Moore: WSU’s future looks bright after QB Jayden de Laura’s stellar debut
What’s your first impression of new WSU starting quarterback Jayden de Laura?
I was dazzled. He looked like a combination of Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. He’s got a great arm, he’s elusive, he’s quick, he’s got great pocket awareness, and before I start sounding like Dan Orlovsky breaking him down, my thoughts are no doubt irrationally over the top with de Laura. But I was beyond excited to see how good this kid is.
I saw enough to think he gives us a reasonable chance against Oregon this week and a better than reasonable chance to end WSU’s seven-game losing streak in the Apple Cup later this month. I saw enough to think he could be an all-time Cougar great.
In a 38-28 win over Oregon State Saturday night, De Laura’s numbers weren’t off-the-charts terrific, completing 18 of 33 passes for 227 yards and two TDs and rushing for 43 yards and another touchdown. He also threw an interception in the first half when he tried to force one into double coverage in the end zone.
But I didn’t care about that throw as much as most of the others – he’s got a gun, he’s got a willingness to throw it deep, and he keeps plays alive, just like Wilson and Murray, making things happen with his feet.
And here’s what he didn’t look like – a true freshman. The best thing about him? He’s fun to watch. As with Wilson, you wondered what he was going to do next to make you shake your head in amazement.
Welcome back No. 6!
— Washington State Football (@WSUCougarFB) November 8, 2020
I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I don’t care. I could be wrong about him. He might have looked sensational against the Beavers, but they’re the Beavers. How will he do against Oregon and better teams in the PAC-12?
Thing is, I have a feeling he’s going to hold up just fine. Out of all the good things that happened Saturday night, from Deon McIntosh filling in for an injured Max Borghi and rushing for 147 yards, to a defense that played remarkably well, de Laura topped the Wazzu list of pleasant surprises.
He not only led Washington State to victory in Corvallis in Nick Rolovich’s first game as head coach, he gave us hope for a bright future for Cougar football.
More from Jim: As Rolovich era begins, it’s nice to be all-in on WSU again