Cougars Set To Open Season Against Stanford

Aug. 31, 2009

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State Cougars (0-0, 0-0) vs.
Stanford Cardinal (0-0, 0-0)
September 5 • Martin Stadium • 3 p.m. (PT)
TV: FSN Northwest
Radio: Cougar Sports Radio Network

SATURDAY'S GAME: Washington State kicks off its 2009 football season against Pacific-10 Conference rival Stanford Saturday (Sept. 5), at 3 p.m. in Martin Stadium. The meeting between the Cougars and Cardinal, the season-opener for both teams, will be televised live by FSN Northwest.

WSU-STANFORD SERIES: Dating back to the first meeting in 1936, this week's game featuring the Cougars and Cardinal will mark the 60th time the two teams have squared off. WSU trails in the all-time series 25-33-1, though the Cougars have won five of the last eight meetings. Stanford won last year's meeting (58-0), but the Cougars were victorious the last time the two teams met at Martin Stadium - 33-17 in 2007. WSU is 7-13 when playing in Pullman.

OPENING THE SEASON WITH STANFORD: The Cougars have faced Stanford to open their season on six previous occasions, going 4-2 in those games. The rivalry has spanned multiple leagues, but the two schools were league opponents in only five of the six meetings. WSU and Stanford were members of the Pacific Coast Conference in the first three meetings, members of the Athletic Association of Western Universities during the meeting in 1964 and members of the Pacific-10 Conference in the 2000 meeting. The Cougars were not in a conference during the 1960 meeting.

COUGARS IN HOME-OPENERS: WSU is 75-33-3 all-time in home openers, including games in Pullman, Spokane and Seattle. Since 1990 the Cougars boast a 13-6 record in home debuts, and are 23-11 dating back to the start of the 1975 season.

OPENING THE SEASON IN-CONFERENCE: Though it hasn't happened in nine years, facing a conference opponent to open the season isn't unheard of for Washington State. Since WSU joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1916 the team has opened its season against a conference opponent 27 times in 90 seasons, or 30 percent of the time. Going back to the days when WSU was a member of the PCC (1916-59), the Cougars have gone 8-18-1 in season-openers against conference opponents. WSU went 6-12-1 while in the PCC and 1-2 as a member of the Athletic Association of Western Universities. Since the inception of the Pacific-10 Conference in 1978, the Cougars have gone 1-4 in season-openers against league foes.

TARDY RUSHING FOR A FIRST: Redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy is looking to become the first known running back in school history to lead the Cougars in rushing in four consecutive seasons. Dating as far back as 1942, only three backs have led WSU in rushing in three consecutive seasons: Tardy (2006-08), Shaumbe Wright-Fair (1990-92) and Tim Harris (1980-82).

FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE: The match-up between WSU and Stanford marks the first game of 2009 featuring two Pac-10 schools, and is the only intra-conference game in the first two weeks of the season for the Pac-10. Thus, the winner of WSU-Stanford will hold sole possession of first place for the first two weeks of 2009, and a share of the conference lead through at least week three, when USC faces Washington.

WSU-FSN EXTEND AGREEMENT: FSN Northwest and Washington State University have announced an eight-year extension of their existing rights agreement that provides continued exposure for Cougar Athletics throughout the Northwest through the 2016-17 academic year. FSN will retain the exclusive rights to all available local events and ancillary programming. In addition to the network's commitment to deliver live events for WSU football and basketball programs as well as Olympic sports, FSN will produce a 30-minute weekly show focusing on Cougar Athletics beginning this season. Cougars All-Access will provide fans a unique look at campus life for WSU's student athletes, delivering more in-depth, personal, innovative and exciting coverage of the Cougars than ever before. FSN and the Pacific-10 Conference have national agreements in place that run through 2011 for men's football and 2012 for men's basketball.

THOMPSON TO WEAR DAD'S NUMBER: Senior tight end Tony Thompson will be wearing a familiar number this season, one that his father wore more than 30 years ago. The younger Thompson will wear No. 14 this year, a tribute to his father, Jack, who wore the number from 1975-78. Follwoing Jack's WSU playing career, the Cougars retired his No. 14, only the second football jersey to be retired (No. 7, Mel Hein) at WSU.

Cory Mackay UPDATE: Washington State University redshirt freshman defensive end Cory Mackay continues his rehabilitation following a single-car accident on his way home from WSU last May. The accident left Mackay without the use of his lower body, though he continues to show improvement. His rehabilitation includes work at Pushing Boundaries, an exercise facility in his hometown of Redmond, Wash. Mackay is currenlty taking online classes through WSU and plans to return to campus in January to begin the winter semester.

WALDEN, WASHINGTON TO ENTER WSU HALL OF GAME: Legendary coach Jim Walden and All-American running back Duke Washington headline a class of seven that will be inducted into the Washington State University Athletic Hall of Fame, Sept. 18. Walden, led the Cougars from 1978 to 1986, highlighted by the 1981 Holiday Bowl, WSU's first postseason appearacne since 1931. Washington starred for the Cougars from 1952-54, culminating with his selection to participate in the East-West Shrine Game.
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