Feb. 25, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. - Four attractive Pacific-10 Conference games in Pullman, the annual Palouse Border Battle with Idaho and an intersectional match-up in Seattle between Washington State University and the Grambling State University Tigers highlight WSU's 2005 football schedule, announced Friday by athletic director Jim Sterk and head football coach Bill Doba.
The latest addition to the 2005 Cougar schedule is the game against Grambling Sept. 17. The Cougars will play Grambling at Qwest Field, the fourth straight year WSU has played in the Seattle Seahawks' home stadium. In three previous Qwest Field appearances WSU has averaged over 56,600 fans.
Making the trip from Grambling, La., with the football team will be the school's internationally known Tiger Marching Band.
"I am very excited about bringing Grambling State to Seattle," Sterk said in making the initial announcement at Qwest Field Friday afternoon. "While living in New Orleans for four years I witnessed the excitement and crowds that would watch not only the Bayou Classic, but also fill up the Superdome to see the bands play the night before the football game. I felt it would be special to bring them to Seattle. It is a show like you have never seen before."
"We have been in discussions with Grambling off and on for the past few years and I am glad it all came together," added Sterk. "With the strength of the Cougar support in the Seattle area and the attention Grambling and its band will bring, my advice is to get your tickets early. I would be surprised if Qwest Field is not sold out Sept. 17."
The Cougars will open the 2005 football season Thursday evening, Sept. 1, hosting the Idaho Vandals at Martin Stadium. "Traditionally opening Labor Day Weekend in Pullman is not conducive to drawing a large crowd, but we found in 2001 a Thursday night game before the long weekend was appealing to many of our fans," noted Sterk. The Cougars drew over 31,000 for the 2001 opener against Idaho.
"Grambling over the years has produced over 200 NFL players and I assure you that number gets the attention of our football staff," commented Doba. "Fans in the Northwest don't see Grambling but as coaches we are aware of how dangerous they will be next fall. Many of our fans will be thinking about the great band show at halftime, but that will be far from the minds of our staff and team. Any team that can produce professional hall of fame players like Willie Brown, Buck Buchanan, Charlie Joiner and Willie Davis, not to mention Doug Williams and Everson Walls, has the ability to be pretty good."
Journeying to Pullman this year will be Pacific-10 Conference foes Stanford Oct. 8, UCLA Oct. 15, Arizona State Nov. 5 and Oregon Nov. 12. The Cougar-Bruin match-up will be WSU's Homecoming game, while the battle with ASU will be Dads' Day on the Pullman campus.
WSU's opening road game will be Sept. 9 (Friday night) at Nevada. Other road games for the Cougars will be at Oregon State Oct. 1, at California Oct. 22, at USC Oct. 29 and the annual Apple Cup battle at Washington Nov. 19. California returns to WSU's schedule for the first time since the 2002 season, while WSU does not play Arizona this season.
"As always this year's schedule has some real interesting match-ups in the Pac-10," said Doba. "Nevada will be a tough game at Reno and Cougar fans can remember a couple of recent games with Idaho, so those teams will have our undivided attention. Then there are eight tough Pac-10 opponents to face. Overall this will be a challenging schedule for the Cougars, but I believe we will be up to the challenge."
WSU's complete 2005 football schedule includes: Sept. 1 Idaho at Pullman, Sept. 9 Nevada at Reno, Sept. 17 Grambling at Seattle, Oct. 1 Oregon State at Corvallis, Oct. 8 Stanford at Pullman, Oct. 15 UCLA at Pullman, Oct. 22 California at Berkeley, Oct. 29 USC at Los Angeles, Nov. 5 Arizona State at Pullman, Nov. 12 Oregon at Pullman, Nov. 19 Washington at Seattle.
The Cougars have not announced any game times for the 2005 season, pending ABC and FSN television selections in the fall.
2005 Washington State Football Schedule
Sept. 1 Idaho
Sept. 9 at Nevada
Sept. 17 Grambling State (at Seattle/Future Cougar/Band Day)
Oct. 1 at Oregon State
Oct. 8 Stanford
Oct. 15 UCLA (Homecoming)
Oct. 22 at California
Oct. 29 at USC
Nov. 5 Arizona State (Dad's Day)
Nov. 12 Oregon (Armed Forces Day
Nov. 19 at Washington