The Cougar football team is not in action this Saturday, Nov. 9, but on the same day in 1895, the team, not yet known as the Cougars (that wouldn't happen until 1919) played the program's first football game in Pullman.
In 1963, the Washington State University campus newspaper, The Daily Evergreen, mentioned the 1895 game in a November edition, stating gate receipts were $69.45 and nearly 500 attended the game.
Founded five years earlier, the college opened its doors to students in 1892 and played its first football game in 1894, a 10-0 win vs. Idaho across the border at Moscow.
A year later the two team met once again, this time in Pullman. The result was the same, as Washington Agricultural College defeated Idaho 10-4, or as that day's edition of the Pullman Herald described: "The football game today between Pullman and Moscow resulted in a score of 4 to 10 in favor of the Pullman boys."
In addition to describing the teams by city rather than college, The Pullman Herald also ran this noteworthy tidbit in that same day's edition:
"It is the belief of President Bryan that the enrollment at the college will reach 300 in another term. The growth of the institution is steady and permanent, and is a present testimonial of the popularity of the management."
Relecting back nearly 120 years later and an enrollment of nearly 25,000 worldwide, describing the growth as steady and permanent was certainly accurate.
By Jason Krump
Note: Thank you to Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections for the photo of the 1895 Football team. An online, uncropped, version can be viewed HERE
President Bryan is Enoch A. Bryan, who served as President from 1893 to 1915.