For over 120 years, Idaho and Washington State have shared the thrill and agony of a tense regional rivalry.
Since 2007, the two football teams have only met once. In 2008, The Seattle Times reported that former Idaho coach Robb Akey preferred games to be a “once-in-a-while thing” instead of playing annually.
Idaho head coach Paul Petrino replaced Akey four years later. Saturday’s game will be the second matchup between Washington State head coach Mike Leach and Petrino. The last time the two faced each other, Idaho lost 42-0 on Sept. 21, 2013, in Pullman.
Idaho hasn’t won the rivalry since Sept. 23, 2000, when the Vandals won 38-34 in Pullman. It was the first win of the year and marked the most points the Vandals have scored in the rivalry.In 90 meetings, the Vandals have won 16 games.
Former Idaho head coach Matty Mathews is the only Vandal coach to win three games against Washington State.
In 1926, former Washington State head coach Babe Hollingbery started a 27-game win streak.
Hollingbery never lost a game to Idaho.
The next time Idaho won was a 10-0 victory in 1954.
Both teams shared an odd bond after devastating blows from November 1969 to April 1970.
Idaho’s Neale Stadium and WSU’s Rogers Field both burned down between November 1969 and April 1970, leaving both teams without a home.
The teams traveled to Albi Stadium in Spokane to renew the rivalry Sept. 19, 1970. It was dubbed the Displaced Bowl. The Cougars won 44-16, ending Washington State’s 10-game losing streak.
The Kibbie Dome was constructed in 1971. The Cougars continued to play in Spokane until 1972 when Martin Stadium opened. Washington State would share the Dome with Idaho from 1999-2001. The Dome was deemed too small to support the NCAA’s attendance requirements for the FBS division Cougars.
Idaho’s last win in Moscow dates back to a 28-13 victory in 1964. The Kibbie Dome has never hosted a Battle of the Palouse matchup.
Idaho plays Washington State 2 p.m. Saturday at Martin Stadium in Pullman.
Luis Torres can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheLTFiles