Washington State will unveil a new-look Martin Stadium on Saturday when the Cougars host the Portland State Vikings. The game was quickly passed over as a guaranteed win during the offseason and while the Cougars remain a heavy favorite -- even if there aren't odds -- the 0-2 start may have created a tiny shred of doubt. If all goes well, the Cougars will eliminate that doubt early and open the new Martin Stadium in style with a convincing win.
Martin Stadium won't be the only thing that looks a little different. A few new players, including a couple freshman in the secondary might make their debuts on Saturday with WSU revamping the depth chart. One player we won't see for sure is safety Teondray Caldwell who left the team earlier this week. Youth will be on display once again as the learning process continues. Part of that learning process is learning to win, an area they still have work to do in as Andrew wrote earlier this week:
Right now we have a group of young men with a lot of talent and potential. They simply haven't found a way to make it happen when it matters most. Maybe there is a residual softness that remains in the program from years past where showing up and not being completely embarrassed was good enough. Maybe there is a sense of entitlement or at least an assumption that putting time in the weight room or film room automatically produces results on the field. We can only speculate what goes through the minds of these players when it comes down to the crunch and they make incredibly dumb mistakes.
The good news for WSU? The Cougars have not lost this year playing on Saturday, playing in Pullman or playing on the Pac-12 Network. The bad thing for WSU? Saturday's game will be a first for all three of those things this season. With the Cougars playing at home, they could have a host of prospects in town, but that won't be the case. Instead, according to Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com, WSU won't have any visits this week, but will have five players visiting next week.
It will be another late kickoff for those of you on the east coast, but not quite as bad. The game is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. J.B. Long will handle the play-by-play duties while Mike Pawlawski serves as the color analyst. If that name sounds familiar, it Pawlawski was part of the bear hunt Mike Leach went on a few years ago. That means we might get an interesting story or two and the likelihood we see this photo seems high.
Here's the bear I got the other day. Hunt will be broadcast on the Outdoor Channel (not sure when). Measured 7'4". pic.twitter.com/n6PdYYxR— Mike Leach (@Coach_Leach) May 20, 2012
We already know some things about WSU's football team, we're about to find out a few more.
Game time, TV Schedule: 5 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Network
Online stream: Pac-12 Network Live
Radio feed: TuneIn (also available as an app on iTunes and Google Play)
Live stats: Gametracker