MORGANTOWN — As expected for several weeks, the University of Buffalo won’t be playing football at West Virginia University Saturday, Sept. 9, as scheduled.

Athletic Director Ed Pastilong announced Tuesday that WVU has filled that date by adding Eastern Washington to the schedule.

That school also announced that it will play Oregon State in its season opener 10 days earlier, Aug. 31, at Corvallis, Ore.

“These two games will obviously be a great challenge for our football team,” said EWU coach Paul Wulff, whose team begins spring practice April 10.

“We have a team that truly needs to progress as we move along. We need to climb the mountain and get better each week of the season.”

No time has been set for the game at WVU.

Buffalo opted not to fulfill its commitment to play the game. This, despite discussions on the matter between the Big East and Mid-American conferences.

As a result, Buffalo must pay WVU $200,000 under the buyout provision in the contract.

Eastern Washington is a Division I-AA school which won the Big Sky Conference championship each of the past two years. The Eagles also took league titles in 1997 and 1992.

They were 7-5 last season, losing to Northern Iowa 41-38 in the first round of the NCAA I-AA playoffs.

Pastilong said Eastern Washington will be paid a guarantee of $450,000 for playing the game at Mountaineer Field/Milan Puskar Stadium.

WVU has designated Sept. 9 as a highlight of Parents’ Weekend. This will be the first meeting between the two schools in football.

Eastern Washington is 7-12 all-time versus Division I-A schools. The only time it played a ranked I-A team was in 1990 in an 84-21 loss at Houston.

“The Mountaineers definitely are one of the top three teams in the country,” Wulff said. “It’s a great opportunity to travel across the country and, financially, it will help our football program in a much-needed way.”

Eastern Washington averaged 35 points and 478 yards per game last year while giving up 23.4 points and 363.2 yards.

The Eagles passed for 341.8 yards per game to 203.1, but were outrushed 160.1 to 136.2.

Here is WVU’s revised schedule for 2006:

Sept. 2, Marshall; 9, Eastern Washington; 16, Maryland; 23, at East Carolina.

Oct. 7, at Mississippi State; 14, Syracuse; 20, at Connecticut.

Nov. 2, at Louisville; 11, Cincinnati; 16, at Pitt; 25, South Florida.

Dec. 2, Rutgers.

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