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Cougars Open New Era Hosting Idaho Saturday Night

Aug 29, 2022

IDAHO (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) at WASHINGTON STATE (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
6:42 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 •  Pac-12 Networks
Gesa Field (32,952)  •  Pullman, Wash.

COUGARS OPEN NEW ERA HOSTING IDAHO SATURDAY NIGHT
Washington State opens the first full season under head coach Jake Dickert hosting Idaho Saturday at Gesa Field. Kickoff is set for 6:42 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

NEXT UP
WSU will head to the midwest next Saturday for a matchup at Wisconsin. The Cougars will face the Badgers for the first time since 2007 (42-21, Madison). Head coach Jake Dickert is a native of Kohler, Wisc. and played at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (2002-06).

ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE 
Last season, Washington State went 7-5 overall including a 6-3 mark in Pac-12 Conference play in 2021 and made third sixth bowl game appearance in the last seven seasons, dropping a 24-21 decision to Central Michigan at the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl. The Cougars closed the regular season with a 40-13 win at Washington in the Apple Cup. WSU's defense led the Pac-12 and was fifth in the country with 29 takeaways including 14 fumble recoveries, second-most in the country. All-Pac-12 first-team selection EDGE Ron Stone Jr. tied for fourth in the league with 11.5 tackles-for-loss and All-Pac-12 first-team kicker Dean Janikowski tied for second in the league with 14 made field goals. Jake Dickert (3-3) served as WSU's interim head coach the final five games of last season, was named the head coach prior to the Sun Bowl and begins his first full season the Cougar's head coach.

COUGAR QUICK GAME
TEAM
• Last season, WSU led the Pac-12 and was 5th in the country with 29 takeaways, 4th nationally with 14 fumble recoveries
• WSU made their sixth bowl appearance in the last 7 years (did not go to a bowl in 2020)
• WSU recorded its 1st four-game conference winning streak (at Cal, OSU, STAN, at ASU) since winning 7 straight in 2018
• Last season, WSU recorded its 8th straight win over Oregon State and 5th straight win over Stanford
• WSU's 14 All-Pac-12 selections in 2021 were the most since 2003 (17), 3 All-Pac-12 1st-Team selections for 1st time since 2015
• WSU earned a program-record 10 Pac-12 Player of the Week awards in 2021

INDIVIDUAL (Player Notes Pages 9-19)
• All-Pac-12 First Team EDGE Ron Stone Jr. tied for 4th in Pac-12 in TFL (11.5) and tied for 9th in sacks (5), both were team-highs
• Stone Jr. named to Watch Lists for: Bronko Nagurski Award, Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award
• WR De'Zhaun Stribling led all Pac-12 freshmen with 44 rec, 471 rec yards, 5 rec TD, 2021 All-Pac-12 honorable mention
• QB Cameron Ward transferred from Incarnate Word, 2021 FCS All-America 2nd Team, 4,648 pass yds, 47 pass TD
• LB Daiyan Henley transferred from Nevada, 49 games played, 2021 All-Mountain West 2nd Team - 103 tackles, 4 INT
• All-Pac-12 First Team Kicker Dean Janikowski led the Pac-12 in FG pct. (82.4) and tied for 2nd in FG made (14)
• 3 were named to the 2022 Reese's Senior Bowl Watch List; LB Daiyan Henley, EDGE Brennan Jackson, RB Nakia Watson

SERIES HISTORY - COUGAR CONNECTIONS
WSU leads the all-time series with Idaho 72-17-3 and has won the last nine meetings after a 56-6 victory in Pullman in 2016. Idaho is looking for its first win in the series since a 38-34 win in Pullman in 2000. Saturday will be the first meeting as the season-opener since 2005, a 38-26 WSU win in Pullman. WSU head coach Jake Dickert and Idaho first-year head coach Jason Eck worked together at Minnesota State - Makato in 2014 as offensive and defensive coordinators and again at South Dakota State during the 2016 season. Idaho defensive line coach David Lose worked on the WSU coaching staff as a defensive assistant (2011-16) and Vandal cornerback coach Stanley Franks Jr. worked for the Cougars in a defensive quality control position the past two seasons.

SIX NAMED 2022 TEAM CAPTAINS 
WSU voted six players as team captains for the 2022 season; WR Renard Bell, OL Konner Gomness, EDGE Brennan Jackson, DB Armani Marsh, EDGE Ron Stone Jr., WR Lincoln Victor.

