Armed with QB Cameron Ward, what are expectations for WSU Cougars?

Aug 19, 2022, 12:26 PM

WSU Cougars Cameron Ward...

Washington State Cougars QB Cameron Ward runs with the ball the spring game on April 23, 2022, at Martin Stadium. (Oliver McKenna/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Oliver McKenna/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For the first time since 2012, the WSU Cougars won the Apple Cup in 2021, which came after a season filled with plenty of drama as head coach Nick Rolovich was fired due to him not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pac-12 Commissioner Kliavkoff jabs Big 12, touts future after USC, UCLA

But the team rallied around interim head coach Jake Dickert, finishing the regular season with a 7-5 record an Apple Cup victory, which earned Dickert the full-time head coaching job.

So what do the WSU Cougars look like heading into Dickert’s first full season as head coach in 2022?

Noted college football analyst Phil Steele joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Bump and Stacy on Thursday to discuss what he thinks of the Cougs.

Steele thinks WSU is one of the hardest teams in the country to forecast, saying the Cougars could win as few as three games or as many as nine.

What Steele is optimistic about is the offense, which has a new quarterback in Cameron Ward.

Ward transferred to WSU from FCS Incarnate Word after throwing 47 touchdowns, and Steele thinks the Cougars could take a big leap forward with Ward, similar to last year when Western Kentucky shined with quarterback Bailey Zappe under center. Zappe set an FBS record with 62 passing touchdowns and 5,967 passing yards in his lone season with the Hilltoppers after starring at FCS Houston Baptist and he was a fourth-round pick of the New England Patriots in this April’s draft.

Additionally, Ward’s head coach at Incarnate Word, Eric Morris, has joined the WSU coaching staff as offensive coordinator.

“So (Ward) knows the system extremely well,” Steele said. “They’ve got solid receivers like Renard Bell, Lincoln Victor, (De’Zhaun) Stribling (who are) all solid.”

The offensive line, Steele said, is the WSU Cougars’ biggest question mark.

“No doubt about it,” he said. ” …Can they protect (Ward)?”

Dickert’s background is on the defensive side of the ball, so how does that unit look heading into 2022?

“Defensively when you look at them, I like Brennan Jackson at defensive end,” Steele said. “I think (Daiyan) Henley at linebacker coming over from Nevada, he’s actually an NFL-caliber linebacker, so he’s a big pickup there. And then I like the secondary with (Armani) Marsh and (Derrick) Langford.”

But WSU has a tough schedule, especially compared to rival Washington.

“They draw a tougher schedule than does Washington. They play both Utah and USC, who I have near the top of the charts,” Steele said. “… It’s a tough team for me to forecast. Only 10 returning starters. But the possibility is there for them to surprise, especially if Ward plays like he did at Incarnate Word.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.

Bumpus: WSU Cougars, other small schools ‘going to suffer’ after Pac-12 shakeup

Bump & Stacy Show

Bump and Stacy

AEW Bryan Danielson...

Brent Stecker

At AEW WrestleDream, Bryan Danielson has his biggest match ever in Seattle

Wrestling star Bryan Danielson, a Washington native who is beloved in Seattle, talked to Seattle Sports about his huge match Sunday at AEW WrestleDream.

16 hours ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Seahawks S Quandre Diggs on being one of the leaders on this defense

What does Seattle Seahawks S Quandre Diggs think this defense can accomplish this season? What is it like to be one of the leaders on this team? He joined The Huddle with Michael Bumpus, Stacy Rost and Dave Wyman to discuss that and much more. What makes this Seahawks defense different from previous versions he’s […]

18 hours ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Bryan Danielson of AEW on returning to PNW, Seattle Seahawks, being from Aberdeen

Wrestling legend and AEW superstar Bryan Danielson sits down with Seattle Sports’ Curtis Rogers to talk about this weekend’s two big events at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, what it’s like to be back in the PNW, and even some Seattle Seahawks talk. Why is it so special for him to say he is from […]

21 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Stacy Rost

Rost on Seahawks: What’s a fair expectation for Jamal Adams’ return?

With Jamal Adams set to return to the Seattle Seahawks for the first time in more than a year, what can we reasonably expect from him?

22 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Brandon Gustafson

Bump: Seahawks should take page from Dolphins to get JSN going

For the Seattle Seahawks to get more out of Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Michael Bumpus says they should look at the NFL's top offense in Miami.

2 days ago

AEW Paul Wight...

Seattle Sports Video

Video: AEW wrestling legend Paul Wight talks big show in Seattle

Paul Wight of All Elite Wrestling joined Seattle Sports' Bump and Stacy in studio on Wednesday to discuss AEW being in town at Climate Pledge Arena for two big shows.

2 days ago

Armed with QB Cameron Ward, what are expectations for WSU Cougars?