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WSU Hosts No. 14 Utah Thursday Night on FS1

Oct 24, 2022

No. 14 UTAH (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) at WASHINGTON STATE (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12)
7:05 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022  •  Fox Sports 1
Gesa Field (32,952)  •  Pullman, Wash.

Washington State returns from its bye week hosting a Thursday night matchup against No. 14 Utah at 7:05 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

Washington State had its bye last weekend after dropping a 24-10 decision at Oregon State Oct. 15.

The Cougars travel to Stanford for a matchup next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

Washington State comes off its bye week with a 4-3 record including a 1-3 mark in Pac-12 Conference play after dropping a 24-10 contest at Oregon State Oct. 15. The Cougars own wins over Idaho, at No. 19 Wisconsin, Colorado State and Cal and enter the week with a league-best 52 tackles-for-loss and third in the league with 20 sacks while the offense is tied for the Pac-12 lead in red zone scoring (92%, 24-26). Quarterback Cameron Ward enters the week fourth in the Pac-12 in passing (280.3) while wideout De'Zhaun Stribling is tied for 11th with four touchdown catches and linebacker Daiyan Henley is second in the league with 68 tackles and 11 tackles-for-loss, good for tenth nationally. 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 (7-6 career record).

• WSU is 10th in the country with a Pac-12-best 52 tackles-for-loss and the 20 sacks are third-most in the Pac-12
• WSU's Sept. 24 game against No. 15 Oregon was WSU's first sellout of Gesa Field since 2019 (Stanford)

INDIVIDUAL (Player Notes Pages 9-20)
• RB Jaylen Jenkins was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after rushing for 130 yards at No. 6 USC Oct. 8
  Season-highs 13 carries, 130 rush yards, 184 all-purpose yards, 10.0 ypc, 4 runs of 10+ yards, 1st career 100yard game
  WSU's 1st 100-yard rushing game by a true freshman since 2005 (105, DeMaundray Woolridge, vs. Grambling State in Seattle)
• LB Daiyan Henley enters the week second in the Pac-12 in tackles-for-loss (11) and in tackles (68), tied for fifth in sacks (4)
  Henley was named to the Associated PressMidseason All-America Team, added to Bednarik Award Watch List last week
• QB Cameron Ward enters the week second in the Pac-12 in completions (175), sixth in pass TD (16), fourth in passing (280.3)
• WR Donovan Ollie is 11th in the Pac-12 in receptions (33), WR De'Zhaun Stribling is 11th in Pac-12 in rec TD (4)
• S Jaden Hicks owns 3 double-digit tackle games this season, enters week second on team in tackles (44)
   Hicks was named to the Midseason Freshman All-America Second Team by College Football News, 1 of 3 Pac-12 defenders 
• WR Renard Bell caught a 37-yard TD against Cal, No. 18 TD reception of his career, 10th-most in WSU history
• 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

The Cougars trail in the all time series against Utah 10-9 after the Utes have claimed the last three meetings including a 24-13 decision in Salt Lake City last season. WSU is 3-4 all time against Utah but have won the last two meetings including a 28-24 win in 2018, the Cougars last win in the series. 

Linebacker Daiyan Henley was named to The Associated Press Midseason All-American Team and redshirt-freshman safety Jaden Hicks was named to the Midseason Freshman All-America Second Team by College Football News.  Henley was one of five Pac-12 players named to the team and was one of three linebackers named alongside Ivan Pace Jr. of Cincinnati and Drew Sanders of Arkansas. The last Cougar named to a Midseason All-America Team was kicker Blake Mazza in 2019 who earned second-team honors by The Athletic while defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa was named to the Midseason All-America Team by the AP,, CBS Sports and Athlon in 2017. Hicks was one of three freshmen from the Pac-12 Conference to earn a spot on the first or second defensive team. The Las Vegas native enters the week second on the team with 44 tackles, the most among Pac-12 freshmen defenders, along with two tackles-for-loss, one sack, two pass breakups and one interception. 

Washington State enters Thursday night with a 25-18-2 all-time record when playing on Thursdays. WSU's last Thursday game was the 2017 Holiday Bowl against Michigan State (L, 42-17), the last regular season Thursday game was the 2014 season-opener against Rutgers (L, 41-38) in Seattle and last hosted a Thursday game in Pullman back on Halloween in 2013 against No. 25 Arizona State (L, 55-21).

Dating back to the middle of the 2003 season, ESPN College GameDay has had the WSU flag appear throughout the show. The streak reached 281 after appearing at Oregon 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 is looking for its first win over a Top-15 team since beating No. 12 Oregon 34-20 in 2018 in Pullman
- 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 2 wins over Top-20 teams in the same season for the 1st time since 2017 (#5 USC, #18 STAN)

