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Washington State has a starting quarterback, but the backup is still up in the air

The Cougs have a starting signal caller for game number one... But who’s the backup?

Will Rodgers Gunner Cruz
WSU Athletics

Earlier this week, the biggest question of training camp was answered for Washington State. After weeks of saying he had no plans to name a starting quarterback before kickoff, head coach Nick Rolovich told the media on Monday that true freshman Jayden de Laura would take the first snaps for the Cougs on Saturday against Oregon State.

On Tuesday, Washington State released their first depth chart of the 2020 season, once again confirming the quarterback decision. But it also left another question about the spot wide open: who will be the backup this weekend in Corvallis?

Rolovich listed both candidates for the job, Gunner Cruz and Cammon Cooper, with an “or” between their names in the two-deep depth chart. It’s a tradition Washington State fans grew accustomed to under Mike Leach, but it doesn’t do much to answer the backup question.

Spokesman Review beat writer Theo Lawson theorized that the backup might depend on the team they’re playing that weekend.

“If de Laura can’t go for one reason or another,” Lawson wrote,” and the Cougars are playing a team that’s giving the QB space to run, Cooper would probably be the most effective option. If they feel they can stretch the field vertically and beat their opponent downfield with the quick outside receivers, Cruz and his big arm may be the better bet.”

During his announcement press conference, Rolovich didn’t give any insight into the competition for the backup spot. But he did make it sound like, even though the true freshman is getting the start Saturday, the race for the permanent starting job isn’t over yet. He also mentioned that, while it’s not necessarily planned, there is “always a chance” that the team plays multiple quarterbacks in a game.

Just like plenty of other things with this team, the backup quarterback job is just another place where we’ll have to take a wait-and-see approach. Luckily, the amount of time we’ll have to wait is getting shorter and shorter.

Saturday is just a couple days away, folks... It’s about time.

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Nick Rolovich's announcement of Jayden de Laura as Washington State's starting quarterback took away some of the anticipation when it came to the release of the Cougars' first depth chart.

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