Washington State (1-2) at Utah (1-2)
- Kickoff: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. MDT
- Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium (51,444 capacity)
- TV: Pac-12 Network
- Livestream: Pac-12 Network
- Radio: ESPN 700 AM
- Series: Series is tied, 9-9
- Weather: Sunny with temperatures in the mid 70s at kickoff.
For Washington State … Washington State has lost two of its last three games, losing to Utah State to open the season before beating Portland State. Last week, the Cougars lost to USC 45-14 as the Trojans scored 45 unanswered points.
For Utah … Utah has lost two games in a row, losing to BYU and San Diego State. A fourth-quarter rally, led by quarterback Cam Rising — inserted near the end of the third quarter— forced overtime, but Utah fell short in triple-overtime.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Who will start at quarterback for Washington State?
Starting quarterback Jayden de Laura suffered a leg injury near the end of the second quarter of the USC game last week. He exited the game and did not return. Victor Gabalis, a sophomore walk-on, and Lehi High alum Cammon Cooper each took snaps in the USC game for the Cougars. Gabalis took the majority of the reps and was the first off the bench, as Cooper only led the last drive of the game after the contest was out of reach. Gabalis was 6-for-10 for 19 yards and Cooper was 4-for-5 for 44 yards, with an interception.
Washington State coach Nick Rolovich hasn’t named a starting QB for the Utah game. Rolovich hasn’t ruled de Laura out yet, but said that Jarrett Guarantano and Cooper have been splitting the first-team reps at practice, per The Seattle Times.
Guarantano started 32 games for Tennessee before transferring to Washington State, throwing for 6,174 yards, 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for the Volunteers. He was the Week 1 starter for Washington State against the Aggies, but was injured early on in that game. Rolovich said that he “anticipates him being even more ready to play this week.”
Cam Rising, QB, Utah: After Charlie Brewer’s departure from the team this week, it’s even more official: This is Cam Rising’s team. Rising is clearly beloved by his teammates, being voted a captain even though he was not named the starting quarterback. He wasn’t perfect and took a little bit to get going, but he did provide the best quarterback play we’ve seen so far this year for Utah in rallying the Utes in a 153-yard, three-touchdown performance to force overtime. It will be interesting to see how Rising does over a full game.
“Washington State coming in this week, coming off a loss to USC. They were playing well early in the game, in fact they had the ball in great field position up 14-0, with the opportunity to go up 21-0. Then everything just started to turn … but they played well for a period of time and had (USC) on the ropes. But SC surged back and took control of the game. So that was that. But we have a home game, Pac-12 opener. We’re 0-0 in Pac-12 play. That’s the mentality right now, we have a fresh start. Nonconference games went nothing like we expected or anticipated. Now we’re on to conference play.”
— Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham on Washington State
“You have a defensive-minded coach. ... (Utah) has a reputation of being physical, tough. They’ve got some explosive playmakers on offense, too. I don’t know when Britain Covey can graduate, but he seems to be making plays for a long time in this league. A couple of tight ends that have really strong skill sets.”
— Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich on preparing for Utah
Utah has a bye week; Washington State travels to Cal on Oct. 2.
Sept. 2 — Utah 40, Weber State 17
Sept. 11 — BYU 26, Utah 17
Sept. 18 — San Diego State 33, Utah 31 (3OT)
Sept. 25 — Washington State (12:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
Oct. 2 — BYE
Oct. 9 — at USC
Oct. 16 — Arizona State
Oct. 23 — at Oregon State
Oct. 30 — UCLA
Nov. 5 — at Stanford (8:30 p.m., FS1)
Nov. 13 — at Arizona
Nov. 20 — Oregon
Nov. 26 — Colorado
All times MDT