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Grip on Sports: College football’s day games are even more appreciated when you are in a different time zone

Nsimba Webster (5) tries to escape a tackle from CalPoly's Jayson Lee (7) on Sept. 22 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. The Eastern Eagles gained 657 yards against CalPoly, making it the ninth highest in EWU football history. Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Nsimba Webster (5) tries to escape a tackle from CalPoly's Jayson Lee (7) on Sept. 22 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. The Eastern Eagles gained 657 yards against CalPoly, making it the ninth highest in EWU football history. Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Where were we? Oh ya, talking about time. Being on the east side of the nation makes you appreciate one thing as it relates to sports: the Pacific Time Zone. We’ll appreciate it even more this evening, I’m sure. Read on.

••••••••••

• Even if I could have watched the Dodgers’ win over the Braves last night – the hotel we are staying at doesn’t offer Fox Sports 1 in the room – there was no chance it would have been on.

Not when it begins after my bedtime.

Heck, I didn’t get all the way through the Red Sox win over the Yankees, and I love to watch the Yankees lose.

You’re probably thinking, “but isn’t your body still on West Coast time?” It should be right? Only problem is, we had a 6 a.m. PDT flight yesterday, so we were up at 3. In other words, we were already acclimated.

• Luckily, the Cougars’ game this evening at Oregon State begins at reasonable hour – at least where it’s being played. A 9 p.m. start time here may not be conducive to large numbers of folks watching east of Cincinnati, but it’s still manageable.

The Pac-12 Networks will be broadcasting the game, which means, if you are a prisoner of DirecTV, you are out of luck. Unless you can find a nice cozy bar that will broadcast the game for you. That’s our goal this evening.

Washington State’s goal? Get a win and get the heck out of Corvallis as healthy as possible. If the Cougars can reach each of those goals, then the bye week comes at a perfect time. They will be 5-1, 2-1 in Pac-12 play and they can sit back and watch as their Oct. 20 opponent, Oregon, plays what’s sure to be a physical matchup with Washington.

The scenario starts with the Beavers tonight.

• In other Inland Northwest football action today, there are three interesting matchups.

Eastern and its suddenly resurgent defense should have little trouble with Southern Utah, which has been beat up as well as getting beat in every game. Idaho plays intrastate rival Idaho State, which isn’t the pushover it’s been the past few years. And Whitworth tries to build off its Linfield win with a victory at George Fox. It’s the Pirates’ first road game.

Larry Weir’s Press Box pod from yesterday previews all the games in the area.

•••

WSU: Oregon State is never an easy place to win as a head football coach. But it’s especially tough this season in Jonathan Smith’s first year in charge. As Theo Lawson writes, Mike Leach understands. … Who will win? Theo has that pick as well. He also tells you how the Cougars will do it (oops, should have labeled that a “spoiler alert”). … From our travel day, we pass along Theo’s story on the Pac-12 resurgent rushing games. … The volleyball team swept Arizona State on the road. … From the Willamette Valley, The Oregonian’s Nick Daschel has this long piece comparing the WSU football rebuild to what Oregon State is going through these days. … The Times has a preview. … If you are a bettor, this news might be of interest.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Washington is at the Rose Bowl for the first time in years. And, with UCLA the home team, a win is nearly guaranteed. … Stanford will try to turn around after a loss at Notre Dame. Utah is trying to turn around its season. … Arizona State’s running game got going last week. But Colorado offers a stiffer challenge. … It’s been a long time since California has won on the road. Arizona will try to keep that streak going. … Oregon has a bye in football, but the basketball program has been playing defense against accusations made in a New York courtroom.

Gonzaga: Today is the annual Kraziness in the Kennel. You going? If so, you might want to check up on Jim Meehan’s story. It takes you through the new security procedures. … A couple of recruits will be in attendance, one who is attending GU for sure, another who the Zags would really like to see make the same choice. Jim has more in this piece.

EWU: The Eagles lost a couple games last year they thought they should have won. One was in Cedar City. Ryan Collingwood previews today’s game with Southern Utah and the revenge factor. … Ryan also has his picks for today’s conference games. … Around the Big Sky, the Thunderbirds will feature a new quarterback against Eastern. … It’s Homecoming in Missoula and Montana has picked the perfect foe: Portland State. … UC Davis and Northern Colorado should pass the ball around a bit. … Weber State tries to keep its high national ranking in place against Northern Arizona.

Idaho: The Vandals are in Pocatello for the first time in years today. And they face a team in Idaho State that is no longer the Big Sky’s doormat. Peter Harriman has a preview of the game as well as this feature from Thursday. … The Bengals are ready for today’s showdown.

Whitworth: Dan Thompson has a preview of the matchup with George Fox. … Larry Weir talked with Bud Nameck earlier this week about Whitworth football.

Chiefs: Medicine Hat came to the Arena last night and escaped with a 3-2 shootout win over the Chiefs. Kevin Dudley has the game story and Jesse Tinsley has a photo report.

Preps: There was basically a loser-out Greater Spokane League football game last night. It was at Gonzaga Prep and the Bullpups earned a 35-6 victory over Central Valley. Dave Nichols was there and he has this game story. … Mt. Spokane won its rivalry matchup with Mead, rallying for a 13-10 victory at Albi. Ryan has that story. … We can also offer a roundup of other prep football action. … Dave and Larry Weir talked on a Press Box pod this week.

Seahawks: The biggest question heading into Sunday’s game with the Rams? That would be Frank Clark’s health. He says he is going to play. … Earl Thomas is not alone. … How would you grade the Hawks’ season? … I don’t believe this.

Mariners: The M’s poor chemistry may have been part of the formula for the late-season swoon.

•••       

• There was NBA basketball in Seattle last night. It may not have been the Sonics, but it was close. … We will have our TV Take after the Cougar game tonight. That is if we can see it. Until later …

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