Washington St., Idaho Renew ‘Battle of the Palouse’ Series
Washington State opens the season against Idaho in Pullman, Washington. The Cougars hold a 71-17-3 advantage in the Battle of the Palouse and have won nine straight in the series. Each team will have first-year coaches. Jake Dickert starts his first full season as permanent coach at Washington State since replacing Nick Rolovich at midseason. Jason Eck is coaching his first game for the Vandals. The Cougars still run a version of the Air Raid and will start Cameron Ward, who transferred from FCS Incarnate Word. Ward led the FCS in touchdown passes and finished third in passing yardage.
Series record: Washington State leads 71-17-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
It's the Battle of the Palouse between schools that sit eight miles apart on the Washington-Idaho border. Jack Dickert begins his first full season as the Cougars' 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.
Washington State pass offense vs. Idaho secondary. The Cougars still run a version of the Air Raid 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).
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.