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Washington State, Nick Rolovich set to open Pac-12 play with riveting matchup at Oregon State

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 16, 2020

PULLMAN – The game that determined the Pac-12 North’s final bowl participant will be the one that opens up the 2020 Pac-12 Conference season for Washington State.

WSU’s league opener at Oregon State, on Sept. 26 in Corvallis, should be compelling, and not only because the 2019 matchup between the Cougars and the Beavers featured two five-win teams scrapping for postseason eligibility.

New WSU head coach Nick Rolovich has a fair amount of history with Oregon State, which employs three of his former assistant coaches at Hawaii, and is one of the two Pac-12 teams his Rainbow Warriors managed to defeat in 2019.

Oregon State is also the school Rolovich accused of tampering two years ago, when the coach shared photos of recruiting packets the Beavers had sent to Hawaii football players. Jonathan Smith and OSU admitted to the mistake and received a secondary NCAA violation.

Mike Leach’s Cougars erased an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Beavers in dramatic fashion, 54-53 at Martin Stadium, clinching bowl eligibility for the fifth straight season.

The Cougars play five home games during the Pac-12 season and four on the road. They play on Friday just once in 2020, hosting Washington in the Apple Cup on Nov. 27.

Times and television networks for each of the 12 games are still to be determined.

Following the conference opener at Reser Stadium, the Cougars return home for two games, hosting California (Oct. 3) and defending Pac-12 South champion Utah (Oct. 10).

WSU is back on the road to play Stanford on Oct. 17 before a bye the following week.

The back half of the Pac-12 season sees the Cougars hosting Arizona State on Oct. 31, traveling to play at Colorado (Nov. 7) and UCLA (Nov. 14), and hosting Oregon on Nov. 21 before closing with the Apple Cup.

In nonconference play, WSU travels to Logan to play Utah State (Sept. 5) before hosting Houston (Sept. 12) and Idaho (Sept. 19).

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