Crimson and Gray game is back this Saturday

Cougar football will be back in action for first time in 2021 for inter squad

WSU+football%27s+Crimson+and+Gray+game+will+be+the+debut+of+Gesa+Field+at+Martin+Stadium.

ABIGAIL LINNENKOHL | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

WSU football’s Crimson and Gray game will be the debut of Gesa Field at Martin Stadium.

RYAN ROOT, Evergreen reporter

The 2021 WSU Crimson and Gray football game will kick off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium.

Last year’s spring game was canceled due to COVID-19. This year, however, the community-praised tradition is back on, but fans will not be allowed to attend. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network at the time of kickoff. This will be the televised debut for the newly named Gesa Field at Martin Stadium.

The Crimson and Gray football game is an annual event hosted by WSU Athletics that pits members of the football program against each other in a scrimmage. One team will wear crimson-colored uniforms, while the other wears gray, and both sides will duke it out in an officiated football game.

The game is an opportunity for fans and observers to get a sneak peek at what the Cougar football program will look like going into the next season. The official crimson and gray rosters have not been announced yet.

This spring game also marks head coach Nick Rolovich’s first Crimson and Gray experience. During his tenure at the University of Hawaii, Rolovich would dress up for the Rainbow Warriors’ spring games to excite some of the younger fans in attendance.

Rolovich doesn’t plan on renewing that tradition in his first spring game at WSU, but he’s excited nonetheless to “have some fun” this Saturday.

“I’d love to do that when we open up, have a big carnival and fun for the spring game, but unfortunately, we’re not there yet,” Rolovich said. “I think we’ll have some fun though, keep your eyes open.”

Rolovich also revealed that former WSU offensive linemen and current Philadelphia Eagle, Andre Dillard, paid a visit to the WSU football facility on Thursday to reconnect with his alma mater. Rolovich said experiences like these just show the importance of this event and the interpersonal demographic that is college football.

Rolovich did not reveal if recently injured veterans such as senior running back Max Borghi and graduate wide receiver Renard Bell will play on Saturday.

Sophomore wide receiver Joey Hobert will make his Crimson and Gray game debut on Saturday. He said he’s excited to have a spring game experience as he never really had one during his high school career.

“I know the community here is absolutely wonderful,” Hobert said. “We’re going to make it fun no matter what. All of our team, we’re all family. So, no matter the outcome, we’ll have a blast.”

Hobert has been fluctuating between slot positions as of late in the run and shoot offense. He said he doesn’t have any specific goals to accomplish in Saturday’s scrimmage, instead he’ll take advantage of what opportunities are presented to him during the game and continue to improve in that way.

Sophomore defensive back Chau Smith-Wade, who is also making his spring game debut, said he wants to be “disguisable” to the opposing team’s receivers when he matches up with them on Saturday. He wants to make sure he understands the defense to the level that allows him to make big plays when he’s out on the field.

Smith-Wade understands the absence of fans on Saturday will be noticeable, but it doesn’t affect the team’s mindset going into the scrimmage.

“With fans or without fans, we’re going to go out and ball,” Smith-Wade said.

Hobert said observers should expect a very competitive and fun atmosphere during the scrimmage on Saturday.

“That’s how our team is, and that’s how it should be,” Hobert said. “We all want to win, and whether we’re going against each other or we’re on the same team, does not matter. We’re all going to go for each other’s throats.”

The Crimson and Gray football game will kick off at 2 p.m. PST on Saturday and will air on the Pac-12 Network during that time.