Cougar Chalk Talk: Cougs to face former QB

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State football will see a familiar face on the sideline Saturday.

The Cougars will take on former starting quarterback Jayden de Laura and the Arizona Wildcats.

“This is personal,” de Laura said during his press conference earlier this week.

De Laura played 16 games for the Cougars from 2020-21, including 15 starts.

“He was the starting quarterback there,” Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch said. He was the Pac-12 freshman of the year there.”

Despite his success in Pullman de Laura’s final month of the season was filled with controversy. It began when former Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich was dismissed from the program after failing to meet vaccine requirements. De Laura came to Rolovich’s defense following the departure.

“I would say when I was with Rolo and Coach Stutzmann and the other guys that got fired it kind of gave me the opportunity to grow,” de Laura said.

Jake Dickert was elevated as head coach at the end of the season while de Laura transferred to Arizona shortly after.

“I would love to just say that it’s going to be just another game for everybody,” Fisch said. “I would assume that it’s going to have some sort of impact on Jayden.”

The headlines are difficult to ignore. However, the Cougars are more concerned about what happens between the lines.

“Did you circle this game coach? No I circle every game,” WSU head coach Jake Dickert said. “Our team circles very game. It’s the only opportunity that we have this week. We’re not playing one individual. We’re playing an Arizona team that’s much improved.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday from Arizona Stadium in Tucson.