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Washington State vs. Wisconsin: Hype! (Game Thread)

Washington State v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

In 1996, there was a documentary called Hype! that chronicled the popularity of grunge music, particularly in the Seattle area. I thought of that this week as I saw more and more coverage of today’s matchup between our Washington State Cougars and the no. 19 Wisconsin Badgers. It’s the first non-conference Power 5 team to come to Pullman since Illinois in 1998, so I get the hype.

WSU’s also coming off a crushing of Colorado State and Wisconsin is looking for revenge after losing to WSU at home last year. The Cougs will honor Mike Leach, Martin Stadium is sold out, and Gardner Minshew voiced a hype video this week.

Lots of hype! Heck, even KXLY in Spokane aired a preview special last night, complete with a comparison of cheeses. What are we, Gonzaga?

Anyway, the hype is real, and much deserved. You can catch the game on ABC at 4:30 p.m. PT.

Wisconsin comes in a much different team than last year. WSU is, too. The offense seems much improved, at least the Air Raid version. That run game needs to figure things out, and quick.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, seemed to hit the coaching jackpot when it hired Luke Fickell this offseason. Fickell and his Badgers did what they needed to do last week in beating Buffalo 38-17.

These Badgers also aren’t your father’s Badgers. As in, they’ll throw the ball much more, thanks to Phil Longo’s Air Raid style offense. The days of the ground-and-pound Badgers offense is no more, so WSU’s defenders will need to make plays.

Wisconsin does, however, boast a stable of running backs that will keep the WSU defense honest. Expect to see a lot of Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi (what a great name).

Pullman is rocking this weekend, and it got off to a fantastic start with Jen Greeny’s squad taking down no. 8 BYU. There’s a strong CougCenter contingent in town today, so if you see one of them passed out with a piece of pizza sticking out of their mouth, say hi!

Go Cougs.