PULLMAN – Washington State fans better block out the month of September in 2017 – every weekend will involve a trip to Martin Stadium.
The Cougars open the 2017 schedule with five consecutive home games, and will then play all but two of their remaining games on the road. The lopsided schedule means a September flurry of activity in Pullman, followed by just one game each in October and November.
“We face a unique situation this fall starting the season with five-straight home games,” said WSU athletic director Bill Moos in a news release. “The schedule is out of our control and we will make this a positive, having the opportunity to build momentum early in the year without having to put on a road jersey until Week 6.
“Ideally we would like to have our home schedule more spread out, but playing seven home games for the second-straight season gives our fans the chance to enjoy Martin Stadium at the best time of the year and get us off to a fast start,” Moos added.
There is some good news for the Cougars tucked into the schedule announcement. The Apple Cup returns to the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the Cougars will have a bye week in which to prep for their rivalry game against Washington.
The season begins with a Sept. 2 game against Montana State, an FCS opponent that plays in the Big Sky Conference. While that game may not usually be a large draw, there will be some angst among the fan base in anticipation of that game since the Cougars have lost to Big Sky opponents in their last two season openers.
The following weekend, Sept. 9, WSU will host Northwest rival Boise State. The Cougars lost to the Broncos 31-28 in Boise in 2016, their final loss before reeling off eight consecutive wins.
WSU will begin its Pac-12 schedule the following Saturday at home against Oregon State, and wrap up their nonconference schedule the following weekend at home against Nevada.
The Cougars will play their fifth consecutive home game the following weekend against USC, on Friday, Sept. 29. WSU has not played the Trojans since the 2014 season. The Cougars will play another Friday game at California on Oct. 13.
The Homecoming game will be held on Oct. 21 when the Cougars host Colorado. The final home game of the year, Nov. 4 against Stanford, will also serve as Dad’s Weekend.
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