No joy in Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl

The Cougs were dominated by Fresno State and lost 29-6



Fresno State wide receiver Nikko Remigio evades WSU defensive back Armani Marsh during the 2022 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, Dec. 17, in Los Angeles.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

WSU was embarrassed in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.

Jimmy Kimmel, Guillermo Rodriguez, and bowl mascot Jimmy Kamel pose for a photo at midfield before the 2022 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, Dec. 17, in Los Angeles.

The Cougs lost to Fresno State 29-6.

The offense looked pathetic from the jump as they were held scoreless in the first half and were just able to score one touchdown in the second half.

Cam Ward threw 22/32 for a total of 137 yards and an interception, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. He was not able to pass for a touchdown pass either, the Cougs only score came from a one-yard run from their rushing leader Nakia Watson who ran the ball 14 times for 33 yards.

Jimmy Kimmel plays with the WSU marching band before the 2022 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, Dec. 17, in Los Angeles.

Nothing went right for the WSU offense, the pivotal point that explained all that happened in this game was when WSU was down two scores, they needed to drive down the field to try to change the momentum.

WSU wide receiver Renard Bell enters the field with a pirate flag to honor former head coach Mike Leach before the 2022 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, Dec. 17, in Los Angeles.

Instead, Lincoln Victor was stuffed at the 13-yard line during his kick return, the Cougs tried to throw a screen to Renard Bell who was then tackled five yards behind the line of scrimmage. A false start was called, the ball was at the three-yard line and Ward tried to escape pressure but then ran out of the back of the endzone causing a safety. This gave the Bulldogs a 16-0 lead.

WSU quarterback Cameron Ward (left) evades Fresno State defensive tackle Leonard Payne Jr. (right) during the 2022 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, Dec. 17, in Los Angeles. Ward ran out of the endzone for a Fresno State safety.

WSU head coach Jake Dickert spoke on the offensive failures, but also gave credit to Fresno State’s defense.

“There’s a variety of different reasons [the offense was unsuccessful]. I give credit to Fresno State, you know, a team that came in just giving up 20 points a game. That means they’re stout and they’re physical, they’re tough. And I think that’s what they were as we went throughout the game,” Dickert said. “I think it was a rhythm thing, I don’t think we ever got into rhythm. We never established running that football, which is obviously a key piece of what we always want to do.”

The Bulldogs were able to keep their offense very well-balanced. Jake Haener went 24/36 throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns. He looked very comfortable for most of the day.

Fresno State’s running back Jordan Mims ran the ball 18 times for a total of 209 yards, which is the most ever in a game in his career, along with two touchdowns on the day. Mims had a longest rush of 48 yards. He averaged nearly 12 yards per carry.

Fresno State running back Jordan Mims holds the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl belt after defeating WSU 29-6, Dec. 17, in Los Angeles.

Nikko Remigio led Fresno State in receiving, he caught five balls for 84 yards and one touchdown. Along with a long reception of 39 yards.

Fresno State outgained WSU by 319 yards, with 501 yards compared to WSU’s 182. The Bulldogs also gained 15 more first downs than the Cougs.

Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford holds the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl belt after defeating WSU 29-6, Dec. 17, in Los Angeles.

WSU was outclassed in just about every aspect, part of this struggle may be because they were missing both their offensive and defensive coordinator. Dickert gave no excuses for missing both of these coaches, but truly this was a massive issue in this game. Dickert discussed the future of both coordinator positions and the future of the program.

“Well, there’s a unique situation, right? And I’m definitely not gonna call it a restart, right? But we got to redefine, not only schematically but what we want to do in our football program. I think there’s benefits that can be had when you get some new people in here and new coaches and kind of take forward advances in our schematics. They’re not going to be drastic changes. We’re going to find people that really operate in the framework of what we do. Wanting to be at [WSU] is really important.”

As WSU enters this period of their offseason. They will be focused on finding solid offensive and defensive coordinators that fit the scheme that Dickert is trying to run. They will also get heavy into recruiting, both new freshmen and players in the transfer portal.