Typically, a Washington State football game on Saturday is the main event in Pullman. This Saturday, there is something that has the rural college town bracing for an even greater impact: ESPN College GameDay. Still, let’s not forget why GameDay is here: The No. 25 WSU Cougars host the No. 12 Oregon Ducks in a game with huge Pac-12 North implications.
Most fans in Pullman will start their day, red-eyed and bundled up for the 6 am PT live broadcast of College GameDay from just outside Martin Stadium—broadcast on the flagship ESPN channel and online. Hours later, the lucky fans with tickets will make their way into to Martin Stadium for to watch the Ducks and Cougs do battle at 4:30 pm PT. Those that aren’t in attendance can catch the game on FOX, FOX Sports Go, or on the radio (over the air or streaming).
This may be a clash of the top two quarterbacks in the Pac-12. WSU’s Gardner Minshew II has taken the reigns of the Air Raid and has pushed the Cougar offense way beyond 2018 expectations. The mustachioed graduate transfer leads the nation in passing yards per game, and has contributed 21 total touchdowns through the air and ground against just four interceptions.
Oregon’s Justin Herbert is looking like a top-5 NFL draft pick, and has made efficient use of his 168 passing attempts with a 9.6 yards per pass average. Herbert is also no slouch with his feet, as he is always a threat to gash the defense for yardage in an RPO situation.
Both QBs will face defenses that have been far from stellar so far this season. WSU has struggled against Pac-12 offenses and lands at No. 75 in Football Outsiders’ S&P+ ranking. The Oregon defense sits at No. 91.
Points will be expected, and in abundance, for what is likely to be a close game. Make sure to set some extra recording time on the DVR.