GAME: Eastern Washington (1-0, 1-0 Big Sky) at Washington State (0-1, 0-0 Pac-12). WHEN: Saturday, 12 p.m. PT, Martin Stadium, Pullman. MEETING: 3rd (WSU leads 2-0). COACHES: Beau Baldwin, Eastern Washington; Mike Leach, WSU. RANKINGS: WSU unranked; EWU 15th FCS Coaches Poll. LINE: No line. TV: Pac-12 Networks. RADIO: ESPN 710 and IMG College Sports Network.
Washington State and Eastern Washington, just 60 miles apart, haven’t engaged each other in a football game in more than 100 years — 104, in fact. So it’s unlikely EWU will be looking for payback for the 73-0 beating WSU put on the Eagles in 1908, when Teddy Roosevelt occupied the White House. What is likely is that WSU will have completed an attitude adjustment by kickoff.
For one thing, head coach Mike Leach, embarrassed in Provo last week, insists on it. After the Cougars moped around on the sidelines during a 30-6, season-opening loss at Brigham Young last Saturday, Leach ranted at his team for its “poor body language” during the nationally televised loss.
“You are only going to get so many reps on the football field in your life and you better make the most of them,” Leach said this week as he prepared the Cougars. “Last week, we spent more time putting on frustration demonstrations than we did playing football. That’s the problem. I won’t hesitate to send some guy to the locker room if he’s sitting on the sideline pouting.”
A day after the loss, Leach had his Cougars back at practice and told his players, “You better do something other than pout on the sideline.” Then he told the media, “Obviously, that’s something that we as coaches addressed.”
Asked what he will change for Eastern, Leach blurted, “We aren’t going to change anything. We just need to play better. We need to change our attitude and we need to play fast. We just need emphasis on effort and focus.”
While the Cougars haven’t met the Eagles in a century, Leach defeated EWU in 2008 when he coached at Texas Tech.
“They (Eastern) throw the ball well and are good at getting it to a lot of different people,” he said. “It’s not an accident that they have had success. They do a lot of things right and have for a long time.”
Leach, who spent a successful decade at Texas Tech, will be making his home debut as head coach of the Cougars, who will be playing in a renovated Martin Stadium facility ($80 million in upgrades) that will showcase a new press box, club seats, loge boxes, luxury seats and a club room.
“I can’t wait to play a game in it,” said junior safety Deone Bucannon. “We’re going to play our tails off. Losing took a toll on us. We’re a better team than we showed at BYU.”
“We’re 0-1. It’s not the end of the world and it’s not catastrophic,” said quarterback Jeff Tuel, who threw for 229 yards but was sacked three times by BYU. “I just need to play better and get to my reads quicker.”
The biggest test WSU will face Saturday is Eastern quarterback Kyle Padron, who transferred to EWU after beginning his college career at Southern Methodist, where he threw for 5,902 yards and 41 touchdowns in 24 games, 21 as a starter.
“He’s good,” said Leach. “He runs around a lot.”
Tuel, who this week sits alone at the top of the quarterback depth chart — heading into the BYU game, Tuel and Connor Halliday were listed as possible starters — gave EWU, which defeated Idaho 20-3 in its season opener, plenty of respect.
“You don’t go into any game thinking it’s in the bag,” he said. “We can’t overlook these guys. They’re a good football team.”
RIVALRY: The Cougars won the previous two games, 46-0 in 1907 and 73-0 in 1908. Both games were played in Pullman. WSU head coach Mike Leach is 1-0 against the Eagles, having defeated them 49-24 while at Texas Tech in 2008.
WSU HEAD COACH: Mike Leach (84-43, 0-1 WSU): Hired Nov. 30, 2011 to replace Paul Wulff, who went 9-40 in four seasons, Leach in 10 seasons at Texas Tech (2000-09) earned 10 bowl bids. The Susanville, CA., native, who was raised in Cody, WY., recorded a school-record 84 victories. Leach’s offenses led the nation in passing six times and three times accumulated the most total yards. In 2009, the Red Raiders finished second in passing offense and fourth in total offense, both marks tops among BCS conference schools. Prior to Texas Tech, Leach spent one season as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma (1999). That year, the Sooners set six Big 12 and 17 school records.
WSU STATS / NOTES
- SEASON SUMMARY: Record: 0-1. Home: 0-0. Road: 0-1. Neutral: 0-0. Vs. Pac-12: 0-0. Vs. Pac-12 North: 0-0. Vs. Pac-12 South: 0-0. Vs. Non-Conference: 0-1.
- Points For: 6 (6.0). Rushing Yards Per Game: -5. Passing Yards Per Game: 229. Total Offense Per Game: 224.
- Points Against: 30 (30.0). Opp. Rushing Yards Per Game: 123. Opp. Passing Yards Per Game: 303. Total Defense Per Game: 426.
