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Cougars Open Pac-12 Play Hosting No. 15 Oregon on FOX

Sep 19, 2022

No. 15 OREGON (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) at WASHINGTON STATE (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
1:05 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 •  FOX
Gesa Field (32,952)  •  Pullman, Wash. 

Washington State opens Pac-12 Conference play hosting No. 15 Oregon at Gesa Field Saturday on FOX. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. 

Washington State improved to 3-0 with a 38-7 win over Colorado State. Cameron Ward threw four touchdown passes and the defense tallied two takeaways and seven sacks while posting a first-half shutout.

WSU will wrap up its three-game homestand next Saturday against California for Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network.

Washington State enters Pac-12 Conference play with a 3-0 record after wins over Idaho, at No. 19 Wisconsin and last week over Colorado State. The Cougars enter the week second in the country with 31 tackles-for-loss and tied for the league lead with 14 sacks, also tied for second-most in the country. Quarterback Cameron Ward is tied for second in the Pac-12 with eight touchdown passes while wideout Donovan Ollie is second with 19 receptions and linebacker Daiyan Henley paces the Pac-12 with 7.5 tackles-for-loss and four sacks. Jake Dickert 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 is in his first full season the Cougars' head coach (6-3 career record).

• WSU picked off a pass and forced a fumble against Colorado State, has recorded multiple takeaways in 13 of last 16 games
• Last season, WSU led the Pac-12 and was 5th in the country with 29 takeaways, 4th nationally with 14 fumble recoveries
• 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 most since 2003 (17), 3 All-Pac-12 1st-Team selections for 1st time since 2015

INDIVIDUAL (Player Notes Pages 9-19)
• LB Daiyan Henley named Pac-12 Def. Player of the Week, career-high 13 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FF last week vs. Colorado State
  Henley has been named the Defensive Player of the Week by: Reese's Senior Bowl, Pac-12, Bednarik Award
• KR Renard Bell, LT Jarrett Kingston were named the Pac-12 Special Teams and OL of the Week after Wisconsin win
• 3 were named to the 2022 Reese's Senior Bowl Watch List; LB Daiyan Henley, EDGE Brennan Jackson, RB Nakia Watson
• 2021 All-Pac-12 1st Team EDGE Ron Stone Jr. named to Watch Lists: Bronko Nagurski Award, Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award
• QB Cameron Ward transferred from Incarnate Word, 2021 FCS All-America 2nd Team, 4,648 pass yds, 47 pass TD
• WR De'Zhaun Stribling led all Pac-12 freshmen with 44 rec, 471 rec yards, 5 rec TD in 2021, All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention
• WR Donovan Ollie enters the week 2nd in the Pac-12 with 19 receptions, Stribling is tied for 4th in Pac-12 with 3 rec TD
• 2021 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)

WSU trails the all-time series with Oregon 42-50-7 including a 22-25-2 record in Pullman but have won two of the last three meetings at Gesa Field. The Ducks have claimed the last three meetings including a 38-24 contest in Eugene last season and a 43-29 win in Pullman in 2020. The Cougars, who won four straight meetings 2015-18, last win in the series came in 2018, a 34-20 victory in Pullman. 

- WSU is looking for its first 4-0 start since 2017 (6-0)
- WSU is looking for its second win over a ranked team this season, won 17-14 at No. 19 Wisconsin week 2
- WSU is looking to beat its 2nd ranked team in a season since beating three ranked teams in 2018
- WSU is looking for two wins over Top-20 teams in the same season for the 1st time since 2017 (No. 5 USC, No. 18 Stanford)
- Jake Dickert is looking to become the 7th WSU head coach to start 4-0 in his 1st full season and 1st since Mike Price (1989, 4-0)
- Cameron Ward is the looking to be the 1st Cougar quarterback to win his 1st four starts at WSU since 1975

Dating back to the middle of the 2003 season, ESPN College GameDay has had the WSU flag appear throughout the show. The streak reached 276 after appearing in Boone, N.C. 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. 

- WSU recorded 6 sacks, the most since recording 8 at Utah in 2017
- WSU recorded 12 tackles-for-loss, the most TFL since making 14 against Wyoming in 2015
- 8 players made their collegiate debuts; Orion Peters (WR), Gavin Barthiel (ST), Javan Robinson (ST), Jaylen Jenkins (RB), David Gusta (DL), Leyton Smithson (WR), Jackson Lataimua (ST), Dylan Paine (RB)
- RB Nakia Watson rushed for a career-high 117 yards on 18 carries, his 1st career 100-yard game
- RB Jaylen Jenkins scored his first career touchdown with an 8-yard TD catch
- WR Lincoln Victor made his 1st career start, caught 3 passes 
- WR Tsion Nunnally and WR Orion Peters each recorded their 1st career catch

- WSU recorded its 1st win over a ranked team and 1st nonconference road win over a ranked team since beating No. 25 Iowa State in the 2018 Alamo Bowl
- WSU recorded its 1st TRUE road win over a ranked team since at No. 24 Stanford in 2018
-     WSU recorded its 1st nonconference TRUE road win over a ranked team since beating No. 17 Colorado in 2003
- WSU recorded its 1st win over a Big Ten Conference team since beating Rutgers 37-34 in 2015
- Nakia Watson scored 2 TD for the second time in his career (2 rush TD at Michigan, 2020)

- With the win at No. 19 Wisconsin, Jake Dickert became 1 of 4 WSU head coaches to beat a ranked team in his 1st full season; Warren Powers won at No. 15 Nebraska in 1977, Mike Price won at No. 24 BYU in week two of 1989, Bill Doba won at No. 17 Colorado in week three of 2003.

