Provo • LaVell Edwards Stadium didn't get any larger over the summer it still seats 63,470 fans but it did get noticeably better.
Fans entering the stadium Thursday night for the BYU-Washington State game quickly noticed the state-of-the-art LED video walls in the north and south end zones, as well as LED ribbon boards that stretched across the tops of both the north and south bleachers.
"Phenomenal," said one fan who arrived early to beat the traffic, Lehi's Ryan Shingleton. "Love them. Can't wait for the game."
Both boards are 35 feet high and 50 feet wide.
The definition was as crisp as at any stadium in the country, said Springville's Scott Shaw, who compared them to the high-definition screens at the new Cowboys Stadium, although not as large.
"It might be hard to peel my eyes off those and actually watch the game," he said.
About 20 minutes before the game, highlights from BYU's football past were shown on the boards, with a Batman theme, drawing huge applause.
Tushaus gets a start
After weeks of speculation, sophomore Blair Tushaus of Phoenix, got the start at center for BYU, edging out junior Houston Reynolds for the job. The other offensive line starters were left tackle Ryker Mathews, left guard Braden Hansen, right guard Brock Stringham and right tackle Braden Brown.
BYU distributed 40,000 white pom-poms for the game, and fans were urged to wear white for a white-out. Most obliged, but many had to don ponchos as it rained a half-hour before kickoff.
Word is the school will try a "black-out" later in the season. Other home opponents include Weber State, Oregon State, Utah State, Idaho and Hawaii.
Pregame rumors that the Cougars would wear all-black jerseys proved to be unfounded. The Cougars were decked out in their traditional dark blue tops and white pants; WSU's Cougars wore crimson pants and white tops, with crimson helmets.
With a 6-yard catch in the first quarter, BYU's Cody Hoffman extended his streak of receptions to 19 straight games, but he left later in the quarter with a quad contusion ... A former BYU basketball star and a player BYU fans hope becomes a Cougar attended Saturday night's game. Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette was at the stadium with his wife, former BYU cheerleader Whitney Wonnacott Fredette, and current prep phenom Jabari Parker of Chicago was also in attendance. ... Temperature at kickoff (8:25 p.m. MDT) was 72 degrees. Washington State won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. ... The BYU flag bearers were Walter Kahaiali'i, Spencer Hadley and former player Itula Mili.