More scheduling news came out of Pullman on Wednesday with WSU announcing it will play Eastern Washington at Martin Stadium in 2018. The addition of the game against the Eagles rounds out the 2018 non-conference schedule. The Cougs already have a home date scheduled with San Jose State and a road game with Wyoming.
EWU is also scheduled to play at Martin Stadium in the 2016 season opener on September 3. The Eagles nearly knocked off the Cougs in their last appearance at Martin Stadium in Mike Leach's home debut during the 2012 season. The Cougars were able to narrowly escape with a 24-20 victory when a last minute pass by Bo Levi Mitchell was batted down in the end zone.
The 2018 meeting between WSU and the Eagles will be just the fifth meeting between the two schools, despite the close proximity. The Cougars and Eagles first played in 1907 with WSU coming away with a 46-0 victory. The teams played again the following season with the Cougars stomping the Eagles 73-0. That lopsided victory was apparently enough to do away with the matchup until it was rekindled in 2012. Now with the 2016 and 2018 matchups on the schedule, the teams will play three times in seven years.
In 2013, EWU was able to pull out an impressive upset 49-46 victory against No. 25 Oregon State in the opening week of the season. The Beavers went on to rattle off six consecutive victories following the loss on their way to an Aloha Bowl victory. The Eagles would eventually have their season ended in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs with a 35-31 loss to Towson.
EWU has established itself as a perennial championship contender at the FCS level. As a lower division opponent, fans typically hope that WSU will be able to "take care of business." However, EWU's track record has shown that they cannot being taken for granted. Hopefully, history will serve the Cougs well in both 2016 and now 2018.