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Washington State Hosts Stanford, Saturday at Gesa Field

Oct 12, 2021

STANFORD (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12) at WASHINGTON STATE (3-3, 2-2 Pac-12)
4:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 •  ESPNU
Martin Stadium (32,952)  •  Pullman, Wash.

Washington State continues its three-game homestand hosting Stanford at Gesa Field on family weekend. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m., Saturday on ESPNU.

Washington State trails the all-time series with Stanford 29-40-1 but have won the last four meetings including a 49-22 matchup in Pullman in 2019. Last season's meeting set for Palo Alto was cancelled due covid-19 issues within the Cougar program. The Cardinal are 17-9 all-time in Pullman but WSU has won the last two meetings. The Cougars are looking for their first five-game winning streak against Stanford since winning eight straight 1957-64.

Washington State enters the week with a 3-3 overall record including a 2-2 mark in Pac-12 Conference play after posting back-to-back wins at Cal and against Oregon State. The Cougar defense enters the week tied for the Pac-12 lead and seventh in the country with 13 takeaways while the 34 tackles-for-loss are fourth-most in the league. Quarterback Jayden de Laura is tied for the Pac-12 lead with 12 passing touchdowns while receivers Travell Harris (39) and Calvin Jackson Jr. (35) rank third and fourth in the league, respectively. Linebacker Jahad Woods moved into the WSU Top-5 for career tackles two weeks ago and enters the week with 363 career stops, most among all active Pac-12 tacklers.

• 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 the Pac-12 and 7th in the country with 13 takeaways in the first 6 games, 7 INT, 6 fumble recoveries
• WSU has won 5 straight family weekend games including a 49-22 win over Stanford in 2019 (No family weekend in 2020)
• WSU is the only team with 3 players in the Pac-12 Top-10 for catches, Harris (3rd, 39), Jackson Jr. (4th, 35), Stribling (8th, 22)
• WSU owns 4 Pac-12 Player of the Week awards; Harris (ST, PSU), B. Jackson (DL, CAL), Ryan (OL, OSU), Hicks III (D, OSU)

INDIVIDUAL (Player Notes Pages 9-19)
• 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 (PSU, OSU), 32 career total TD
• Borghi is tied for 3rd in WSU history with 23 career rushing TD (Rueben Mayes) and 32 career total TD (Jason Hill)
• LB Jahad Woods owns 44 tackles in 2021, is Pac-12's active leading tackler with 363 career tackles, 5th-most in WSU history
• RUSH Ron Stone Jr. enters the week 2nd in the Pac-12 with 6.5 tackles-for-loss
• QB Jayden de Laura is tied for the Pac-12 lead with 12 TD passes, 5th in passing/g (237.4)
• KR/PR/WR Travell Harris owns WSU career records for kick returns (71), kick return yards (1,782), 7th in all-purpose yards (3,555)
• OL Abraham Lucas is a Preseason 4th-Team All-American by Phil Steele, 3x All-Pac-12 2nd-Team selection
• 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

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 264 after appearing last Saturday at the Cotton Bowl for Texas-Oklahoma. 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. 

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. 

WSU partnered with Hilinski's Hope, Dam Worth It and The Hidden Opponent as part of the Pac-12 Mental Health Week last week. The week, hosted in conjunction with College Football Mental Health Week, focused on a series of mental health initiatives. Pac-12 Mental Health Week was 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. 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.

WSU collected a pair of Pac-12 Conference honors as defensive back George Hicks III was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week and left tackle Liam Ryan was named the Offensive Lineman of the Week Monday. Hicks III earned his first career Pac-12 accolade after leading the team with 10 tackles and his first interception of the season in the 31-24 win over Oregon State. According to PFF College, the senior from San Bernardino, Calif. earned the Pac-12's second-highest overall defensive grade, the best coverage grade in the Pac-12 and sixth-best in country during the win. Hicks' interception came late in the first half and ended an Oregon State rally to keep it a one-score game while seven of his tackles came in the second half, including the final tackle of the game as OSU came up one yard short of a first down inside the red zone in the final minute. Ryan earned his second career Pac-12 weekly accolade (New Mexico State, 2019) after anchoring an offensive line that helped produce 491 yards of total offense in the win. Ryan played a total 71 plays, graded out at 96 percent with six knockdowns, earned the No. 12 OT grade in the country and did not allow a pressure on 47 passing snaps. 

EDGE Brennan Jackson was named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week following the road win at Cal. 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 was first Cougar to win Defensive Lineman of the Week since its inception in 2019. 

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.

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 • 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 • in the win at Cal, Borghi and McIntosh combined for 93 rush yards and 6.2 yards-per-carry • in the win over Oregon State, the two combined for 98 rush yards and each scored a touchdown, Borghi (2-yard rush) and McIntosh (1-yard rec)

• Since 2015, the Cougars are 31-10 when forcing multiple turnovers • Jahad Woods enters the week with 363 career tackles, fifth in WSU history and the most by any active Pac-12 player, 3rd-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) • in the win over Oregon State, WSU picked off two passes, allowed just 158 pass yards and held OSU to 0-for-3 on 4th-down attempts • WSU's 13 takeways are the most in the first 6 games of a season since 2017 (15) • WSU enters the week leading the Pac-12 with six fumble recoveries, seventh-most in the country • WSU's 13 takeaways are tied for the Pac-12 lead and seventh-most in the country

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.

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

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, 2020. 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 

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

Washington State Athletics, in alignment with our football partners in the State of Washington, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Huskies, has implementated new gameday vaccination verification procedures at Gesa Field. All guests 12 years of age and older attending Cougar Football games will need to be verified by providing proof of vaccination or proof of a FDA-approved negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of the event. Fans under 12 years of age are exempt from providing proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Guests planning to attend the game should note that there are no on-site testing capabilities at Gesa Field and it is highly recommended that negative COVID-19 testing be completed before arriving in Pullman. On gameday, fans can be verified before the game by showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test at various kiosk locations outside of Gesa Field. Gameday verification will be available at the Compton Union Building (CUB), Beasley Coliseum, Cougville and the four guest service kiosks positioned at the perimeter of the stadium beginning three hours prior to kickoff. These stations will close at kickoff. At that time, all verifications will be done at the gate. Guests who do not get verified before heading into the stadium will be screened at the gates. However, all guests are highly encouraged to get verified with a stamp before approaching the stadium gates. There will be express lanes for those that have been verified at Gates, A, B, F, I and the Premium Seating Entrance. Cougar Athletics mandated masks for all fans in attendance at Gesa Field, regardless of vaccination status. This included both indoor and outdoor seating at all times, unless actively eating or drinking. That mandate remains in effect going forward.