The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU Quarterback Cam Ward shines in teams final fall scrimmage

With two weeks to go until game day, Ward already looks to be in mid-season form
Cam Ward looks for an open reciever for big yardage, Aug. 19.

The Cougs held their final scrimmage Saturday under the lights and under the smoke. The spotlight, however, was on second-year Cougar Cam Ward, who showed off his electric arm talent and unique play-making abilities.

Ward was nearly perfect, completing 13 of his 16 attempted passes for 194 yards. He also threw four touchdown passes, one more than he had in total incompletions. It was an exceptional night for Ward, thanks in large part to a great week of practice, said head coach Jake Dickert.

“I’ve been really pleased with where he’s at really all week and I think this is just the culmination of a great week of practice, great situations, him going out there and commanding the offense and then throwing strikes,” Dickert said. “Tonight he was just fantastic, and I told him he’s gonna take us to places he didn’t even think he could. We’re gonna go as he goes, and I’m all in, he’s got the keys to the car.”

It took Ward no time at all to get going, as he went 6/7 for 75 yards on his first drive, capping it with a 27-yard touchdown pass over the middle to a wide-open target in senior wideout Isaiah Hamilton. 

Cam Ward finds an open receiver for a touchdown during a team scrimmage, Aug. 19.

After a three-play drive where Ward was sacked twice, he came out on his third drive and completed four of five passes for 64 yards with two 24-yard completions on the drive, the latter being an impressive cross-body laser to freshman wide receiver Carlos Hernandez for a touchdown.

On the very next drive, Ward wasted no time hitting senior receiver Lincoln Victor for a 35-yard touchdown off his back foot on the drive’s second play. Ward would end his day with a short drive starting on the opposing 20-yard line where he went 2/2 with a play-action screen pass to transfer wideout DT Sheffield for a five-yard touchdown.

DT Sheffield is lifted by his teammates after scoring a touchdown during team scrimmage, Aug. 19.

Ward’s outstanding outing did not happen alone, however. It takes a full unit running in sync to put it together, and the improvement of the offensive line and the chemistry between Ward and the receiving core was the key, he said.

“I just feel like it was clicking on all cylinders all night, o-line had a fantastic day, those guys improved the most out of all the positions in fall camp. And then the receivers and I, we just put it together and I was able to put the ball in play and [Lincoln Victor] going to show you what he gon’ do, [Josh Kelly] and DT [Sheffield]. Kyle [Williams] had himself a day too,” Ward said.

The chemistry between Ward and the offense and the tightening of his mechanics have been extremely impressive, but the degree of difficulty on some of the plays he makes is truly incredible. But even with a great performance and plenty of highlights, there are still things to improve on, Ward said.

“I’ve got a lot to improve on still. The scramble drill I had to DT I dropped my arm angle which caused the ball to sail down, I had a couple missed reads, a couple of bad calls I could have checked us into better plays, and also I think we stayed above the chains today. We stayed to the script of what we wanted to do, we didn’t get behind the chains much today and if we keep doing that we’ll play some good football,” Ward said.

Another big part of Ward’s success has been the relationship between him and the coaching staff, especially coach Dickert. Dickert and Ward had a one-on-one meeting before the scrimmage where Dickert preached accountability.

“Don’t put pressure on yourself,” Dickert said. “It isn’t about if he has 5,000 [passing yards] or 2,000, it’s the intangible pieces that he has and I think he has it on tape. He knows everyone. Sometimes he puts pressure on every throw. The bottom thing is just accountability and how he has to hold everyone around him accountable.”

Dickert has shown several podcast clips during team meetings, including a clip of Kobe Bryant talking about holding people accountable, something Ward said is “the biggest thing next in my journey.” Dickert’s coaching style appears to fit Ward perfectly, and the bond continues to grow stronger.

“Coach Dickert’s been there for me since I got here since day one,” Ward said. “He wants nothing but the best for me and I’m just excited to play for a coach like that, that wants to see us succeed.”

Overall, Saturday night was a great sign for Ward and the offense as he looks to be rounding into mid-season form with two weeks to go until week one. Now that the scrimmage is in the past, it’s time to focus on Colorado State, Ward said.

“We’re just game planning for Colorado State, that’s the main thing on my mind right now, just trying to go into CSU looking to win the first game,” Ward said. “The scrimmage is over, Sunday’s a little off day for us but it starts right now.”

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About the Contributors
LUKE WESTFALL, Evergreen sports co-editor
Luke Westfall is a junior in Broadcast News from Custer, WA. He is an avid fanatic of the many sports at many levels who spends all his available time indulging in them. Luke began working at the Evergreen in Spring 2022.
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.