By 750 The Game Staff
Oregon State and Washington State are battling together for survival off the field following the dissolution of the Pac-12 Conference.
Saturday, however, the two programs bring ranked football teams into Martin Stadium to battle it out on the field in a nationally televised conference opener (4:00 p.m., FOX).
WSU head coach Jake Dickert talked about the matchup with John Canzano on Tuesday’s Bald Faced Truth radio show and spoke on the importance of this showdown with the Beavers.
“I think it’s big for a lot of different reasons, most importantly because it’s the start of Pac-12 play,” Dickert said on 750 The Game. “I think everyone knows that the conference is loaded this year, and just to get one win each week in this conference is going to be tough.”
This is the first time in the series history both Oregon State (No. 14) and Washington State (No. 21) enter the matchup ranked in the AP Top-25.
“To open up with a matchup like this I think is great for our league,” Dickert said. “And obviously, the bigger conversation about us and Oregon State and rebuilding the Pac-12, I just think it’s an exciting week.”
Washington State AD Pat Chun said this week it would be an important statement made by both programs if the game garnered a big television rating. The lack of market size for both OSU and WSU played a widely-reported role in being left behind in the wave of massive conference realignment. But Dickert isn’t as focused on begging for attention as he is trying to beat a challenging opponent in the Beavers.
“I just think it’s two good teams, that have worked their tails off, are going to go out there and battle it out on this field,” he said. “Yes, we’re in it together, but it’s not going to be the friend zone. It’s two teams that want to get this win, and want to start the conference season off (with a win).
“We’re going to get an opportunity to show ourselves on a national stage, which is great. But there is so much quality football being played, and Washington State is going to show it once again.”
Listen to the full interview below.
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.