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Photo Gallery: WSU football defeats Idaho in 2022 season opener

All the sights from Labor Day weekend in Pullman.

Jack Ellis/CougCenter

“63-3. That sounds about right.” I considered myself generous to be giving the Vandals three points with our veteran defensive corps, while visions of Cam Ward side arming TD after TD danced in my head on the night before the first Cougar Football Saturday of 2022.

Oh, the naiveté of preseason football fans.

That idea melted when a second Washington State fumble on as many possessions was scooped up by the Vandals and taken to the house. After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, WSU eventually settled down and rounded off 24 straight points, but maybe some of the awards I had given to the Cougs in my mind (Heisman/Butkus/Lou Groza among them) were slightly premature. It took an interception in the final minute to seal the victory against our FCS neighbor, which was certainly not on my 2022 Cougar Football Bingo card.

Let’s be very clear: It is MUCH better to look crappy in a win than good in a loss. Offensive ball control and special teams were nothing short of disasters, but ultimately the Cougs did enough to avoid a total faceplant out of the gate. Fans should chalk it up as a classic case of looking past your opponent before the game is played, while the coaching staff is likely working some late nights this week to ensure the performance truly was a fluke.

Ultimately, WSU is starting the year 1-0, which has only been the case four times in the past 11 seasons. That’s a good thing!

GOLD STAR - Daiyan Henley made the most of his first start donning the crimson and gray, leading the stout Cougar D with 8 tackles, 3 tackles-for-loss, and a game-clinching interception. Henley, the transfer from Nevada, has immediately become a fan favorite and looks to offset the loss of Jahad Woods and Justus Rogers, two of WSU’s most veteran linebackers with 112 games played between them. Keep an eye out for Henley to be a recurring winner of this award as the season progresses.

UP NEXT - The first road trip of the year, where many believe the season truly begins, approaches as the Cougs travel to Big Ten country to face off against the Wisconsin Badgers. In what is arguably the biggest non-conference matchup for WSU since Auburn in 2013, Jake Dickert has an opportunity to return to his home state and get a statement win in his first full year as a head coach. The Cougs are currently listed as heavy underdogs (+17.5) for the 12:30pm kickoff on FOX.

CougCenter was back in Martin Stadium covering the game’s biggest moments and plays. Enjoy!