University of Washington

Huskies, Cougars opponent boxes

WASHINGTON HUSKIES vs. SACRAMENTO STATE HORNETS (1-0 overall, 0-0 in Big Sky)

11 A.M. PT SATURDAY, HUSKY STADIUM, PAC-12 NETWORKS, 1000-AM / 97.7 FM

COACH: Jody Sears (8-5 in second season at Sacramento State and 12-24 in fourth season overall)

AGAINST THE HUSKIES: The teams have never played each other.

SCOUTING REPORT: Sacramento State raced to a 38-0 lead en route to a 41-20 victory over NAIA school Eastern Oregon in its season opener. The Hornets netted 203 yards rushing on 38 attempts (5.3 ypc) and Hornets quarterback Daniel Kniffin completed 22 of 34 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start. He’s replacing graduated starter Garrett Safron, who threw for 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns last season while rushing for 751 yards on 120 attempts. … Jordan Robinson, the team’s leading rusher last season with 862 yards on 158 carries and five touchdowns, totaled 71 yards and a touchdown in the opener against Norfolk State. … The Hornets finished in the exact middle of the Big Sky standings last season — seventh out of 13 teams, with a 4-4 league record (7-5 overall) — and were picked to finish seventh again this season by both the league’s coaches and media. They finished last season ranked eighth in the league in total defense and allowed opponents to gain 6.5 yards per play. Hornets opponents scored an average of 36.1 points per game in 2014, a mark worse than every Big Sky school except UC Davis. … The Huskies also play Sac State as part of their nonconference schedule in 2020.

DID YOU KNOW: Sears was an assistant under coach Paul Wulff at Washington State from 2008-11, and worked for Wulff from 2003-07 at Eastern Washington.

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS vs. RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (1-0 overall, 0-0 in Big Ten)

12:30 P.M. SATURDAY, HIGH POINT SOLUTIONS STADIUM, ESPNU/ESPN2, 710-AM

COACH: Kyle Flood (24-16 in fourth season at Rutgers and overall)

AGAINST THE COUGARS: Rutgers leads the series 1-0.

SCOUTING REPORT: There might not be an FBS program in the country experiencing more turmoil right now than Rutgers. Flood is under investigation by the school for impermissibly contacting a school faculty member regarding a Rutgers player, and he recently dismissed five players who were arrested on Thursday. … The Scarlet Knights weren’t affected by such problems against Norfolk State, at least, as they began the season with a 63-14 throttling of the FCS foe. Rutgers rushed for 291 yards while holding Norfolk to minus-3 yards rushing and just 10 first downs. Scarlet Knights quarterback Hayden Rettig completed 9 of 11 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown … Rutgers was picked by media to finish sixth out of seven teams in the Big Ten’s East division after a fourth-place finish last season (8-5 overall, 3-5 in league). … The recent arrests have thinned the Scarlet Knights’ defensive backfield — which could present an opportunity for the Cougars, should their offense recover from its abysmal performance in a 24-17 loss to FCS-member Portland State last week. … WSU lost to Rutgers last season, 41-38 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, in the first meeting between the schools. This is the return game of a home-and-home agreement.

DID YOU KNOW: Rutgers has only two players on its roster whose hometowns are in the Pacific Time Zone — Rettig (Los Angeles) and linebacker Isaiah Johnson (Oakland), and both came to the school as transfers.

christian.caple@thenewstribune.com

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