The Daily Evergreen

Get excited for return of Cougar Football

WSU kicks off season Saturday, here’s three reasons to celebrate

Then-redshirt+senior+quarterback+Luke+Falk+throws+a+pass+in+Martin+Stadium+during+a+game+against+Stanford+on+Nov.+4%2C+2017
Then-redshirt senior quarterback Luke Falk throws a pass in Martin Stadium during a game against Stanford on Nov. 4, 2017

Then-redshirt senior quarterback Luke Falk throws a pass in Martin Stadium during a game against Stanford on Nov. 4, 2017

ABBY LINNENKOHL | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

ABBY LINNENKOHL | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Then-redshirt senior quarterback Luke Falk throws a pass in Martin Stadium during a game against Stanford on Nov. 4, 2017

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen sports editor

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WSU football returns to the field Saturday for the team’s season-opener in Laramie against the University of Wyoming. Here are a few reasons why you should be excited.

The first is Head Coach Mike Leach, perhaps the most quotable coach if not the most entertaining. I for one can’t wait for post-game interview gems from Leach. My favorite from last year came after an upset win against University of Southern California and fans rushed the field.

“It’s a good win,” Leach said. “There’s a lot of people. It’s like Woodstock, except everybody’s got their clothes on.”

Second is a field of fresh faces new and old, which I choose to look at as a positive. All-time WSU greats like former quarterback Luke Falk have graduated, but that doesn’t mean the Cougs are down and out. New recruits are sure to add to the program and returning guys are set to break out.

Players to watch include graduate transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew II who is the likely successor to Falk. He will have a strong core of returning receivers who can pick up yardage, including senior wide receiver Kyle Sweet and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Renard Bell.

The player I’m most excited for is freshman running back Max Borghi, the three-star recruit who chose WSU over Stanford.

“Max, for a freshman coming in, he’s built for college football already,” said WSU’s running backs coach Eric Mele during spring ball earlier this year.

Last on the list are home games. Fans will have to wait until Sept. 8 to see the Cougs back at home when they face off against San Jose State University.

The game will be the long-awaited return of many Cougar traditions, from cannon blasts to Andy Grammer’s “Back Home” being blasted. I can’t wait to watch the Cougars take the field and cheer them on from the stands.

More importantly, WSU will use the home-opener as an opportunity to honor Tyler Hilinski. The Hilinski family will be in Pullman to raise the Cougar flag that night.

The return of Cougar football will be as important as ever this year, after an offseason that changed WSU in more ways than just the roster. So I can’t wait to watch WSU begin its uphill battle this year.

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Get excited for return of Cougar Football