Cougars Head to Salt Lake City For Saturday Matchup at Utah
WASHINGTON STATE (1-2, 0-1 Pac-12) at Utah (1-2, 0-0 Pac-12)
11:30 a.m. (PT), Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 • Pac-12 Network
Rice-Eccles Stadium (51,144) • Salt Lake City
COUGARS HEAD TO SALT LAKE CITY OF MATCHUP AT UTAH
Washington State hits the road for the first time in 2021 with a matchup at Utah in Salt Lake City Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. (PT) on the Pac-12 Network.
Washington State's all-time series record with Utah is tied at 9-9 after the Utes claimed the last two meetings, both played in Rice-Eccles Stadium where the series is also tied, 5-5. The Cougars last win in Salt Lake City came in 2017, 33-25. Including Saturday, five of the last six meetings between the two schools will have been played in Salt Lake City with the only meeting in Pullman coming in 2018 (WSU, 28-24).
WSU, GESA CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCE GESA FIELD
Washington State and Gesa Credit Union announced a partnership to provide Gesa the naming rights to the playing surface at Martin Stadium, now named Gesa Field, pronounced gee-sah. The 10-year agreement is valued at a minimum $11 million, that will escalate as additional Gesa consumer-based incentives are reached. The agreement with WSU Athletics will formalize the first major sponsorship announced under the new Gesa Credit Union which recently merged with Inspirus Credit Union making it the second-largest credit union in the state.
COUGAR FOOTBALL HOME GAME PROTOCOLS
Washington State University Athletics, in alignment with our football partners in the State of Washington, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Huskies, will require proof of vaccination for COVID-19 for fans 12 years of age and older, beginning with home contests at Gesa Field in the month of October. Those who are not vaccinated will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event. Additional details will be communicated at a later date. In the interim, effective immediately, WSU Athletics will mandate masks for all fans in attendance at Gesa Field, regardless of vaccination status. This will include both indoor and outdoor seating at all times, unless actively eating or drinking.
COLLEGE GAMEDAY RECORD
Dating back to the middle of the 2003 season, ESPN's College GameDay has had the WSU flag appear throughout the show. The streak reached 261 after appearing last Saturday in State College for Auburn-Penn State. The first appearance came in Austin, Texas (10/4/03) and the streak began two weeks later in Madison, Wisc. (10/18/03). Two flags – Ol' Crimson and Gray – have been flown in the background of the GameDay set by dozens of friends and alumni. The Gray flag was added in 2014 after Whitey was retired in honor of Steve Gleason's "No White Flags." Appearance No. 217 was its first in Pullman (10/20/18), a 34-20 win over Oregon.
COUGAR QUICK GAME
• 24 players have made their WSU debuts; 5 players made their 1st career starts on offense, 4 on defense, 2 on special teams
• WSU is 2nd in the Pac-12 and No. 13 in the country with 7 takeaways in the first three games, 4 INT, 3 fumble recoveries
• Last season, WSU led the Pac-12 with 8 forced fumbles, was 6th in the Pac-12 with 5.8 tackles-for-loss/g
INDIVIDUAL (Player Notes Pages 8-18)
• RB Max Borghi is the only player in country named to both Doak Walker and Biletnikoff Award Watch Lists
• Borghi opened his 2021 season with a 64-yard TD run vs. Utah State, had 1 rush TD against Portland State, 31 career total TD
• LB Jahad Woods owns 23 tackles in 2021, is Pac-12's active leading tackler with 342 career tackles, 7th-most in WSU history
• OL Abraham Lucas is a Preseason 4th-Team All-American by Phil Steele, 3x All-Pac-12 2nd-Team selection
• KR/PR Travell Harris was named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Portland State, 188 AP yards, 50-yd KR, 22 PR, 2 rec TD
• DL Dallas Hobbs was named a 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Hands Team Nominee (community service, academic, impact on and off the field)
• EDGE Andrew Edson leads all Power-5 freshmen with 4 TFL, tied for 3rd-most among all Pac-12 players
HARRIS NAMED PAC-12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK AFTER PORTLAND STATE WIN
Kick returner/punt returner Travell Harris was named the Pac-12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following the week two win over Portland State. Harris earns his second career conference weekly accolade after recording 188 all-purpose yards including a 50-yard kickoff return and a career-long 22-yard punt return, both set up touchdown drives for the Cougars in the 44-24 win over Portland State. The redshirt-senior also caught six passes for 80 yards including two for touchdowns (19, 13). Harris' 50-yard kickoff return was his seventh career kick return of 40-plus yards. The Tampa, Fla. native earned his first Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week award back in 2018 after his 100-yard kickoff return against Eastern Washington. Harris enters the week with school records in kick returns (71) and kick return yards (1,782) and owns the 8th-most career all-purpose yards (3,308) in WSU history.
