WSU football to face San Jose in 2024, 2031

2024 game in Pullman, 2031 in San Jose



The WSU football team huddles up after the 2022 Spring Game, April 23, at Martin Stadium.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports editor

Editor’s Note: This story was written and published prior to USC and UCLA announcing their departure from the Pac-12 Conference and reflects WSU’s current scheduling commitment

Cougar football fans can expect a rematch of the infamous Refrigerator Bowl in 2024 and 2031.

Athletic director Pat Chun announced on Wednesday, WSU football will play a two-game out-of-conference series with the San Jose University Spartans.

The 2024 game is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2024, at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium in Pullman. The 2031 match will be played Sept. 6, 2031 in San Jose, Calif.

The Cougs have an all-time record of 8-4-1 against the Spartans.

Their first meeting is by far the most infamous game between these two programs. The game that has since been labeled as the Refrigerator Bowl occurred in 1955 in Pullman and had a game-time temperature of 5 degrees Fahrenheit with wind-chill significantly below zero.

The game is also the only game between the Cougs and the Spartans of San Jose to end in a tie. The final score was 13-13 on the coldest Nov. 12 in 75 years.

The woodwind sections of the Cougar Marching Band were told to stay home and one unfortunate trumpet player got stuck, Christmas Story-style to his mouthpiece, according to a WSU Athletics article .

Approximately 1,000 students attended this frigid game, 400 fans who paid in advance and one fan who bought his ticket at the gate. WSU Athletics tracked down the fan who paid at the gate and refunded his tickets as a token of appreciation at a basketball game on Jan. 7, 1956.

WSU’s games against San Jose have been a much warmer occasion since that frozen 1955 meeting.

The most recent meeting between WSU and San Jose resulted in a 31-0 Cougar victory in Gardner Minshew’s WSU debut on Sept. 8, 2018. Minshew completed 34 passes for 414 yards. He threw three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Despite getting the cold shoulder in 1955, San Jose came back to Pullman in 1956. WSU won 33-18.

WSU has not traveled to San Jose since 1968, a game they won 46-0.

WSU schedules its out-of-conference schedules far in advance. The addition of a third out-of-conference 2024 opponent means the Cougs will face Portland State, San Diego State and San Jose State.

The Cougs three 2022 out-of-conference opponents are Idaho in Pullman (Sept. 3), Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. (Sept. 10) and Colorado State in Pullman (Sept. 17).