The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Washington State Cougars are ready to kickoff the college football season tonight at 7 pm at Century Link Field in Seattle, WA.
Both teams have had an offseason of optimism and renewed energy after losing their respective bowl games (Pinstripe for Rutgers and New Mexico for WSU). The Cougs boast an explosive passing attack with redshirt senior Connor Halliday leading the charge and eight returning receivers who caught at least 30 passes last season (an NCAA record). MLB Darryl Monroe is their defensive leader.
The Knights come in with a stingy defense and power rushing attack as their calling cards. They are led by senior Gary Nova, who has struggled in the past but finally won the starting nod a couple of weeks ago in Fall camp. Paul James and a host of running backs should ease the pressure on Nova, assuming they can continue their dominance running the football. James missed four games last season and still ended with 881 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns.
Both teams have inexperienced secondaries, which couldï¿½be the matchup of the game and definitely brings the most intrigue. Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood has said they will rotate their young corners all night long, while Mike Leach will start what amounts to a veteran, yet inexperienced secondary.
For Rutgers, this marks the first game as a member of the storied Big Ten Conference, which they join after being part of the now disbanded Big East and new American Athletic Conference. They will join the Maryland Terrapins as members of the now 14-team B1G for this 2014 season and beyond.
For the Cougs, this game will mark the final “Seattle Game”, an annual neutral-site tradition started in 2002 to help fund the program. AD Bill Moos said that the game has “run its course” and will bring all “home” games back to Pullman for the foreseeable future.
Bovada has Washington State as eight point favorites going into Friday, marking the first time the Cougs have been favorites in a major non-conference opener in some time. I would venture to say the Cougs haven’t been favorites in a game in the Big Five conferences in at least 11 years, possibly more.
Date: Thursday, Aug. 28
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. PT
Location: Seattle, Washington
TV Info: FOX Sports 1
Live Stream: Stream 1