What is it? New Mexico State (0-0) travels to Washington State (0-0) to open the 2019 college football season.
Where is it? Martin Stadium in Pullman.
When is it? Kickoff is 7 p.m. Saturday.
Where can I watch it? Pac-12 Networks will carry Saturday’s broadcast.
Who is favored? Washington State opened as 31.5-point favorite.
How did they fare last season? The Aggies, who play as an FBS independent, followed their third bowl appearance in program history with a disappointing 3-9 season. NMSU defeated just one FBS school, UTEP. The Cougars, led by record-setting quarterback Gardner Minshew, finished with 11 wins – the most in a single season – and only two losses.
Why NMSU will win: In games like these, where the Power Five school has just about every physical advantage, the underdog has to control the things it can control. If the Aggies can win the turnover column, own time of possession and draw fewer penalties, surely they’ll live with whatever result they take – and, just possibly, make this one more interesting than it should be.
Why WSU will win: After going just 3-3 in nonconference games during the 2015 and ’16 seasons, the Cougars solved their early-season woes, leaving no trace of doubt the following two seasons with a record of 6-0. And the Cougars outscored those six opponents – all Mountain West or Big Sky schools – by a wide margin of 254-94. NMSU’s defense was one of the worst at the FBS level last season, and that group could backslide even more with the loss of former all-conference linebacker Terrill Hanks, now a member of the Miami Dolphins.
What happened last time? Saturday’s season opener is the first-ever meeting between the Aggies and Cougars.
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