Washington State Set to Face No. 4 Oregon Saturday Night on ESPN
WASHINGTON STATE (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12) at No. 4 OREGON (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12)
7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 • ESPN
Autzen Stadium (54,000) • Eugene, Ore.
WASHINGTON STATE SET TO FACE NO. 4 OREGON SATURDAY NIGHT ON ESPN
Washington State heads to Eugene to face No. 4 Oregon Saturday night on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Washington State trails the all-time series with Oregon 42-49-7 but has won four of the last six meetings and two of the last three trips to Autzen Stadium. WSU won four straight meetings against the Ducks 2015-18 but are 18-21-4 all-time in Eugene after dropping a 37-35 contest on a last-second field goal in 2019. WSU is looking for its first win over an Associated Press Top-25 team since beating No. 25 Iowa State in the 2018 Alamo Bowl, the first win over a Top-10 team since beating No. 5 USC in Pullman in 2017 and first road win over a Top-10 team since beating No. 5 Texas in the 2003 Holiday Bowl. WSU is 1-16 all-time on the road against Top-5 ranked conference opponents and has dropped the last seven matchups since beating No. 1 UCLA 34-30 in Los Angeles in 1988. Oregon entered the week ranked No. 5 in the AP Top-25 and appeared at No. 3 in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State comes off its bye week with a 5-4 overall record including a 4-2 mark in Pac-12 Conference play after posting four straight conference wins, at Cal, against Oregon State and Stanford and at Arizona State. The Cougar defense enters the week leading the Pac-12 and tied for fifth in the country with 20 takeaways. Quarterback Jayden de Laura leads the Pac-12 with 17 passing touchdowns, Max Borghi is tied for fifth in the Pac-12 with eight rushing touchdowns and receivers Travell Harris (54) and Calvin Jackson Jr. (49) rank third and fourth in the league in the receptions, respectively. Linebacker Jahad Woods owns the fourth-most tackles in WSU history with 391, while his 72 tackles this season are fourth in the Pac-12 and EDGE Ron Stone Jr. is second in the league with 10.5 tackles-for-loss. WSU is looking to clinch bowl eligibility for the sixth-straight season (2020 not included).
COUGAR QUICK GAME
• WSU leads the Pac-12 and is 5th in the country with 20 takeaways, tied for 2nd nationally with 11 fumble recoveries
• WSU has recorded its 1st four-game conference winning streak since winning 7 straight in 2018
• WSU beat Stanford for the 5th straight meeting for the 1st time since winning 8 straight (1957-64)
• WSU recorded its 8th straight win over Oregon State
• WSU owns 6 Pac-12 Player of the Week awards, the most in a season since 2017 (8), the 3 Pac-12 DL awards are most in the Pac-12
INDIVIDUAL (Player Notes Pages 10-20)
• RB Max Borghi was the only player in country named to both Doak Walker and Biletnikoff Award Watch Lists
• Borghi opened 2021 with a 64-yard TD run vs. Utah State, 1 rush TD (PSU, OSU), 2 rush TD (Stanford), had 3 rush TD vs. BYU
• Borghi is 2nd in WSU history with 28 career rushing TD and tied for 2nd in WSU history with 37 career total TD (Gabe Marks)
• LB Jahad Woods owns 72 tackles in 2021, is Pac-12's active leading tackler with 391 career tackles, 4th-most in WSU history
• RUSH Ron Stone Jr. enters the week 2nd in the Pac-12 with 10.5 tackles-for-loss, tied for 3rd with 5 sacks
• QB Jayden de Laura leads the Pac-12 with 17 TD passes, 2nd in passing/g (245.9), owns four 3-TD games in 2021
• WR Calvin Jackson Jr. was added to Biletnikoff Award Watch List, 2nd in Pac-12 in rec yards (667), 4th in rec (49), tied for 4th 5 rec TD
• KR/PR/WR Travell Harris owns WSU career records for kick returns (75), kick return yards (1,849), 4th in all-purpose yards (3,811)
• 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)
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 268 after appearing last Saturday in Cincinnati for Tulsa-Cincinnati. 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.
LEADERSHIP CHANGE WITH FOOTBALL PROGRAM, JAKE DICKERT NAMED ACTING HEAD COACH
October 18, due to the requirements set forth in Washington Governor Jay Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.1, Nick Rolovich was no longer able to fulfill the duties as the football head coach at Washington State University. In addition, four football assistant coaches, Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber, are also not in compliance with the Proclamation. As a result, Washington State University has initiated the separation process based on the terms of their respective contracts, effective immediately. Proclamation 21-14.1, prohibits, "Any State Agency from permitting any Worker to engage in work for the agency after October 18, 2021, if the Worker has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provided proof thereof to the agency." Current WSU defensive coordinator Jake Dickert was elevated to acting head coach Oct. 18.
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.