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 274 after appearing in Atlanta during Week 0 last Saturday. 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. 

JAKE DICKERT NAMED 34th HEAD FOOTBALL COACH
Washington State formally introduced Jake Dickert as the Cougars' 34th head football coach in program history December 2. On November 27, one day after the Apple Cup win, WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun announced that Dickert had been named the Cougars' Head Football Coach. Dickert agreed in principle to a five-year contract. "We are thrilled to have Jake Dickert step into the head coaching role," said WSU President Kirk Schulz. "Coach Dickert was able to bring together a team that has been through so much in the past two seasons and inspire them to not only keep going, but to fight harder. Coach Dickert loves Pullman, understands what it means to be a Coug, and most importantly, puts his players first. He is an asset to this program, and to WSU." Dickert spent the final six weeks of the regular season serving as the Cougar's interim coach, leading WSU to a 3-2 record with wins over Arizona State, Arizona and a dominating 40-13 Apple Cup victory in Seattle. The win snapped a seven-game skid to Washington and ended as WSU's largest margin of victory in series history. "Coach Jake Dickert has proven to be an exceptional person, coach and leader," said Chun. "He has the character, vision and plan we need to lead Washington State Football through the next chapter of our storied history.  We've been able to witness the positive impact he has had on our student-athletes in a very short of period of time. We are thankful the best person to lead our program was already living in Pullman. We appreciate Jake, Candice, Rylee, Jett, and Jace for their commitment to WSU. "I am extremely humbled and honored to be the next head coach at Washington State University," said Dickert. "I want to thank President Schulz, Pat Chun and Bryan Blair for their leadership and trust in me and my vision for the future of WSU football. Pullman fits our family so well and we are so excited to be a part of this community for a long time to come. Go Cougs." 

WELCOME BACK RENARD 
The 2022 Cougar wide receiver core will be led by a familiar face, graduate senior Renard Bell, 24, who returns for his seventh season Pullman after missing last year with a knee injury. The Los Angeles native, who redhirted the 2016 season, enters his final season in the crimson and gray with an impressive resume.
- owns 147 career receptions, 30 away from breaking into WSU Top-10
- owns 16 career TD receptions, 2 away from breaking into WSU Top-10
- 18-consecutive games with a catch
- 5 career 100-yard games
- 43 career games played including 30 career starts
- 27 career wins
- has caught a pass from 8 different Cougar QB's (Luke Falk, Tyler Hilinski, Gardner Minshew II, Anthony Gordon,  Gage Gubrud, Jayden de Laura, Gunner Cruz, Cammon Cooper)

CAMERON WARD 
WSU is expected to see sophomore quarterback Cameron Ward behind center to open the season. Ward transferred to Washington State this past January after two record-setting seasons at Incarnate Word in Texas. The sophomore from West Columbia, Texas won the Jerry Rice Award following the 2020 season, the award given to the most outstanding freshman player in FCS football after setting UIW single-season records with 2,260 yards and 24 touchdowns in just six games. Last season at UIW, Ward was named an FCS second-team All-American, the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Walter Payton Award Finalist (give to the most outstanding offensive player in FCS) after leading UIW to a 10-3 record with school records of 4,648 passing yards, 47 touchdown passes and 357.5 passing yards-per-game. This summer, Ward was recently named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, given to the most outstanding player in college football and The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, given to the top offensive player in Division I football either born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or currently playing in Texas.

COUGAR DEFENSE SEES NEVADA CONNECTION 
A number of new faces on defense all made the trip up from Reno. Senior linebacker Daiyan Henley and defensive back Jordan Lee played the last four years at Nevada including the last two seasons under new WSU defensive coordinator Brian Ward along with defensive analyst Trent Greene and defensive graduate assistant Jack Ray.

RETURN OF THE AIR RAID, COUG RAID
The Coug Raid offense will feature a couple familiar faces who are back in Pullman after coaching with Mike Leach's Air Raid. Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Eric Morris returns after coaching the inside receivers for WSU in 2012, Leach's first season in Pullman while Clay McGuire returns for his second stint as the Cougars' offensive line coach (2012-17) and Joel Filani returns to coach the wide receivers after working the 2015 season at WSU in an offensive quality control position.

