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Three things to watch as Washington State welcomes Portland State

Plus, your Game Thread!

PULLMAN, WA - SEPTEMBER 4: Washington State wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr (8) signals for a first down after a catch during the first half of a non-conference matchup between the Utah State Aggies and the Washington State Cougars on September 4, 2021, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA. Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Happy Cougar Football Saturday to you and yours! Our Washington State Cougars will look to bounce back from last week’s humbling loss to Utah State as the Portland State Vikings return to Pullman for the first time since 2015. I don’t think I need to remind you of what happened then. Let’s move on.

The Cougs expect to deploy Jayden de Laura at quarterback after Jarret Guarantano underwhelmed last week. Guarantano left with an apparent injury, but it’s unclear if he’ll be QB2 or if he’ll even dress today. Anyway, it’s de Laura’s time to shine, and perhaps he’ll show today why he should have been the guy from the get-go.

Luckily for fans, we won’t have to wait as long as last week for kickoff. The 3 p.m. start is just about the perfect time for a football game. With that, let’s get to this week’s Three Things to Watch:

  1. The offensive line: Did you read Jesse’s coach’s corner this week? You should. It focused on Max Borghi’s carries, but it highlighted the offensive line woes WSU suffered last week. Will that unit be improved this week? WSU sure hopes so, or it won’t matter who’s behind center or who’s getting the bulk of the carries. I’m hesitant to glean much insight into how a unit performs against an FCS team (famous last words, I know), but if the offensive line doesn’t clean up its mess from last week, look out.
  2. The quarterback: Duh. It’s the most important position on the field and last week’s cast of three quarterbacks didn’t exactly give fans confidence. Jayden de Laura needs to be the man and give the coaching staff every reason to keep him in the game, even during goal line situations.
  3. The defense: This unit folded under pressure late last week, and much like the offensive line, it might be difficult to come to any conclusions based on its performance against an FCS team. However, should the defense struggle at times, it’s time to worry.

Get ready for some daylight football. Go Cougs.

A note on 9/11

It’s been 20 years since that awful day in America, and with what’s going on in Afghanistan right now, I’ve thought a lot this week about how the world changed drastically in 20 years. Mostly, I’ve thought about a high school classmate of mine who was killed in Afghanistan almost nine years ago. I’m sure lots of us know of someone affected by 9/11, so I’ll be paying attention to the many tributes today, and I hope you do too.

Never Forgetting 9/11 - Washington State University Athletics
Editor's Note: The following story was originally published Sept. 11, 2011 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.


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