Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Game today at 3:30 PM: Washington State vs. Fresno State; Cougars Game Notes




WASHINGTON STATE (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) vs. FRESNO STATE (9-4, 7-1 Mountain West) 
 12:30 p.m., Saturday, December 17, 2022  •  ABC
SoFi Stadium (70,000)  •  Los Angeles
Washington State heads to Los Angeles to face Fresno State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m., December 17 at SoFi Stadium on ABC.

Washington State is set to make its seventh straight bowl appearance (not counting 2020) and first in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. The Cougars are 8-9 all-time in bowl games after dropping a 24-21 decision to Central Michigan in the Sun Bowl last season. WSU is 3-1 all-time against Fresno State and are meeting the Bulldogs for the first time since 1994.

Washington State enters the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl with a 7-5 overall record including a 4-5 mark in Pac-12 Conference play. The Cougars enter bowl game third in the Pac-12 with 74 tackles-for-loss, 29 sacks and 22.3 points allowed per game while the offense leads the Pac-12 in red zone scoring (91%, 43-47). Running back Nakia Watson is fifth in the Pac-12 with 12 total touchdowns, linebacker Daiyan Henley is second in the league with 106 tackles and EDGE Brennan Jackson is fifth with 11 tackles-for-loss. Jake Dickert served as WSU’s interim head coach the final five games of last season, is in his first full season the Cougars’ head coach (10-8 career record).

• WSU is headed to a bowl for the 7th straight season (non COVID), seeking first 8-win season since 2018 (11-2) • WSU’s roster features 20 players from southern California • WSU is set to make its first appearance on ABC since 2007 • WSU is third in the Pac-12 with 74 tackles-for-loss and fourth with 29 sacks, both marks are most since 2018 • WSU’s 52-14 win at Stanford was its 6th straight win over the Cardinal and the most points scored in series history • WSU’s Sept. 24 game against No. 15 Oregon was WSU’s first sellout of Gesa Field since 2019 (Stanford) • WSU had 10 players earn All-Pac-12 honors

INDIVIDUAL (Player Notes Pages 10-21)
• LB Daiyan Henley is 2nd in the Pac-12 in tackles (106) and 3rd in tackles-for-loss (12)… Henley was named to College Football News All-American 2nd Team, AP Midseason All-American, Lott IMPACT Trophy Quarterfinalist, Butkus Award Finalist and All-Pac-12 First Team…accepted invite to Reece’s Senior Bowl • EDGE Brennan Jackson is tied for 5th in the Pac-12 in tackles-for-loss (11) and tied for 7th in sacks (5) • QB Cameron Ward enters the week 2nd in the Pac-12 in completions (298), has 5 games with a rush TD and pass TD • S Jaden Hicks was named to the Freshman All-America Third Team by College Football News, 3 double-digit tackle games, leads all Pac-12 freshmen in tackles (69) • RB Nakia Watson rushed for 166 yards at Stanford, most since Dwight Tardy in 2007 (214, UCLA), and 116 yards against ASU…1st Coug with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Jerome Harrison in 2005 • WR Renard Bell caught a 37-yard TD against Cal, No. 18 TD reception of his career, 10th-most rec TD in WSU history

Ten Washington State football players earned 2022 All-Pac-12 Conference honors, including linebacker Daiyan Henley who earned first-team honors. Henley was named to the first team and also to the second team as an all-purpose/special teams player while edge’s Ron Stone Jr. and Brennan Jackson joined Henley on the second team. Seven players earned honorable mention; punt returner Robert Ferrel, punter Nick Haberer, left tackle Jarrett Kingston, defensive back Armani Marsh, cornerback Chau Smith-Wade, quarterback Cameron Ward and running back Nakia Watson.