ALL-PURPOSE, ALL THE TIME
Cougar running backs served all-purpose roles for the Air Raid and increased their production in the run-n-shoot offense under Nick Rolovich • last season, Deon McIntosh rushed for a career-high 147 yards in the win at Oregon State, the most by a Coug since Dwight Tardy's 214 yards against UCLA in 2007 • McIntosh added another 92 yards and a score on the ground against Oregon before Max Borghi and McIntosh combined for 109 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns at Utah • McIntosh finished the season seventh in the Pac-12 averaging 80.8 yards/g • Borghi opened the 2021 season with 86 rushing yards including a 64-yard rushing touchdown against Utah State • Borghi, McIntosh and Jayden de Laura each rushed for a touchdown against Portland State
COUGAR DEFENSE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE
• Since 2015, the Cougars are 30-9 when forcing multiple turnovers • Jahad Woods enters the week with 342 career tackles, seventh in WSU history and the most by any active Pac-12 player, 4th-most among all FBS players • WSU opened 2021 by forcing a pair of turnovers against Utah State, recorded two more against Portland State and added 3 more takeaways along with 9 TFL against USC • WSU enters the week 2nd in the Pac-12 and No. 13 in the country with 7 takeaways in 2021
LET'S ROLL, NICK ROLOVICH IN YEAR 2 LEADING COUGS
Nick Rolovich took the reigns as the Cougars' Head Coach in 2020 after spending a total of eight seasons at the University of Hawai'i, the last four as head coach. Rolovich, 41, was named the 33rd head football coach in Washington State history, Director of Athletics Pat Chun announced Jan. 14. He also served as Nevada's offensive coordinator for four seasons and spent two years coaching quarterbacks at City College of San Francisco. Rolovich completed his fourth season at Hawai'i with a 28-27 record and three bowl games in his time. Last season he guided UH to its first 10-win season since 2010 as the Rainbow Warriors went 10-5, capped by a 38-34 win over BYU in the Hawaii Bowl.
• 1st WSU head coach to win his debut since Bill Doba in 2003
• 1st WSU head coach to win his debut on the road since Warren Powers in 1977
• 2019 Mountain West Coach of the Year, Reached Mountain West Championship game
• Opened 2019 with back-to-back wins over Pac-12 foes Arizona and Oregon State
• Produced 31 All-Mountain West Conference honors and 59 All-Academic honors
• In 2019, UH offense ranked fifth nationally with 338.0 ypg and No. 13 nationally in total offense at 471.0 ypg
• In 2018, UH had 5,800 yards of offense, 43 TD passes, 30.8 ppg and No. 9 nationally with 310.3 passing/g
• In 2016, took over the program as the fifth-youngest head coach in NCAA Division I FBS at the age of 37
ROLO AND THE COMMUNITY
Washington State football was not able to see fans at Gesa Field in 2020 but head coach Nick Rolovich was still able to connect with Cougar fans.
• Throughout the spring of 2020, Rolovich would order a number of meals at a local Pullman restaurant, tweet out a "password" and the first 20 people to show up at the restaurant and use the password, would receive the meal
• Rolovich also provided dinner to the staff at Pullman Regional Hospital who were working a late night shift
16 COUGS HAVE EARNED DEGREES
Renard Bell Social Science
Cammon Cooper Business Administration
Brian Greene History
Jarrett Guarantano Psychology
Travell Harris Sport Management
George Hicks Political Science
Tyrone Hill Social Science
Dallas Hobbs Digital Technology & Culture
Calvin Jackson, Jr. Humanities
Brennan Jackson Business Administration
Armani Marsh Sport Management
Deon McIntosh Social Science
Christian Mejia Kinesiology
Justus Rodgers Business Administration
Liam Ryan Criminal Justice
Jahad Woods Humanities
COUGAR FOOTBALL BROADCAST TEAM
Matt Chazanow is in his seventh season as the play-by-play voice for Cougar football, men's basketball and baseball broadcasts. Joining Chazanow for his fourth season will be former Cougar quarterback Alex Brink who is the only WSU quarterback to win three Apple Cups and was later a seventh-round draft pick by the Houston Texans. Returning for her ninth season as the sideline reporter is Jessamyn McIntyre, an executive producer for Q13 FOX in Seattle.