Washington State Cougars Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Washington State Cougars Preview
Head Coach: Jake Dickert, 3-3, 2nd year at Washington State
2021 Preview: Overall: 7-6, Conference: 6-3
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Top 10 Players | Washington State Schedule & Analysis
Washington State Cougars Preview 2022
Washington State has been to six bowl games in the last seven seasons, with 2020 and that weird four-game campaign the lone outlier.
Cal can’t boast that. Stanford can’t make that claim. Oregon State can’t, either, and neither can USC or UCLA.
Washington hasn’t been to a bowl game in the last two seasons – granted, 2020 had something to do with that – but Washington State also had its share of adversity last year and figured it out.
Washington State hasn’t been a Pac-12 powerhouse, but it’s been solid, it finds ways to come up with enough wins to have successful seasons, and it only looks to get better with an upgraded offense to go along with some sneaky-good parts on D.
The Pac-12 is far better when Washington State is doing Washington State things with a high-powered offense rolling in high-scoring games, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen this year.
The conference needs a good Wazzu in this current expansion climate, and it’s about to get it.
Washington State Cougars Preview 2022: Offense
Last year Western Kentucky went from meh to magnificent offensively by getting all of the key parts from the Houston Baptist attack. Washington State’s 2021 offense was mediocre – even with the Pac-12’s second-best passing game, and now it’s about to be jump-started.
Welcome to the Incarnate Word attack.
Former UIW head coach Eric Morris comes in as the new offensive coordinator after his team finished sixth in the FCS in total offense, second in scoring, and averaged 360 passing yards per game. He’s bringing along …
Cameron Ward. He’s a good pro prospect passer who threw for 4,648 yards and 47 touchdowns last year for UIW and ran for a score. It’s his offense to run now with former starting quarterback Jayden de Laura going to Arizona.
Ward also gets one of his key targets to throw to. Robert Ferrel caught 74 passes for 815 yards and nine scores last year. He’ll join the mix with De’Zhaun Stribling back after catching 44 passes and and Donovan Ollie returning after a 26-catch season – those two are 6-2ish big targets who can work in a variety of ways.
The passing game will control the offense – it’s Washington State – but the ground game should be effective. Longtime all-around playmaker Max Borghi is done, but former Wisconsin Badger Nakia Watson should take on a bigger role along with good-looking freshman Jaylen Jenkins.
The line will do some shuffling. It struggled to keep defenses out of the backfield, and it didn’t do enough for the ground game when the O gave it a shot.
Center Brian Greene left for Michigan State, but Konner Gomness is a veteran who can step in. Guard Jarrett Kingston will likely move to tackle, and Northern Colorado transfer Grant Stephens will try to step in for all-star Abraham Lucas.
Washington State Cougars Preview 2022: Defense
The defense was good at not breaking after bending. It was the best in the Pac-12 in red zone defense, it wasn’t bad in the secondary, and it was solid on third downs, What it was really, really good at was taking the ball away, coming up with a Pac-12 high 29 takeaways.
The secondary is undergoing an overhaul, but the Cougars are set on …
The defensive line. The Wazzu front four has a First Team All-Pac-12 end in Ron Stone, a fellow all-star in Brennan Jackson on the other side, and a good rotation in the interior. The pass rush has to be stronger, but the experience and options should make this one of the team’s improved strengths.
The linebacking corps loses longtime star Jahad Woods and running mate Justus Rogers, but Daiyan Henley is coming in from Nevada after a 94-tackle, four-interception season at Nevada, and Travion Brown is a 230-pound veteran who can handle the middle.
The secondary isn’t starting over, but it’s getting a slew of new parts around third-leading tackler and All-Pac-12 nickel back Armani Marsh.
Jordan Lee made 142 tackles with a whole lot of big plays for Nevada over the last three seasons. He’ll step in at one safety job, and former Utah State Aggie Sam Lockett comes in from the JUCO ranks to make a push for the other spot.
Cam Lampkin made 72 tackles with ten broken up passes as a corner for Utah State. He’ll combine with 6-3 veteran Derrick Langford at corner.