Linebacker Daiyan Henley was one of five players named a finalist for the 2022 Butkus Award. The Butkus Award is presented annually to the best linebacker in college football. Henley is the only finalist from the Pac-12 Conference and is the first Cougar linebacker named a Butkus Award finalist in program history. In his first season at WSU, Henley is the first Cougar linebacker to earn All-Pac-12 first-team honors since Will Derting in 2003 and was named to the College Football News All-American Second Team. Henley, a graduate transfer from Nevada, enters the LA Bowl second in the Pac-12 with 106 tackles, third with 12 tackles-for-loss, tied for the league lead with three forced fumbles, recovered two fumbles and picked off one pass. The Los Angeles native owns five double-digit tackle games this season including game-highs of 11 at No. 6 USC, 13 at Oregon State, 12 against No. 14 Utah and 10 against Arizona State. According to Pro Football Focus College, Henley owns the Pac-12’s second-best overall defensive grade by a Pac-12 LB and second-best LB tackling grade in the country. 

Redshirt-freshman safety Jaden Hicks was named to the Freshman All-America Third Team by College Football News. Hicks is WSU’s second Freshman All-American in as many seasons after punter Nick Haberer earned the honor last season and is the first Cougar defensive player to earn Freshman All-America accolades since safety Jalen Thompson in 2016. Hicks enters the LA Bowl second on the team with 69 tackles, the most among Pac-12 freshmen defenders, along with two tackles-for-loss, one sack, four pass breakups, one interception and one fumble recovery he returned for a touchdown. The Las Vegas native recorded a sack in the season-opening win over Idaho, made three stops in the win at No. 19 Wisconsin and recorded 10 tackles along with an interception in his first career start in the win over Colorado State. Hicks followed with 11 tackles against No. 15 Oregon, 11 more in the win over California, eight against No. 14 Utah and was named Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week after making six tackles and returning a fumble 17 yards for a touchdown in the win at Stanford.

Dating back to the middle of the 2003 season, ESPN College GameDay has had the WSU flag appear throughout the show. The streak reached 287 after appearing at the Big 12 Championship Game. The first appearance came in Austin, Texas (10/4/03) and the streak began two weeks later in Madison, Wisc. (10/18/03). Two flags – Ol’ Crimson and Gray – have been flown in the background of the GameDay set by dozens of friends and alumni. The Gray flag was added in 2014 after Whitey was retired in honor of Steve Gleason’s “No White Flags.” Appearance No. 217 was its first in Pullman (10/20/18), a 34-20 win over Oregon. 

– WSU enters the week third in the Pac-12 with 74 tackles-for-loss, 29 sacks and scoring (22.3)
– WSU enters the week tied for third in the Pac-12 with 21 takeaways and 12 interceptions
– Daiyan Henley is 2nd in the Pac-12 in tackles (106), third in tackles-for-loss (12)
– Brennan Jackson is tied for fifth in the Pac-12 in tackles-for-loss (11), tied for 8th in sacks (5)
– Jaden Hicks leads Pac-12 freshmen in tackles (69), named to Freshman All-America Third Team
– WSU recorded 12 tackles-for-loss in the win over Idaho, the most since 2015 (14, Wyoming)
– WSU made seven sacks in the win over Colorado State, tied for the seventh-most in WSU single-game history and most since 2017 (8, at Utah) 
– WSU shutout Colorado State in the first half, WSU’s first 1st-half shutout since 2018 (Oregon, 27-0)
– Francisco Mauigoa’s 95-yard INT return against No. 15 Oregon was 2nd-longest INT return in WSU history (Will Derting, 98 yds, Nevada, 2002)
– WSU held Cal running back Jaydn Ott to 69 rush yards, entered game 115.8 rushing yard/g
– WSU held USC quarterback Caleb Williams to 15-of-29 passing and 188 yds
– WSU’s four fumble recoveries at Stanford were the most takeways since tallying five in last year’s Apple Cup, the most fumble recoveries since recovering four against Northern Colorado in 2019
– WSU recorded four sacks against ASU for the fourth time in 2022
– WSU picked off Arizona four times, the most INT since 2021 Apple Cup (4)

