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.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Cougs newsletter
Get the latest Cougs headlines delivered to your inbox as they happen.