Nothing personal, WSU beats Arizona 31-20

Ex-Coug Jayden de Laura threw four interceptions in Cougar rout



WSU running back Nakia Watson runs downfield during an NCAA football game against Arizona State, Nov. 12.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

It was nothing personal, it was just business.

WSU football beat Arizona 31-20.

The biggest storyline in this game was ex-Coug quarterback Jayden de Laura playing his old team. De Laura did not play well.  He threw 28/46 for 357 yards with one touchdown and a total of four interceptions.

The Arizona Wildcats’ offense did not do much. They scored two field goals in the first half for a total of six points. They did not score a touchdown until there was about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. De Laura scrambled in for an 11-yard touchdown run. Then, with about one minute left in the game, Dorian Singer made a 47-yard touchdown grab.

Singer led Arizona with nine receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown, the touchdown being the deep grab of 47 yards. Tetairoa McMillan was second on the team in receiving with three receptions for 75 yards.

The Cougar defense played fantastic once more on Saturday. Daiyan Henley led the team in tackles with seven total tackles. The team was able to get two sacks on de Laura, one by Quinn Roff and the other by Lawrence. The team had six tackles for a loss and three passes defended.

With each of the interceptions, Sam Lockett III had two picks, Armani Marsh had one and Derrick Langford Jr. had a pick-six, a 35-yard return for a touchdown.

“We have a high bar on defense, okay, we have a high bar. It doesn’t just happen because we say it happens. It happens because these guys put in the work the last three years to get to this point,” WSU head coach Jake Dickert said. “’Play hard. Play fast. Play together’ that’s code Coug.”

WSU quarterback Cam Ward had one of his most complete games of the season. He did not throw for an outlandish game, going 25/36 for 193 yards for a touchdown. He also led the team in rushing, running eight times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Ward was efficient and effective. 

He has moved into more of a game-managing role but has been playing his part well. Avoiding mistakes and turnovers, letting the defense take control and allowing the rush game to push forward.

Ward spoke about the recent success he has had and his relatively mistake-free play.

“Really just taking what they give us. Like I said, just knowing the situation and certain downs. Knowing whether or not to try and make a play or make a crazy play. So just knowing situation, just getting the ball out of my hand quicker.” Ward said.

Nakia Watson took 15 carries for 56 yards and a rushing touchdown along with the team’s only receiving touchdown for four yards.

WSU has matched their win total from a year ago at seven wins.

The Cougars now prepare to play University of Washington Huskies on Saturday for the Apple Cup.

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Martin Stadium. It will be the first Apple Cup in Pullman since 2018.