It seems like forever ago, but at the same time not that long ago: After two years, the Washington State Cougars will finally take the field again for a September opener when they host the Utah State Aggies tonight.
Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. PT, and the game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network. You can also watch the game on Pac-12.com (with a cable subscription), and you might want to have your phone/computer at the ready — the game is coming on the heels of a 5 p.m. Washington/Montana kickoff, which means the Cougar game likely will start out on Pac-12 Washington.
Beyond the usual first-game excitement, this one has even a little more intrigue because it appears Tennessee grad transfer Jarrett Guarantano has won the QB job over incumbent Jayden de Laura. Guarantano has a ton of starting experience and it’s being reported that he’s expected to be a calming hand on the offense. We shall see, and it’s entirely possible we don’t learn a lot tonight: Max Borghi, Deon McIntosh, and Nakia Watson could have a field day against the Aggies.
Meanwhile, the defense — which struggled mightily for long stretches in the Covid-shortened season — has undergone a personnel overhaul in the secondary in an effort to make immediate and dramatic improvements. They’ll be facing an offense that had a lot of issues last year and will likely be led by a transfer (Matt Bonner) who followed his coach (Blake Anderson) from Arkansas State to Logan. Even though the offense will be new, they’ll potentially be set up to start the season well.
That said, the Aggies had a talent infusion of their own, taking on a slew of transfers. Will it result in immediate success? Or will the transition be rocky?
By the way, if you somehow missed it: Check out our 2021 CougCenter Football Preview Series! That should keep you busy until kickoff.