BIG SHOES TO FILL 
WSU will look to replace a few key players from last season.
RB Max Borghi    39 games played, tied WSU record with 41 career total TD, 32 career rush TD
WR/KR Travell Harris    3x All-Pac-12, 9th in WSU history with 179 rec, WSU record for kick returns 
WR Calvin Jackson Jr.    31 games played, 104 career rec, 10 career TD, New York Jets free agent
RT Abraham Lucas    42 consecutive starts, 4x All-Pac-12, 3rd-round NFL pick by Seahawks
LB Justus Rogers    WSU-record 56 games played, 34 career starts, 215 tackles
LT Liam Ryan    42 consecutive starts, last 29 at LT
CB Jaylen Watson    2x All-Pac-12, 15 games played last 2 seasons, 7th-round NFL pick by Chiefs
LB Jahad Woods    WSU-record 56 games played, 4th in WSU history with 428 tackles

COUGS ADD THROUGH TRANSFER PORTAL
WSU was active in the transfer portal this past offseason and added some experience on both sides of the ball.
LB Daiyan Henley, Nevada    49 games played, 160 career tackles, 4 INT
DB Cam Lampkin, Utah State    33 games played, 72 career tackles, 10 PBU, 1 INT
DB Jordan Lee, Nevada    47 games played, 147 career tackles, 6 FR, 6 FF, 6 PBU
DT Nusi Malani, Virginia    2 seasons, 15 games played, 6 career tackles
RG Grant Stephens, Northern Colorado    27 games played, 23 career starts at RT, 2021 All-Big Sky 2nd Team
QB Cameron Ward, Incarnate Word    2-year starter, 2021 FCS All-American, 6,908 pass yds, 71 pass TD

HABERER NAMED FWAA FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN
Punter Nick Haberer was named to the 2021 FWAA Freshman All-America Team by the Football Writers Association of America last season. Haberer was WSU's first Freshman All-American since safety Jalen Thompson and running back James Williams each earned Freshman All-America honors in 2016. Haberer punted 52 times for 2,225 yards, averaged 42.8 yards-per-punt with 14 punts inside the 20 and five of 50+yards including a long of 60. The native of Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia was second in the Pac-12 in hang time (4.12) and tied for second in the league with 23 punts fair caught. Haberer is the sixth Australian to earn Freshman All-America honor from the FWAA, all of whom are punters. 

14 COUGARS EARNED ALL-PAC-12 HONORS
Fourteen players earned 2021 All-Pac-12 Conference honors, the most since the 2003 team earned 17 selections. Right tackle Abraham Lucas, kicker Dean Janikowski and EDGE Ron Stone Jr. were named to the first team, giving WSU three first-team selections for the first time since 2015. Wide receivers Travell Harris and Calvin Jackson Jr. were both named to the second team, the first set of Cougar wideouts to earn all-conference first or second team since Michael Bumpus (1st) and Jason Hill (2nd) in 2004 and both are the first WSU wide receivers to earn first or second-team honors since Gabe Marks was a first-team selection in 2015 and 2016. Nine players were named All-Pac-12 honorable mention; running back Max Borghi, quarterback Jayden de Laura, defensive back Daniel Isom, EDGE Brennan Jackson, defensive back Armani Marsh, wideout De'Zhaun Stribling, Lincoln Victor as an all-purpose player, defensive back Jaylen Watson, linebacker Jahad Woods. 

WSU, GESA CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCE GESA FIELD
Last season, 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, will escalate with additional Gesa consumer-based incentives. The agreement with WSU Athletics formalized the first major sponsorship announced under Gesa Credit Union which recently merged with Inspirus Credit Union making it the second-largest credit union in the state. 

COUGAR FOOTBALL BROADCAST TEAM
Matt Chazanow is in his eighth season as the play-by-play voice for Cougar football, men's basketball and baseball broadcasts. Joining Chazanow for his fifth 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 11th season as the sideline reporter is Jessamyn McIntyre.

15 COUGS ENTER 2022 WITH DEGREES
Renard Bell, WR    Social Science
Ahmir Crowder, DT    Human Development
Robert Ferrell, WR    PB-Humanities
Kaleb Ford-Dement, DB    Social Science
Daiyan Henley, LB    Criminal Justice
Brennan Jackson, EDGE    Business Administration
Chris Jackson, DB    Social Science
Jarrett Kingston, OL    Business Management
Derrick Langford Jr., DB    Social Science
Jordan Lee, DB    Public Health
Armani Marsh, DB    Sport Management
Christian Mejia, DT    Kinesiology
Amir Mujahid, DT    Social Science
Simon Samarzich, LS    Sport Management
Grant Stephens, OL    Human Services