Washington State Opens Homestand Saturday Against Oregon State
OREGON STATE at WASHINGTON STATE
1:07 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 • Pac-12 Network
Martin Stadium (32,952) • Pullman, Wash.
WASHINGTON STATE OPENS HOMESTAND SATURDAY AGAINST OREGON STATE
Washington State (2-3, 1-2 Pac-12) opens a three-game homestand hosting Oregon State (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) at Gesa Field on homecoming weekend. Kickoff is set for 1:07 p.m., Saturday on the Pac-12 Network.
Washington State leads the all-time series against Oregon State 55-47-3 and have won the last seven meetings including three straight in Pullman. OSU's last win in the series came in 2013, 52-24 in Pullman. WSU beat Oregon State 38-28 to open last year's shortened season in Corvallis, the first game under head coach Nick Rolovich.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State enters the week with a 2-3 overall record including a 1-2 mark in Pac-12 Conference play after beating Cal 21-6 in Berkeley last Saturday. The Cougar defense enters the week tied for second in the Pac-12 and No. 12 in the country with 11 takeaways while the 30 tackles-for-loss are fourth-most in the league. Quarterback Jayden de Laura is tied for third in the league with nine passing touchdowns while receivers Travell Harris (31) and Calvin Jackson Jr. (26) rank third and fourth in the league, respectively. Linebacker Jahad Woods moved into the WSU Top-5 for career tackles last week and enters the week with 358 career stops, most among all active Pac-12 tacklers.
COUGAR QUICK GAME
• 26 players have made their WSU debuts; 5 players made their 1st career starts on offense, 5 on defense, 3 on special teams
• WSU is tied for 2nd in the Pac-12 and No. 12 in the country with 11 takeaways in the first 5 games, 5 INT, 6 fumble recoveries
• WSU has won 5 straight homecoming games including a 41-10 win over Colorado in 2019 (No homecoming game in 2020)
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 39 tackles in 2021, is Pac-12's active leading tackler with 358 career tackles, 5th-most in WSU history
• EDGE Brennan Jackson was named Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week, win at Cal, 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 4 QB hurries
• 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 Pac-12 freshmen with 4 TFL, tied for 9th-most among all Pac-12 players
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 263 after appearing last Saturday in Athens, Georgia for Arkansas-Georgia. 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.
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.
COUGARS TO TAKE PART IN PAC-12 MENTAL HEALTH WEEK
WSU will partner with Hilinski's Hope, Dam Worth It and The Hidden Opponent as part of the Pac-12 Mental Health Week. The week, hosted in conjunction with College Football Mental Health Week, will focus on a series of mental health initiatives, beginning Oct. 2 and culminating Oct. 9. Pac-12 Mental Health Week is a conference-wide week of action to end mental health stigma, increase mental health awareness, and supply resources for student athletes. Dam Worth It, The Hidden Opponent and Hilinski's Hope were all founded out of the Pac-12 to focus on ending stigma and increasing mental health resources for student-athletes.
As part of the Pac-12 Mental Health Week, Washington State Athletics will have programming throughout the week for Cougar student-athletes, coaches and staff. The schedule includes:
Monday, October 4 – Start the Conversation: Black Student-Athlete Association
Tuesday, October 5 – Mindfulness Training: Coaches, Staff and Student-Athletes
Wednesday, October 6 – Coaches Corner: Social Media Campaign
Friday, October 8 – Storytelling: Student-athletes sharing experiences - @wazzusaac
Additionally, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, Hilinski's Hope will host a mental health training open to student-athletes nationwide. Registration link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7124947916045695501.
Cougar Athletics will have social media promotion throughout the week and the Cougar football team will wear a helmet sticker showcasing a lime green ribbon, the official ribbon showing solidarity for those struggling with mental health and illness, with a "3" on the right corner for the Oct. 9 game vs. Oregon State.
JACKSON NAMED PAC-12 DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK AFTER CAL WIN
EDGE Brennan Jackson was named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. Jackson earned his first career weekly accolade after recording four tackles with one sack, one pass breakup and helped the Cougar defense record seven tackles-for-loss including four sacks in a 21-6 road win at Cal, WSU's first win in Berkeley since 2013. Jackson was credited with five total pressures including four quarterback hurries while the defense held Cal to just six points, 152 passing yards and 3-of-15 on third downs. WSU held Cal scoreless the final 52 minutes and the six points allowed are the fewest allowed to a conference opponent since shutting out Colorado in 2017. Jackson is first Cougar to win Defensive Lineman of the Week since its inception in 2019. Jackson enters the week tied for fourth on the team with 18 tackles and third in the Pac-12 with 17 total pressures.
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 (3,359) 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 30-10 when forcing multiple turnovers • Jahad Woods enters the week with 358 career tackles, fifth in WSU history and the most by any active Pac-12 player, 2nd-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 forced six fumbles and recovered three at Utah • in the win at Cal, WSU allowed just 273 yards of total offense, the fewest yards allowed since San Jose State week two in 2018 (109) • WSU's 11 takeways are the most in the first 5 games of a season since 2017 (12) • WSU enters the week leading the Pac-12 with six fumble recoveries, seventh-most in the country • WSU's 11 takeaways are tied for 2nd-most in the Pac-12 and 12th-most in the country
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.