The Mike Leach Era Begins on Familiar Turf - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The Mike Leach Era Begins on Familiar Turf

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It's the week Coug fans have all been waiting for… The Mike Leach Era will officially kick off in less than two days as the ol' pirate ship sets sail for Provo, Utah to open up the 2012 season.

It's pretty ironic…with all the hype surrounding WSU's 32nd football coach, he begins the year at his alma mater. A place where he met his wife, at the old King Henry apartments to be exact. Where he graduated with honors back in 1983.

To no surprise, Leach isn't phased about returning to his old stomping grounds. It's a business trip, not pleasure. When asked about the trip he told us flat out… he's got more important things to worry about.

Indeed, I don't think anyone can argue with that. Leach has never played BYU on the football field. A win to open the season on the ROAD for the Cougs would be HUGE. In fact, WSU has not won on the road against a BCS school since 2004 when they beat New Mexico, 21-17. But…if WSU wants to win a season opener, they have the right pirate to do so. Leach, as a head Coach, is 9-1 all-time in season openers and won 7 straight.

However, that's not to say that the "air raid offense" has not struggled in openers. QB's and WR's struggle to get on the same page.

For example:

Take Texas Tech in 2000: 21-for-47, 186 yards, 24 points, but a win is a win... even if it's against New Mexico of the lowly MWC.

Offensive Coordinator, Robert Anae then went from Tech to BYU and installed the offense: 41-of-60, no INT, 3 points and a loss.

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall saw Arizona's newly-installed version of the Air Raid in 2007. UA went 28-of-38; BYU won 20-7.

The Cougars of Washington State will have their hands full as they venture into a loud LaVell Edwards Stadium. Out in the Utah Mountains, the scenery surrounding the stadium is what most college football fans will think of, but don't discount the noise BYU fans are capable of producing. With a capacity of over 63,000, the Cougars' homefield can be a scary place to play on occasion.

Mike Leach finds himself searching for his first win in two years as he makes his return. to the sidelines. As of right now, BYU is a two touchdown favorite in this matchup and they hold the all-time advantage winning two out of the three meetings.

With the odds against them, a place the "Cougs" have grown familiar with, look to go out an win that season opener. It will be a game where the entire nation will be eager to see the former Texas Tech coach, who led some of the most prolific offenses in NCAA history, back in action.

All I can say for right now is... Go Cougs.

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