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Examining WSU’s history playing on Friday

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Friday isn’t the ideal night for college football, but the Cougs have done it plenty of times over the past century.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

As someone who works a later shift at work, I won’t be able to give my full attention to Friday night’s showdown between USC and Washington State. (Note: I also won’t be able to give my full attention to my job, but don’t tell my boss.)

As I was sitting around complaining about the fact that this game won’t be played in a normal Saturday time slot, I got to wondering: How often have the Cougs played on a Friday?

The answer is: probably more often then you realize.

With the help of Sports-Reference.com, I went through WSU football schedules all the way back to 1917, when the database comes to end. The list of games is linked here.

In the end, here are how the numbers break down:

  • 10-19-1 all-time on Friday
  • 9-16-1 all-time on Friday excluding season openers
  • 1-11 against current Pac-12 competition
  • 3-2-1 against Idaho
  • 4-6 since 2004
  • 0-5 in last five Friday games
  • 2-5 under Mike Leach
  • 0-4 against USC

The numbers aren’t great, but keep in mind, this information is really just for entertainment purposes only. The only reason I put this together was because I was curious and figured other people would be too. The team’s Christmas Day 1925 victory over the “Hawaii All-Stars” or 28-26 loss to Denver in 1960 doesn’t really mean much to the 2017 Cougs and their matchup with USC.

In fact, these Cougars might be a different breed from all the rest. They don’t seem bothered by the Friday night lights at all. “Short weeks are the best weeks because the games come fast,” Jamal Morrow told the press Monday. “I feel like both sides [of the ball] are clicking and we’re just ready to go out there and do our thing.”

In fact, this time around, things might be a bit tougher on USC. The Trojans are coming off of a road win at Cal on Saturday, but now they have to turn around and prepare for another road trip to Pullman Friday. The history doesn’t help, but the back-to-back road trip might work in WSU’s favor Friday.

And, the Cougs might want to take notes on how USC does it, because WSU will have to turn around for a Saturday-Friday road back-to-back of their own against Oregon and Cal starting next week.

Football

Time not on Washington State’s side as Cougars prepare for USC on short week | The Spokesman-Review
The Cougars are working with an abbreviated clock this week as they prepare for a visit from the nation’s fifth-best football team.

WSU football braces for tough test | Washington State University Sports | yakimaherald.com
The Air Raid offense gets most of the attention at No. 16 Washington State but the Cougars’ defense is also pretty good.

WSU-Oregon kickoff time still not determined | Washington State University | union-bulletin.com
Washington State and Oregon will kick off in the evening, but it’s likely an official start time for the Oct. 7 won’t be set until this weekend.

Breaking down Week 5 of the 2017 college football schedule
Keep an eye on Cougar sophomore safety Jalen Thompson (#34), he’s already scored three interceptions, No. 2 in the nation.