COUGARS PARTNERED IN PAC-12 MENTAL HEALTH WEEK
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.
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 • 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) • in the win over Stanford, Borghi rushed for 89 yards and a pair of 2-yard TD runs • against BYU, Borghi rushed for a career-high 3 TD (11,1,1) • in the win at Arizona State, WSU carried 42 carries 166 yards and 2 TD, the most carries by a WSU team since 2010 and a season-high in rush yards • Borghi enters the week tied for 5th in the Pac-12 with 8 rushing TD and 2nd in WSU history with 28 career rushing TD
COUGAR DEFENSE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE
• Since 2015, the Cougars are 33-10 when forcing multiple turnovers • Jahad Woods enters the week with 391 career tackles, 4th in WSU history, most by any active Pac-12 player and 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 • in the win over Stanford, WSU recovered 2 more fumbles, tallied 8 TFL including 4 sacks • in the win at Arizona State, WSU recorded 5 takeaways (3 FUM, 2 INT), the most since forcing 7 turnovers at Utah in 2017 • WSU held Arizona State to 21 points, the fewest allowed at ASU since allowing 16 in 2001 (last 9 meetings), fewest allowed to ASU overall since allowing 19 in 2003, a 34-19 win in Pullman • WSU enters the week leading the Pac-12 with 11 fumble recoveries, tied for 2nd-most in the country • WSU's 20 takeaways lead the Pac-12 and No. 5 in the country
SENIOR LINEBACKER DUO SET TO MAKE HISTORY
Senior linebackers Justus Rogers (MIKE) and Jahad Woods (WIL) are closing in on a couple notable WSU records.
• Both have appeared in 52 games, 3 away from breaking former linebacker Peyton Pelluer's (2014-18) record of 54
• Woods enters the week with 48 career starts, tying former offensive lineman Micah Hanam's (2007-10) record
• Woods owns 8 career forced fumbles, tied for 3rd-most in WSU history, 1 away from tying WSU record
• Woods owns 391 career tackles, most among active Pac-12 players, 4th-most in WSU history
CALVIN JACKSON JR. ADDED TO BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST
Wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. was added to the 2021 Biletnikoff Award Watch List, The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced Nov. 3, joining running back Max Borghi who was named to the same watch list prior to the season. The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the college football season's outstanding FBS receiver. Any player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back, and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award. As such, the Biletnikoff Award recognizes college football's outstanding receiver, not merely college football's outstanding wide receiver. Jackson Jr. enters the week fourth in the Pac-12 Conference with 49 receptions, second with 667 receiving yards and 74.1 receiving yards-per-game, tied for fourth with five touchdown receptions and second in the league with 11 catches for 20+yards. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native caught two touchdowns in the win at California, had nine catches in the win over Oregon State, had a touchdown grab in the win over Stanford and caught eight passes for a career-high 139 yards with a 45-yard touchdown catch in the win at Arizona State.
RON STONE JR. NAMED PAC-12 DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK AFTER ARIZONA STATE WIN
EDGE Ron Stone Jr. earned his first career Pac-12 Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week accolade following the road win over Arizona State. Stone Jr. anchored a Cougar defense that forced five Sun Devil turnovers in WSU's 34-21 win in Tempe. The redshirt-junior finished the day with six tackles, four solo, two tackles-for-loss, one sack and a fumble recovery. The Cougars lead the Pac-12 with three Defensive Lineman of the Week awards after Brennan Jackson earned the accolades after wins at California and against Stanford. Stone Jr. was WSU's sixth Pac-12 weekly accolade of the season; Travell Harris (ST, Portland State), Brennan Jackson (DL, at Cal), George Hicks III (DEF, Oregon State), Liam Ryan (OL, Oregon State), Brennan Jackson, Stanford), the most in a season since WSU earned eight awards in 2017.
JACKSON EARNS 2ND PAC-12 DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK AFTER STANFORD WIN
EDGE Brennan Jackson earned his second Pac-12 Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week accolade of the season following the win over Stanford. Jackson recorded a season-high six tackles including one sack and recovered the game-ending fumble in the win Stanford, WSU's third-straight conference win and fifth straight victory over the Cardinal. Jackson tallied three tackles in the fourth quarter including a sack with under four minutes remaining and later pounced on a fumble in the final seconds after Quinn Roff sacked the Stanford quarterback. The redshirt-junior from Temecula, Calif. earned the same accolade after making four tackles and a sack in the win at California earlier in the season.
GEORGE HICKS III, LIAM RYAN NAMED PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK AFTER OSU WIN
WSU collected a pair of Pac-12 Conference honors last week 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.
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 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 the first Cougar to win DL of the Week since its inception in 2019.
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.
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.
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
WSU ATHLETICS ANNOUNCED PROCEDURES FOR VACCINE VERIFICATION AT GESA FIELD
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.