The Washington State Football team travels to Tucson as they take on the scrappy Wildcats of Arizona. For some, this trip is more personal than usual
It’s no secret that there is some bad blood between the Washington State football team and their former quarterback, Jayden de Laura. The former Coug went from Apple Cup hero to quitting on his teammates at halftime of the Sun Bowl in just the matter of weeks. He then bolted south and transferred to the University of Arizona, where he has been the starting quarterback this entire season.
It was a strange saga that never seemed to get much public explanation other than De Laura wanted to be somewhere else after Nick Rolovich was dismissed as coach earlier in the season. On the outside looking in it appeared that both sides were going to benefit from the separation. De Laura got to be where he wanted while still maintaining a starting role in the Pac 12 conference. The Washington State football team on the other hand acquired Cam Ward via the same transfer portal that lost De Laura and still ended up with the better player, arguably.
Joking aside, this whole “it’s personal” talk from Jayden de Laura just does not make much sense. He acts as if he did not receive numerous opportunities from the Cougar program not only on the field, but off the field as well. This is why I believe this game this weekend between the Cougs and the Wildcats has turned into more than a regular football game, for better or for worse.
Coming into Saturday, both of these teams are trending upward. With the Washington State football team dispatching Arizona State in Pullman last week, the Wildcats were not to be outdone, as they upset highly ranked UCLA in Pasadena. Arizona gets the benefit of this game being at home, and away from the frozen tundra that is the Palouse in November. With clear skies and warm weather their expects to be a bevy of points on the board with these two teams matched up.
With all the extra talk going on throughout the week, it is to be expected that both of these teams will be fired up. With rivalry week just around the corner, this weekend before is normally the calm before any storm of smack-talking and added intensity. That changes with the Wildcats quarterback being a former Coug. No matter how corny or silly it may seem to some fans, this game will be more intense than others, and let me tell you my friends, that’s a great thing for the Washington State football team.
The Cougars are not the team being talked about this weekend. All the talk has been centered around someone that used to be apart of what they are, what they are building towards. That has to piss them off, right? One would hope so as this game is just as important as next week’s Apple Cup. A win against Arizona on the road will give credence once again that this Washington State team is moving in the right direction, and that it never was personal, all along. They have bigger and brighter goals in mind than just one game in November.