- WSU enters the week leading the Pac-12 and 10th in the country with 52 tackles-for-loss
- WSU enters the week third in the Pac-12 with 20 sacks
- WSU has recorded multiple takeaways in 13 of last 20 games
- WSU enters the week leading the Pac-12 in scoring defense (20.7) 
- Daiyan Henley is 2nd in the Pac-12 in tackles (68) and tackles-for-loss (11), tied for sixth in sacks (4)
- Brennan Jackson is tied for sixth in the Pac-12 in tackles-for-loss (7.5)
- Jaden Hicks owns double-digit tackles in 3 of last 5 games, second on the team in tackles (44)
- WSU recorded 12 tackles-for-loss in the win over Idaho, the most TFL since making 14 against Wyoming in 2015
- WSU made seven sacks in the win over Colorado State, tied for the seventh-most in WSU single-game history and most since 2017 (8, at Utah) 
- WSU shutout Colorado State in the first half, WSU's  first 1st-half shutout since Oregon in 2018, led 27-0
- Francisco Mauigoa's 95-yard INT return against No. 15 Oregon was 2nd-longest INT return in WSU history 
(Will Derting, 98 yds, Nevada, 2002)
- WSU held Cal running back Jaydn Ott to 69 yards after entering the game averaging 115.8 rushing yard/g
- WSU held USC quarterback Caleb Williams to 15-of-29 passing and 188 yds, entered game averaging 280.4

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 is tied for the Pac-12 lead with Oregon in red zone scoring (24-26, 92%), the 18th-best mark in the country 
- 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 had a rush TD and rec TD
- In the win over Colorado State, Cameron Ward threw 4 TD passes, nine players caught a pass and WSU tallied 143 rushing yards.
- Against No. 15 Oregon, Cameron Ward threw for 375 yards and completed passes to 10 different players including himself (-13 yards).
- Andre Dollar started at Tight End against Oregon, his first career start, first WSU TE to start since Andre Lintz in 2011 Apple Cup
- TE Billy Riviere III caught his 1st career TD against  Cal, WSU's first TD by a TE since Andre Lintz (2011, UNLV)
- at No. 6 USC, WSU rushed for a season-high 144 yards, the most since last year's Apple Cup (209)
- at No. 6 USC, RB Jaylen Jenkins set season-highs in rush yards (130) and all-purpose yards (84), averaged 10.0 yards-per-carry, had 4 runs of 10+ yards and WSU's 1st career 100-yard rushing game by a TRUE freshman since 2005 (105, DeMaundray Woolridge, vs. Grambling State in Seattle)

- Nick Haberer is second in the Pac-12 with 9 punts inside the 20, best hang time among Pac-12 reg punters (4.13)
- Colton Theaker is 6th in the Pac-12 with 24 touchbacks on kickoffs
- Renard Bell had a 73-yard kick return at Wisconsin, Robert Ferrel had 34-yard punt return against Cal
- Robert Ferrel owns a pair of 20+yard punt returns; 34 vs. Cal, 27 at Oregon State
The 2022 Cougar wide receiver core is 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.
- had 3-yard TD catch against Idaho, had 73-yard kickoff return in win at No. 19 Wisconsin week 2
- had 6 rec for 84 yards against No. 15 Oregon, 8 catches for 115 rec yards and 37-yard TD in win over Cal
- 167 career receptions, 10 away from breaking into WSU Top-10
- 18 career TD receptions, moved into tie for 10th in WSU history for career TD rec last week against Cal
- 6 career 100-yard games
- 49 career games played including 36 career starts, 31 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)

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.
- Cameron Ward threw for 299 yards and 4 TD passes vs. Colorado State, 12th career game with 4+ passing TD
- Ward was the fourth Cougar quarterback to win his first three WSU starts since 1976; 
   Chad Davis (1994), Steve Birnbaum (1998), Anthony Gordon (2019)
- Against No. 15 Oregon, Ward set season-highs with 37 completions and 375 passing yards, first WSU rush TD
- In win over Cal, threw for 343 yards and three TD (17, 37, 1) in win over Cal

- 22 players have made their WSU Debuts including 12 who made their collegiate debuts
- 4 true freshmen have played; TE Andre Dollar, RB Jaylen Jenkins, CB Javan Robinson, WR Leyton Smithson

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
- 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
- Jake Dickert became the ninth WSU head coach to start his 1st full season 3-0, first since Mike Price 1989

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.

Linebacker Daiyan Henley was named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week after the 38-7 win over Colorado State. Henley recorded 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 grade in the country that week and the best overall defensive grade among all Pac-12 defenders. Henley was also named Reese's Senior Bowl Defensive Player of the Week and Bednarik Award Player of the Week following the performance.

Running back Jaylen Jenkins was named the Pac-12 Conference Freshman Player of the Week after rushing for 130 yards at No. 6 USC Oct. 8. Jenkins set season-highs with 13 carries for 130 yards and caught two passes for 54 yards including a 45-yard grab. The ture freshman from Allen, Texas recorded a season-high 184 all-purpose yards, averaged 10.0 yards-per-carry and had four runs of 10+ yards against the Trojans. Jenkins' first career 100-yard rushing game was the first by a WSU redshirt-freshman since 2016 (126, James Williams, Idaho) and first by a WSU true freshman since 2005 (105, DeMaundray Woolridge, vs. Grambling State in Seattle). Jenkins was the first Cougar running back to earn conference player of the week honors since Jerome Harrison was named Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Week in 2004. 

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. 

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. 

WSU inducted eight individuals and one team into its Athletic Hall of Fame week three against Colorado State. 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.

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. 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. 

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.