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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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College Football Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Washington State Cougars Start Time, Odds

Washington State Football: Breaking Down the Cougars' Potential Bowl Outlook

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights head west tonight when they take on the Washington State Cougars. The game is scheduled for a 10:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1. Currently the odds for the game have Washington State favored to pick up the win here.

Rutgers +8 -110 +265 Ov 63½ -110 Ov 27½ -120 Un 27½ -110
Washington State -8 -110 -315 Un 63½ -110 Ov 35½ -115 Un 35½ -115

This game is being played inside CenturyLink Field in Seattle. It's certainly closer to Washington's campus, obviously, and they're favored in this game despite going just 6-7 last season. The Cougars have not done well in their history at CenturyLink Field, however, going winless in six games. 

Rutgers joins the Big Ten this season and they were also 6-7 a season ago. 

Washington State was one of the best teams in the country at throwing the football last season. They averaged nearly 370 yards through the air in 2013 with Connor Halliday tossing almost 4,600 yards himself. Halliday returns for his senior season and is poised to lead the Cougars to a much better campaign this year.

The problem last year for Wazzou was their inability to keep opposing teams from scoring. Opponents totaled 32.5 points per game against the Cougars in 2013, which was higher than the 31 points per game they scored themselves. Obviously that would have to improve if they hope to be a serious player in the PAC-12 Conference.

This will be the first meeting between these schools. 

In looking at how both teams have done to start recent seasons, note that Rutgers has gone 5-4 in the last nine years in their opening game. Washington State has missed covering in 12 of their last 16 openers and hasn't beaten an FBS opponent to start the season since 2005 when they knocked off Idaho 38-26.

Rutgers returns senior quarterback Gary Nova, who has been good and bad in his career for the Scarlet Knights. Nova got injured and didn't play in the final three games for Rutgers last season, including the bowl game loss to Notre Dame. When Nova is good, the Scarlet Knights can be good.

Rutgers will probably take some lumps in the new conference this season. They're coming over from the Big East and will have an impossible four-game stretch against Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. 

In this one, there's just too much Wazzou offense. Halliday brings back an impressive offensive group that has a lot of talent. They're a whole lot different than Rutgers' wanting to ground and pound. In the end we'll take the free-flying Washington State offense to score some points.

Free Pick: Washington State 41, Rutgers 28

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