PULLMAN — It’s been 104 years since Eastern Washington last played a football game against Washington State.
The Cougars won that 1908 game, 73-0, and also won the only other meeting between the two teams the year before.
Yet, when EWU travels to Pullman on Saturday, its starting quarterback will boast a 1-0 career record against WSU.
Kyle Padron, a junior transfer from Southern Methodist who won the Eagles’ starting job, was the starting quarterback for SMU in 2010 when he led the Mustangs to a 35-21 victory over the Cougars.
And Padron remembers his first thought as WSU arrived that day. It’s an odd one, considering how physically overmatched the Cougars always were in those days.
“Playing in the Pac-12 you’ve got to be a little bigger, playing a little different breed of football,” Padron said. “One of the first things we recognized at SMU was their size at linebacker and up front.”
He then went on to complete 19 of 34 passes for 280 yards and four touchdowns.
WSU safety Deone Bucannon was a freshman making his first start in that game.
“I just remember he’s a competitor. He’s a tough football player, trying to get points on the board,” he said. “He knows his offense. We’re definitely going into the game watching him. He’s definitely a key player that we need to keep an eye on.”
WSU defensive coordinator Mike Breske said Padron was the victim of a handful of dropped passes last week when he completed 13 of 33 for 260 yards in a 20-3 victory over Idaho.
“He’s a scramble-type quarterback, and what I mean by that is, if he’s outside the pocket, he’s scrambling looking to throw the ball,” Breske said. “He’s not going to take a sack, he’s going to get rid of it.”
He’s not going to be intimidated by facing a Pac-12 team, either.
“We expect to go in there and win every game we play,” Padron said. “We trust that our coach is going to put us in the right spots. We just have to go out there and play.”