The Coug Raid offense features a couple familiar faces who are back in Pullman after coaching with Mike Leach’s Air Raid. Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Eric Morris returns after coaching the inside receivers for WSU in 2012, Leach’s first season in Pullman while Clay McGuire returns for his second stint as the Cougars’ offensive line coach (2012-17) and Joel Filani returns to coach the wide receivers after working the 2015 season at WSU in an offensive quality control position.
– WSU leads the Pac-12 in red zone scoring (43-47, 91%), No.10 in the country 
– In the win at No. 19 Wisconsin, 7 players caught a pass, Nakia Watson had a rush TD and rec TD
– Against No. 15 Oregon, Cameron Ward threw for 375 yards and completed passes to 10 different players
– TE Andre Dollar started against Oregon, first WSU TE to start since Andre Lintz in 2011 Apple Cup
– TE Billy Riviere III caught his 1st career TD against Cal, WSU’s first TD by a TE since Andre Lintz (2011, UNLV)
– at No. 6 USC, RB Jaylen Jenkins set season-high in rush yards (130), WSU’s 1st 100-yard rushing game by a TRUE freshman since 2005 (105, DeMaundray Woolridge, vs. Grambling State in Seattle)
– WSU’s 52 points at Stanford were the most scored in a conference game since 54 against Oregon State in 2019, most in a road conference game since scoring 56 at Oregon State in 2018
– WSU’s 306 rushing yards at Stanford were the most since rushing for 344 against Idaho in 2006
– WSU’s 514 yards of total offense at Stanford was a season-high and most since 2019 against Oregon State (641)
– WSU’s 52 points at Stanford were the most scored against Stanford in series history
– RB Nakia Watson rushed for 116 yards against ASU, the first Coug with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Jerome Harrison in 2005
– In win at Arizona, Ward rushed for a season-high 59 yards including a 17-yard touchdown, the most rushing yards by a Coug QB since Jeff Tuel rushed for 79 yards in the win at Oregon State in 2010

– Nick Haberer leads Pac-12 with 27 punts fair caught, hang time (4.14), 2nd with 19 punts inside 20
– Renard Bell had a 73-yard kick return at Wisconsin, Robert Ferrel had 34-yard punt return vs. Cal
– Robert Ferrel has 3 punt returns of 20+yards; 34 – CAL, 27 – OSU, 21 – STAN, tied for 2nd in Pac-12 in punt return (10.7)

The 2022 Cougar wide receiver core is led by a familiar face, graduate senior Renard Bell, 24, who returned for his seventh season in Pullman after missing last year with a knee injury. The Los Angeles native, who redshirted the 2016 season, owns an impressive resume.
– had 3-yard TD catch against Idaho, had 73-yard kickoff return in win at No. 19 Wisconsin week 2
– had 6 rec for 84 yards against No. 15 Oregon, 8 catches for 115 rec yards, 37-yard TD in win over Cal
– 174 career receptions, 3 away from breaking into WSU Top-10
– 18 career TD receptions, tied for 10th in WSU history for career TD rec
– 6 career 100-yard games
– 50 career games played including 37 career starts, 32 career wins
– has caught a pass from 9 different Cougar QB’s (Luke Falk, Tyler Hilinski, Gardner Minshew II, Anthony Gordon, Gage Gubrud, Jayden de Laura, Gunner Cruz, Cammon Cooper, Cameron Ward)

Quarterback Cameron Ward transferred to Washington State this past January after two record-setting seasons at Incarnate Word in Texas. The sophomore from West Columbia, Texas won the Jerry Rice Award following the 2020 season, the award given to the most outstanding freshman player in FCS football after setting UIW single-season records with 2,260 yards and 24 touchdowns in just six games. Last season at UIW, Ward was named an FCS second-team All-American, the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Walter Payton Award Finalist (give to the most outstanding offensive player in FCS) after leading UIW to a 10-3 record with school records of 4,648 passing yards, 47 touchdown passes and 357.5 passing yards-per-game. Ward was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, given to the most outstanding player in college football and The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, given to the top offensive player in Division I football either born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School.
– Ward threw for 299 yards and 4 TD passes vs. Colorado State, 12th career game with 4+ passing TD
– Ward was the fourth Cougar quarterback to win his first three WSU starts since 1976; 
   Chad Davis (1994), Steve Birnbaum (1998), Anthony Gordon (2019)
– Against No. 15 Oregon, Ward set season-highs with 37 completions and 375 passing yards, rush TD
– In win over Cal, threw for 343 yards and three TD (17, 37, 1) in win over Cal
– Against No. 14 Utah, completed 27-of-32 passes, 87.0 comp. pct tied for 2nd-best in WSU history
– In the Apple Cup, Ward had 322 pass yards, 4th 300-yard game in 2022, had 2 pass TD, 1 rush TD
– 5 games this season with rush TD and pass TD

