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Sports >  WSU football

First look: Montana State at Washington State

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 28, 2017

Montana State head coach Jeff Choate (left), a former Washington State assistant, makes his return to Pullman on Saturday for the season opener. (Patrick Record / AP)
Montana State head coach Jeff Choate (left), a former Washington State assistant, makes his return to Pullman on Saturday for the season opener. (Patrick Record / AP)

What is it? Washington State (0-0) opens its sixth season under Mike Leach against former Cougar assistant Jeff Choate and FCS Montana State (0-0).

Where is it? The home fort. WSU’s Martin Stadium.

When is it? Late, like usual. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday.

Where can I see it? Fox Sports 1 is airing the Cougars’ season opener.

Who is favored? WSU comes in as a three-touchdown favorite (22 points).

Why WSU will win: For one, the Cougars have superior athleticism and talent at nearly every position on the field. Two, the Bobcats have 22 fewer scholarships as an FCS squad and therefore should lack the depth that the Pac-12 Cougars have. Three, MSU’s top running back, Nick LeSane is suspended four games. The Bobcats’ run threat might not be what it is later in the season.

Why MSU will win: See: Portland State, 2015, and Eastern Washington, 2016. Also, the Bobcats bring back Big Sky Freshman of the Year quarterback Chris Murray. Running QBs have been the Cougars’ kryptonite over the years and few are better on their feet than Murray, who was MSU’s leading rusher last year with 860 yards and 12 touchdowns.

What happened last time? The Paul Wulff-led Cougars barely slipped past the Bobcats, 23-22, on Sept. 11, 2010.

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