PULLMAN -- The Washington State Cougars football team will play a 12-game schedule in 2009, highlighted by five games in Pullman and a Halloween showdown against Notre Dame in San Antonio.
“I am excited about our 2009 opponents,” Jim Sterk, Washington State University director of athletics, said in a news release. “I think this is a very challenging schedule with three highly-regarded nonconference opponents to go along with the always-difficult conference slate.”
Washington State opens the schedule Sept. 5 vs. Stanford in Pullman. It marks the first time since the 2000 season that WSU has opened against a conference opponent, which also happened to be Stanford at home.
The following week, Sept. 12, the Cougars will face Hawaii in the Cougar Gridiron Classic at Qwest Field in Seattle.
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SMU visits Pullman for a Sept. 19 contest, the first meeting between the Cougars and the Mustangs. The 2009 slate marks the first time since the 1978 season the Cougars have played its first three games in front of their home fans. That season, WSU faced UNLV and Arizona State in Spokane sandwiched around a game against Idaho at Martin Stadium.
Three other conference teams will challenge the Cougars in Pullman, beginning with Arizona State on Oct. 10, which will be part of Homecoming Weekend festivities. A Nov. 14 matchup against UCLA, part of Dad’s Weekend, is followed by a Nov. 21 contest against Oregon State, which closes out the 2009 home schedule.
On the road, the Cougars will face a strong conference schedule as they face defending Pac-10 champion USC on Sept. 26, followed by Oregon on Oct. 3. Additional road contests include California on Oct. 24, Arizona on Nov. 7 and the season-finale at Washington on Nov. 28 in the Apple Cup.
The Cougars’ final nonconference contest comes vs. Notre Dame. It marks just the second meeting between the two schools, with the first coming during the 2003 season.
“We anticipated changes to the 2009 conference schedule to provide a bye week for those member institutions playing 12 straight weeks,” Sterk said. “I believe the Pac-10 office did a nice job to ensure each member had a bye and to fulfill television’s contractual requirements.”
The complete 2009 football schedule for Washington State:
Sept. 5 – Stanford at Pullman
Sept. 12 - Hawaii at Seattle
Sept. 19 – Southern Methodist at Pullman
Sept. 26 - USC at Los Angeles
Oct. 3 - Oregon at Eugene
Oct. 10 – Arizona State at Pullman (Homecoming)
Oct. 17 – Bye
Oct. 24 – California at Berkeley
Oct. 31 – Notre Dame at San Antonio
Nov. 7 – Arizona at Tucson
Nov. 14 – UCLA at Pullman
Nov. 21 – Oregon State at Pullman
Nov. 28 – Washington at Seattle