- Washington State is 77-34-3 all-time in home openers, including games in Pullman, Spokane and Seattle. Since 1990, the Cougars are 15-7 in home debuts and 25-12 dating to 1975.
- Since the start of the 2001 season, WSU is 24-9 against unranked nonconference opponents. The Cougars own wins over Idaho (7), Montana State (3 times), Nevada (2), New Mexico (2), Boise State, Purdue, Colorado, Grambling State, Baylor, Portland State, SMU, Idaho State and UNLV.
- Cougars are 43-2 games against teams in the Big Sky Conference, including 19 shutouts, and has not lost to a team in the Big Sky in more than 60 years. The Cougars have won 15 straight meetings against Big Sky schools since a 13-12 road loss to Montana in 1947.
- Cougars are 27-0 when playing a Big Sky school in Pullman. The last meeting came last season when WSU defeated Idaho State, 64-21.
- Since the formation of the Pacific-10 Conference in 1978, the Cougars have won all 16 games played against Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) schools.
- Cougars won their 2011 home opener, defeating Idaho State 64-21.
- Junior WR Marquess Wilson enters the week as the Pac-12’s active career leader in receiving yards with 2,455 (41st in Pac-12 history). His 1,388 receiving yards in 2011 was the 12th most in Pac-12 history.
- QB Jeff Tuel is eighth on WSU’s career list with 349 completions and 10th in career passing yards with 4,074.
- WSU will recognize the 40th anniversary of the 1972 football team at the game Saturday. That edition of the Cougars went 7-4 with wins over Kansas, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Oregon State, No. 20 Stanford and No. 20 Washington.
WSU TWO DEEPS
X: MARQUESS WILSON, Dominique Williams; Y: ANDREI LINTZ, Gino Simone; LT: JOHN FULLINGTON, Gunnar Eklund; LG: WADE JACOBSON, Matt Goetz; C: ELLIOT BOSCH, Zach Brevick; RG: JAKE RODGERS, Matt Goetz; RT: DAN SPITZ, Jake Rodgers; H: RICKEY GALVIN, Bobby Ratliff; Z: GABE MARKS, Isiah Myers; QB: JEFF TUEL, Connor Halliday.
T: XAVIER COOPER, Steven Hoffart; NT: IOANE GUATA, Kalafitoni Pole; E: ADAM COERPER, Matthew Bock; BUCK: TRAVIS LONG, Logan Mayes; SAM: ERIC OERTEL, Cyrus Coen; MIKE: DARRYL MONROE, Jared Byers; WILL: CHESTER SU’A, Justin Sagote; CB: NOLAN WASHINGTON, Daniel Simmons; SS: DEONE BUCANNON, Anthony Carpenter; FS: TAYLOR TALIULU, Tyree Toomer; CB: DAMANTE HORTON, Tracy Clark.
PK: ANDREW FURNEY, Michael Bowlin. P: MICHAEL BOWLIN, Andrew Furney. KR: LEON BROOKS, Theron West. PR: LEON BROOKS, Theron West. LS: ALEX DEN BLEYKER. HLD: DAVID GILBERTSON.
COUGARS OFFENSIVE LEADERS
COUGARS DEFENSIVE LEADERS (2011)
|Tackles||Bucannon 12, Long 9, Byers 9, Taliulu 9|
|Passes Defensed||Taliulu 2, Su’a 2, Bucannon 1, Washington 1|
EASTERN WASHINGTON: Eastern opened with a 20-3 victory over the University of Idaho as quarterback Kyle Padron threw for 260 yards and a touchdown in his Eastern debut, at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, ID. . . . Eastern’s defense was the story. The Eagles allowed just 237 yards, 66 of that coming on a defensive breakdown in the first quarter . . . Win over the NCAA Football Bowl Division foe broke a 10-game losing streak against FBS opponents . . . Three Eagles received honors for their performances against Idaho. LB Ronnie Harmon and PK Jimmy Pavel were named Big Sky Conference players of the week with WR Brandon Kaufman also named National Wide Receiver Performer of the Week in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision by College Football Performance awards.
EASTERN WASHINGTON HEAD COACH: Beau Baldwin (33-16): In his 19th season as a coach, including five as head coach at Eastern Washington, Baldwin guided the Eagles to the 2010 NCAA Division I championship. Before coming to EWU, Baldwin spent nine seasons at Central Washington where he served as offensive coordinator at quarterbacks coach. A 1996 graduate of Central Washington, Baldwins entire 22-year career as a player and coach has been spent at either CWU or EWU. His record in 18 seasons as a collegiate coach is 124-79-1 (.613) with a 71-37 league mark (.654).
COMING UP: WSU will travel to Nevada to take on UNLV Sept. 14. The Cougars play their first Pac-12 game Sept. 22 vs. Colorado.
Washington State 2012 Schedule/Results
|Date||Opponent||WSU Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|9/8/12||vs. E. Wash||—||—||—||—||—|