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WSU at Oklahoma St. game details

Time: 4:10 p.m. PDT Saturday


2009 records: WSU (1-11, 0-9 in Pac-10); Oklahoma State (9-4, 6-2 in Big 12)

Last week: Season opener for both

Last time: Oklahoma State defeated WSU, 39-13, in Seattle in 2008

The line: Oklahoma State by 15.5

What it means for WSU

This is a measuring stick for the Cougars. They have looked much improved on both sides of the ball during fall practice, but this game will let them know how far they have come and how far they have to go. Washington State opened the Paul Wulff era two years ago against OSU in Seattle and were in the game in the second half until a special-teams breakdown opened the floodgates. If this Cougars team is in the game in the second half, it gives it hope for the season ahead. If not, memories of the past two years may come flooding back.

What it means for OSU

With a new offensive coordinator, a new offense, a new quarterback, four new starters on the offensive line and nine new starters on defense, this is a rebuilding year for the Cowboys. Eleven players will make their first collegiate start Saturday, so coach Mike Gundy really doesn’t know what he’s going to get. If Oklahoma State struggles against the Cougars, it might not bode well for the rest of the season.

Key matchup

Oklahoma State defensive end Ugo Chinasa vs. WSU left tackle David Gonzales.

Chinasa is a beast. A quick beast. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound, fifth-year senior has made 26 consecutive starts for the Cowboys, 18 of those in victories. One of only two returning starters on defense, he led OSU in sacks a year ago, coming off the edge to record 6.5, part of 9.5 tackles for loss. He also had eight quarterback hurries, meaning he is the one guy the Cougars have to keep off quarterback Jeff Tuel. It will be the 6-6, 275-pound Gonzales’ job most of the day. The transfer from Fresno City College will be making his first major college start in a stadium packed with 60,000 OSU fans. How well he holds up may decide how well WSU moves the ball.

Vince Grippi