Kick returner Renard Bell and offensive lineman Jarrett Kingston each earned Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week awards following the win at No. 19 Wisconsin. Bell, named the Special Teams Player of the Week, earned his first career Pac-12 accolade after helping the Cougars post a 17-14 win over the Badgers. Bell had a career-long 73-yard kickoff return to start the second half that resulted in three points for WSU. The Los Angeles native also caught two passes including a 43-yarder early in the game. Kingston, the conference offensive lineman of the week, earned his first career Pac-12 honor after not allowing a pressure in WSU's 50 offensive snaps and the offensive line led the way on the final drive, sparking a 10-play, 43-yard drive over 5:14 as the clock expired.

- WSU beat Colorado State 38-7 to start 3-0 for the first time since 2019
- Jake Dickert is the ninth WSU head coach to start his 1st full season 3-0, first since Mike Price 1989
- WSU made seven sacks, tied for the seventh-most in WSU single-game history and most since 2017 (8, at Utah) 
- WSU tallied 2 more takeaways (INT, Fumble rec), have forced multiple takeaways in 13 of last 16 games
- WSU posted its first 1st-half shutout since Oregon in 2018, led 27-0
- 5 players made their WSU debuts; Robert Ferrel (WR), Andre Dollar (TE), Kannon Katzer (RB), Jernias Tafia (OL), Alec Eckert (DL)
- Cameron Ward threw for 299 yards and 4 TD passes, his 12th career game with 4+ passing TD
- Ward is the fourth Cougar quarterback to win his first three WSU starts since 1976; Chad Davis (1994), Steve Birnbaum (1998), Anthony Gordon (2019)
- Daiyan Henley made a career-high 13 tackles including 3 sacks, his 7th career double-digit tackle effort and 1st as a Coug

Linebacker Daiyan Henley was named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. Henley had a career day in the 38-7 win over Colorado State, recording a career-high 13 tackles including three sacks and two forced fumbles. The three sacks were a career-high, the most by any Pac-12 player this season and the first three-sack game by a Coug since Hercules Mata'afa at Utah in 2017. The graduate transfer from Nevada led a Cougar defense who held Colorado State to just seven points and 249 yards of total offense. According to PFF College, Henley recorded the second-best linebacker defensive in the country last week, the best overall defensive grade among all Pac-12 defenders.
- Enters week tied for 2nd-best overall defensive grade among all players in the country by PFF College
- Owns best defensive grade by any LB in the country and 2nd-best coverage grade in the country by PFF College 
- 4th in Pac-12 with 30 tackles including league-best 7.5 for loss and 4 sacks
- 7.5 tackles-for-loss are second-most in the country

The 2022 Cougar wide receiver core will be led by a familiar face, graduate senior Renard Bell, 24, who returned for his seventh season Pullman after missing last year with a knee injury. The Los Angeles native, who redshirted the 2016 season, owns an impressive resume.
- opened 2022 season with 4 catches including 3-yard TD catch against Idaho
- had 2 catches and a 73-yard kickoff return in win at No. 19 Wisconsin week 2
- 153 career receptions, 24 away from breaking into WSU Top-10
- 17 career TD receptions, 1 away from breaking into WSU Top-10
- 5 career 100-yard games
- 46 career games played including 33 career starts
- 30 career wins
- has caught a pass from 9 different Cougar QB's (Luke Falk, Tyler Hilinski, Gardner Minshew II, Anthony Gordon,  Gage Gubrud, Jayden de Laura, Gunner Cruz, Cammon Cooper, Cameron Ward)
- 1 of 2 WR with TD rec from 7 different QBs since 2006 (Darren Carrington II - Oregon/Utah, Michael Pittman - USC)

Quarterback Cameron 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.

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. Through three games, Henley leads the team with 30 tackles and leads the Pac-12 with 7.5 tackles-for-loss and four sacks while Lee tallied nine tackles and two for loss while starting the first two games.

The Coug Raid offense features 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. 
- WSU opened the season with nine different players catching a pass while running back Nakia Watson rushed for a career-high 117 yards in the win over Idaho. 
- In the win at No. 19 Wisconsin, seven receivers caught passes including Watson who rushed for a score and caught another. 
- In the win over Colorado State, Cameron Ward threw 4 TD passes, nine players caught a pass and WSU tallied 143 rushing yards.

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.

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

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. 

Last weekend, WSU inducted eight individuals and one team into its Athletic Hall of Fame. As part of the Cougars' year-long Power of IX campaign celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the 2022 class is an all-female class. The list of eight inductees and one team comprising the 2022 class includes: Eka Burduli (tennis, 2005-08), Tammy Crawford (rowing, 1990-2002), LaToya Harris (volleyball, 1999-2002), Kiersten Dallstream (soccer, 2006-09), Lisa Fraser (soccer, 1989-94), Anastasia Kostina (golf, 2003-06), Celestine N'Drin (track & field, 1986-90), Georgette Reed (swimming/track & field, 1988-91), 1991 Women's Basketball.

Last season, Washington State went 7-6 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 served as WSU's interim head coach the final five games of last season, was named the head coach prior to the Sun Bowl.

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." 

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.