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Cougars search for 3-0 conference start

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The last time WSU won its opening three conference games was back in 2003.

NCAA Football: Washington State at UCLA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite (another) shaky start to the season, Washington State football controls its own destiny after a 2-0 start in Pac-12 play. Impressive wins over Oregon and a ranked Stanford team has Washington State sitting in second place in the Pac-12 North.

Say what you want about the wins over Oregon and Stanford - teams that are clearly not what they were 2-4 years ago, but the tide is shifting in the division and if what we’ve seen is any indication, Washington and Washington State may be the new powerhouses in the North.

Tonight, the Cougars take on a UCLA team that is playing well below its expectations. We won’t know if QB Josh Rosen will play until warmups which leaves redshirt senior Mike Fafaul as the starter, a signal-caller who has only attempted 18 completions during his entire career as a Bruin.

Even if Rosen, who is a stud in his own right, is able to play, it still gives Washington State a brief advantage as he hasn’t practiced all week and is hopefully plays like it.

Welcome to a new era of Washington State Cougar football. Last time UCLA came to Pullman was back in 2012 and WSU fell 44-36; its comeback attempt falling short after scoring 22 consecutive points to make it a closer game. Now, every ESPN Pac-12 blog pundit chose WSU to win this game. In the past, loft expectations for WSU have come with underwhelming performances in big-time games, but it seems like there’s something different about this team.

Tonight we’ll find out.

Go Cougs.

Football:

What the WSU Cougars have to do to beat UCLA | The Seattle Times
The Cougars take on UCLA in what will likely be a cold, rainy affair at Martin Stadium

UCLA vs. Washington State: How the Bruins and Cougars match up - LA Times

UCLA Football at Washington State Preview: Did the Cougars Make the Better Coaching Hire? - Bruins Nation
After five years, it looks like Washington State didn’t make such a bad decision hiring Mike Leach.