– 27 players have made their WSU Debuts including 17 who made their collegiate debuts
– 7 true freshmen have played; TE Andre Dollar, RB Jaylen Jenkins, CB Javan Robinson, WR Leyton Smithson, QB John Mateer, OL Zack Miller, RB Djouvensky Schlenbaker

With the win at No. 19 Wisconsin:
– Jake Dickert became 1 of 4 WSU head coaches to beat a ranked team in his 1st full season
– WSU recorded its 1st win over a ranked team and 1st nonconference road win over a ranked team since beating No. 25 Iowa State in the 2018 Alamo Bowl
– WSU recorded its 1st TRUE road win over a ranked team since at No. 24 Stanford in 2018
– WSU recorded its 1st nonconference TRUE road win over a ranked team since beating No. 17 Colorado in 2003
– WSU recorded its 1st win over a Big Ten Conference team since beating Rutgers 37-34 in 2015
– Jake Dickert became the ninth WSU head coach to start his 1st full season 3-0, first since Mike Price 1989

WSU voted six players as team captains for the 2022 season; WR Renard Bell, OL Konner Gomness, EDGE Brennan Jackson, DB Armani Marsh, EDGE Ron Stone Jr., WR Lincoln Victor.

Renard Bell, WR    Social Science
Robert Ferrel, WR    PB-Humanities
Kaleb Ford-Dement, DB    Social Science
Daiyan Henley, LB    Criminal Justice
Brennan Jackson, EDGE    Business Administration
Chris Jackson, DB    Social Science
Jarrett Kingston, OL    Business Management
Derrick Langford Jr., DB    Social Science
Jordan Lee, DB    Public Health
Armani Marsh, DB    Sport Management
Christian Mejia, DT    Kinesiology
Amir Mujahid, DT    Social Science
Simon Samarzich, LS    Sport Management
Grant Stephens, OL    Human Services

Last season, Washington State and Gesa Credit Union announced a partnership to provide Gesa the naming rights to the playing surface at Martin Stadium, now named Gesa Field, pronounced gee-sah. The 10-year agreement is valued at a minimum $11 million, will escalate with additional Gesa consumer-based incentives. The agreement with WSU Athletics formalized the first major sponsorship announced under Gesa Credit Union which recently merged with Inspirus Credit Union making it the second-largest credit union in the state. 

WSU inducted eight individuals and one team into its Athletic Hall of Fame week three against Colorado State. As part of the Cougars’ year-long Power of IX campaign celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the 2022 class is an all-female class. The list of eight inductees and one team comprising the 2022 class includes: Eka Burduli (tennis, 2005-08), Tammy Crawford (rowing, 1990-2002), LaToya Harris (volleyball, 1999-2002), Kiersten Dallstream (soccer, 2006-09), Lisa Fraser (soccer, 1989-94), Anastasia Kostina (golf, 2003-06), Celestine N’Drin (track & field, 1986-90), Georgette Reed (swimming/track & field, 1988-91), 1991 Women’s Basketball.

Matt Chazanow is in his eighth season as the play-by-play voice for Cougar football, men’s basketball and baseball broadcasts. Joining Chazanow for his fifth season will be former Cougar quarterback Alex Brink who is the only WSU quarterback to win three Apple Cups and was later a seventh-round draft pick by the Houston Texans. Returning for her 11th season as the sideline reporter is Jessamyn McIntyre.