The Cougars look to rebound against the Eagles after an embarrassing Week 1 loss at BYU.
Eastern Washington (1-0); Washington State (0-1) Time: Noon at Martin Stadium
TV: Pac-12 Networks Radio: 710 ESPN The line: No line
The setup: Eastern Washington, fresh from a 20-3 victory over Idaho in its opener, tries to bag its second victory from a Palouse FBS rival. The Cougars seek their first triumph under new head coach Mike Leach.
What to expect: The Eagles displayed offensive balance against Idaho, running for 152 yards and throwing for 260, 148 of it to WR Brandon Kaufman. The Cougars will always be pass-oriented under Leach, but they’ll have to ignite a moribund run game that netted minus-5 yards in an opening loss to BYU.
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Key matchup: WSU cornerbacks vs. EWU WRs Kaufman, Greg Herd and Nicholas Edwards. The shorter Cougars struggled in coverage last week in Provo and now face a trio of receivers between 6 feet 3 and 6 feet 5.
Injuries: EWU — DOUBTFUL: LB J.C. Agen (pectoral); PROBABLE: TB Demetrius Bronson (hamstring). WSU — PROBABLE: CB Damante Horton (elbow), DE Xavier Cooper (ankle).
Notes: Oddly, WSU hasn’t played Eastern since the 1907-08 season. Leach’s Texas Tech team, however, beat the Eagles 49-24 in their 2008 opener. … WSU hasn’t lost to a team currently in the Big Sky in 65 years. … EWU is ranked No. 9 in The Sports Network’s FCS poll this week. … Eastern’s QB is SMU transfer Kyle Padron, who was 13 of 33 against Idaho. … The Eagles count on a couple of Washington transfers, DT Andru Pulu and TB Demitrius Bronson. … WSU’s Carpenter spent time working at CB this week in a switch from safety. … The Cougars are unveiling their $65 million, three-story press box and suites.
Upset brewing? It seems distinctly possible, but the Cougars, in front of a full house after being schooled last week, should be in a frame of mind to atone.
Prediction: WSU 34, EWU 24.