PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University Cougars will take on the University of Idaho Vandals this Saturday in the ‘Battle of the Palouse’ college football series.
It's the battle between schools that sit eight miles apart on the Washington-Idaho border. For the Cougars, this will be Jack Dickert's first full season as acting head coach. He went 3-3 with a Sun Bowl berth as interim coach after Nick Rolovich was fired. Jason Eck takes over as Idaho’s coach. Paul Petrino was fired following a 4-7 season, the Vandals’ fifth straight losing season.
KEY MATCHUP: Washington State pass offense vs. Idaho secondary
The Cougars still run a version of the Air Raid offense and will start Cameron Ward, who transferred from FCS Incarnate Word. Ward led the FCS in touchdown passes (47) and finished third in passing yardage (4,648). Only five FCS teams allowed more touchdown passes than the Vandals (26).
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Idaho: The front seven features edge rusher Juliano Falaniko, a transfer from Southern California, and linebacker Paul Moala, a transfer from Notre Dame.
Washington State: Billy Riviere, a transfer from North Dakota, is likely to be the first tight end on the field for the Cougars in more than a decade. Former WSU coaches Mike Leach and Rolovich did not use tight ends.
FACTS & FIGURES
- Cougars have won nine straight in the series.
- Idaho was 82nd out of 123 FCS teams in turnovers with 21 last year.
- The Cougars tied for fifth in the FBS with 29 takeaways.
- Dickert and Eck are Wisconsin natives who shared time on the coaching staffs at South Dakota State and Minnesota State.
- WSU will pay a $575,000 guarantee to Idaho.
The game will take place this Saturday and will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Network. Kick off is 6:30 p.m. PT.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.