Pac-12 announces 2022 football schedule

Road game before Thanksgiving break, Saturday Apple Cup highlight 2022 season

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COLE QUINN

WSU running back Deon McIntosh (3) dives for the endzone during the Apple Cup, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

TOM ABBOTT, Evergreen reporter

WSU’s 2022 football schedule is officially set. Let’s take a look at the teams the Cougs will face next season.

Week 1: Idaho Vandals

The Cougs kick off the 2022 season with the Battle of the Palouse. The Cougs last played the Vandals in 2016, winning the matchup 56-6. The game is a great way for WSU to ease into the season and work out any preseason jitters.

Week 2: at Wisconsin Badgers

WSU heads to Madison, Wisconsin, to face the Badgers for the first time since 2007. The game is somewhat of a homecoming for WSU head coach Jake Dickert, who grew up in Wisconsin. WSU running back Nakia Watson will be the one to watch in the matchup after transferring from Wisconsin to WSU.

Week 3: Colorado State Rams

The Cougs come back to Pullman for a three-game homestand, starting with Colorado State. The Rams put up a disappointing 2021 season, ending with a 3-9 record. The only matchup between the two teams came in 2013, when the Rams beat the Cougs, 48-45. 

Week 4: Oregon Ducks

The Ducks come to Pullman with hopes of repeating a winning season. The Ducks lost head coach Mario Cristobal to Miami, so Oregon’s game plan for next season is anybody’s guess. With a former-defensive coordinator at the helm, you can expect a strong defense. The Pac-12 North matchup is likely to be a good one, after a close game during the 2021 season, 38-24.

Week 5: Cal Bears

The Bears travel to the Palouse to end WSU’s three-game homestand. The Bears have a quarterback vacancy with Chase Garbers set to graduate. The most recent game between the two Pac-12 North teams resulted in WSU’s Calvin Jackson Jr. receiving the No. 1 spot on the SportCenters Top Ten plays and a WSU victory, 21-6. Maybe younger guys such as Joey Hobert and Lincoln Victor can have their own highlight reels in this game.

Week 6: at USC Trojans

The Cougs have a couple tough away-games in a row, starting with USC. USC filled the head coaching role with Lincoln Riley. After Riley’s move became public, many recruits pulled their previous commitments to come play under Riley and the Southern California palm trees. In 2021, USC left Pullman victorious, 45-14. The Cougs will try to stop USC’s three-game win streak in the Coliseum.

Week 7: at Oregon State Beavers

For the past eight games between the Beavers and the Cougs, WSU has come out victorious. The Beavers may snap their almost decade-long drought this season with the Corvallis crowd behind them. In week seven, this game will likely be a major deciding factor in the Pac-12 North standings, as seen with the pandemonium that was the end of the 2021 season.

Week 8: BYE

Bye week. Enough said.

Week 9: Utah Utes

After a week’s rest, the Cougs host an extremely strong Utah team. The Utes hope to retain the Pac-12 championship title in the 2022 season after winning decisively against the Oregon Ducks in the 2021 Pac-12 championship.

Week 10: at Stanford

Stanford typically matches up against WSU pretty evenly. The 2022 matchup is set to be just that, with Stanford having the best 2022 recruiting class in the Pac-12, according to 247sports.com. The Cougs look to extend their win-streak to six consecutive years beating the Cardinal.

Week 11: Arizona State Sun Devils

This game is likely to be an extremely important game for the second year in a row. If Arizona State performs like the 2021 season, the Cougars could be in trouble. In the 2021 matchup, the Cougs left Tempe, Arizona, victorious 34-21.

Week 12: at Arizona Wildcats

Arizona has not been a powerhouse football program since the early years of head coach Rich Rodriguez. The Wildcats hope to change that with the No. 3 recruiting class in the Pac-12, according to 247sports.com. Fans have been asking for years for WSU to not have a home game the week before Thanksgiving due to many students leaving town, and, now, they have their wish. 

Week 13: Apple Cup

The Cougs look to retain the Apple Cup in the 2022 rendition of the Apple Cup. The game is on a Saturday which gives WSU students time to travel back into Pullman for the game, rather than missing the rivalry game due to Thanksgiving celebrations.

That wraps up the WSU 2022 football schedule. The schedule is fairly similar to WSU’s 2021 schedule, playing the same nine Pac-12 teams for the second year in a row, rather than facing opponents such as UCLA and Colorado. Overall, 2022 is a very exciting time for WSU football. It will be the first full season with Jake Dickert at the helm and also the first season a tight end will be on the Cougs roster in more than a decade.