By 750 The Game Staff
Saturday, Washington State’s band will play the fight song — of their opponent.
The No. 21 Washington State Cougars host No. 14 Oregon State at 4:00 p.m. in a game nationally televised on FOX. Left behind by major media outlets and their member institutions starting next year, the Cougs and Beavs have formed a strong partnership as they navigate an uncertain future.
“It was a unique week as we think about ways to elevate this game,” WSU athletic director Pat Chun said in a join zoom press conference with WSU president Kirk Schulz, OSU president Jayathi Murthy and OSU athletic director Scott Barnes. “Although we’re asking our Coug fans to make it the toughest, loudest environment, we’re also going to encourage them, 18 minutes before kickoff, our band is going to play the Oregon State fight song, and we’re going to ask as a show of respect, to applaud that fight song, because the two universities are in a fight together.
“I know our two mascots are going to interact more than they’ve ever interacted, as symbolic of these two schools going down this road together.”
This is the first-ever meeting of the two programs while each are ranked in the AP Top-25. The mutual respect has never been higher between the two institutions, but the OSU athletics director said it won’t all be about good feelings on Saturday.
“Just to be clear,” Barnes added, “this partnership has been super strong. But it’s on pause come kickoff, for just a little while. Then we’ll get back to it.”
The Beavers are 3-pt betting favorites in Pullman.