Washington State Cougars open season Saturday Night
PULLMAN, Wash. — It’s been 671 days since Washington State fans could pack into Martin Stadium on Saturday’s during the fall to cheer on the Cougs, but that ends this evening. The Cougs will open up their 2021 campaign against Utah State from the Mountain West Conference.
This will also be the 2nd season as Head Coach for Nick Rolovich after coming from Hawaii in 2020. Much of the headlines this pre-season have been focused on him and his decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine. However, earlier in August, he did state he would comply with the Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate, but it is unknown if he will get the shot.
The offense returns some key players from the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but there are also some other positions that will need to be filled in order for the Cougars to have success on the offensive side of the ball.
When it comes to the quarterbacks, will we find out at kickoff who the starter will be; Jayden De Laura or Jarrett Guarantano. De Laura is going into his sophomore season after starting all four games for the Cougs last season. Guarantano is a graduate transfer from Tennessee, and he brings the most experience on the roster.
When it comes to the running back position, the Cougs will be doing more of that than the Leach-era. Max Borghi returns for his fourth season with the Cougs. Backing him up will be Deon McIntosh, who saw a majority of the snaps in the 2020 season. While transfer Nakia Watson brings in a few years of experience from Wisconsin.
The wide receivers are also going to be vital to the success of the offense. In 2020 Travell Harris brought in 29 catches and two touchdowns. Renard Bell also had a lot of production, but he’s out this season with a torn ACL. Jamire Calvin also brought in more than a dozen catches, but he followed former head coach Mike Leach to Mississippi State. Lucas Bacon also entered the transfer portal and will not be returning.
So you can expect a lot of new names to be stepping up early on this season including, Donovan Ollie, Calvin Jackson Jr., Joey Hobert, transfer CJ Moore, Orion Peters, Lincoln Victor, and De’Zhaun Stribling.
Just like every year, we can expect some break-out stars to make a name for themselves in the season. The game will kickoff at 8 p.m. from Pullman.
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