Good morning, Coug fans. Your Washington State Cougars are 2-0, ranked no. 23 in the nation, and home again for a date with FCS Northern Colorado. If your email inbox is like mine, you probably deciphered that WSU is trying to sell a bunch of tickets before kickoff and there should be plenty of good seats available.
Before we touch on the football, let’s get to know the University of Northern Colorado, shall we?
Location: Greeley, Colo.
Best Name of a Former President: Zachariah Xenophon Snyder (1891 - 1915)
Joined Division One: 2006
Mascot Before “Bears”: “The Teachers,” if you believe Wikipedia
Notable Alumni: Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Ed Werder, Vincent Jackson
Nothing too exciting. It’s a school for aspiring teachers, which is noble.
As for the football team....yikes. The Bears were picked 10th in both the Big Sky coaches and media poll. The team is 0-2 with losses to Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word. Ed Lamb is the head coach in his first season after taking over for Ed McCaffrey, who went 6-16 in two seasons.
One familiar name you may recognize on the roster is former Next Savior Named Jacob, Jacob Sirmon, formerly of the Washington Huskies and Central Michigan. The big Bothell, Wash. native completed 52.5% of his passes through his first two games with one TD and one interception. We’ll see if he’s under center today. Maybe this is his Apple Cup?!?!
As for the Cougs, they’re coming off a signature win over previously ranked Wisconsin, the second year in a row the Cougs knocked the Badgers from the rankings. And at home no less. What a weekend in Pullman.
Anyway, Sirmon, or whoever is under center, should be running for his life given the veteran edge rushers WSU has—Ron Stone Jr. and Brennan Jackson. And if Northern Colorado wants to test the secondary, Jaden Hicks is there to stop them or crush a guy.
This game should be a blowout, and if the backups aren’t in by the fourth quarter, something has gone terribly wrong. At the risk of being Old Takes Exposed, WSU should have at least 21 points in the first quarter. This is one of those games where you want to get good reps in and get a rhythm going, but don’t do too much that risks injury. I don’t believe in curses but hopefully I didn’t just cast one just now.
It’s not the marquee matchup we saw last week, which is why you’ll need Pac-12 Washington to watch this game on TV. Matt Chazanow, normally the radio play-by-play guy, is moving to the TV side for the Pac-12 Network. He’ll be paired with former Coug and my former group project compadre, Michael Bumpus.
Kickoff is at 2 p.m., which is music to the ears of some old school, Beasley lot Cougs.