESPN.com
Arizona State dominated Northern Arizona, which shouldn't be shocking, but the way BYU dominated Washington State in coach Mike Leach's debut was a bit surprising.
BYU 30, Washington State 6: Leach's first game as Washington State's coach was ... awful. Really, nothing good about it. At all.
Well, kicker Andrew Furney made 47- and 41-yard field goals.
The Cougars, expected to be strong on offense and weak on defense, were weak on both, but slightly better on defense. They were outgained 426 yards to 224. They didn't score a touchdown.
The Cougars rushed for negative-5 yards. So that was bad. Quarterback Jeff Tuel completed 30 of 45 passes for 229 yards -- 5.1 per attempt -- and tossed a pair of interceptions. It will be interesting to see if Leach takes a serious look at backup Connor Halliday.
Making a blowout game even worse were 18 penalites -- 10 for 112 yards against BYU -- called by the Pac-12 officiating crew. About a third appeared to be questionable to bad calls.
While the performance was poor, it's not necessarily time for Cougs fans to panic. BYU was a good team playing at home. The Cougars play Eastern Washington next week, and then face UNLV and Colorado. A 3-1 start is still plausible.
But this was not the start Washington State fans envisioned. It was a stinker. Pure and simple.
Arizona State 63, Northern Arizona 6: While Northern Arizona is a mediocre FCS team, Arizona State looked like a well-oiled machine in coach Todd Graham's debut.
The Sun Devils outgained the Lumberjacks 554 yards to 237, including an 305-88 advantage in rushing yards. Even better news: Just one ASU turnover and four penalties.
Making his first start, quarterback Taylor Kelly completed 15 of 19 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown. Backup Michael Eubank rushed seven times for 36 yards and a score.
It was an impressive effort on both sides of the ball, but a better measure of the Sun Devils will come over the next two weekends: Illinois comes to town Sept. 8, followed by a visit to Missouri -- now an SEC team! -- the next Saturday.