WSU Cougars QB situation unsettled heading into Utah game

Sep 20, 2021, 4:16 PM
WSU Jayden de Laura...
WSU quarterback Jayden de Laura throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California on Saturday. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

The WSU quarterback situation remains unsettled as the Cougars prepare to play at Utah on Saturday.

Saturday: Jaxson Dart leads USC over WSU Cougars 45-14

Starter Jayden de Laura helped the Cougars take a 14-0 lead over Southern California on Saturday but he was injured late in the first half. He played very little in the second half as the Trojans pulled away to a 45-14 victory.

Backup quarterbacks Victor Gabalis and Cammon Cooper failed to move the Cougars (1-2, O-1 Pac-12), especially in the crucial third quarter when Washington State produced minus-2 yards of offense while the Trojans were scoring 28 points.

“Jayden is day-to-day right now,” coach Nick Rolovich said Monday. “It’s going to be close.”

De Laura came out for the second half limping with his left leg in a brace. Rolovich declined to discuss details about the injury.

If de Laura can’t play, Tennessee graduate transfer Jarrett Guarantano should be ready to go, Rolovich said.

Guarantano, Gabalis and Cooper are “all very close” on the depth chart, Rolovich said, each bringing different strengths to the position.

De Laura, a sophomore who started all four games last year, has been playing well, Rolovich said.

“Jayden was directing traffic very well. He was commanding it,” Rolovich said. “He’s done a real good job the majority of this year.”

De Laura’s first three series accounted for 192 of the Cougars’ 279 total yards against the Trojans. The Cougars were a dropped touchdown pass away from leading USC 21-0 late in the second quarter but their offense disappeared when de Laura left the game.

The loss marked the fourth time in Rolovich’s seven games as Washington State’s coach that the Cougars squandered a double-digit lead. One of those times was last year against Utah, when the Cougars were up 28-7 and ended up losing the game.

Utah (1-2) enters Saturday’s game on a two-game losing streak after beginning the season in the AP Top 25.


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