Washington State looks to bounce back against Portland State

NCAA Football

It appears Washington State will have a new starting quarterback for the second game of the season.

Jarrett Guarantano, a graduate transfer from Tennessee who won the job in summer camp, suffered a left knee injury when being sacked for a safety in the second quarter of last weekend’s 26-23 home loss to Utah State.

Last year’s starter, Jayden de Laura, came on in relief and is expected to start Saturday when the Cougars (0-1) play host to Portland State (0-1) in Pullman, Wash.

The only update Wazzu coach Nick Rolovich provided on Guarantano was that he didn’t think it was a season-ending injury.

“I think I would lean to Jayden right now with all things considered,” Rolovich said when asked about Saturday’s starter. “I thought Jayden came in – to his credit – with maybe a more mature mindset, and handled the decision when we told him (Guarantano was going to start against Utah State) very well.”

De Laura, a sophomore who entered with the Cougars trailing 5-3 and guided them to a 23-11 lead before a late Utah State rally, was 12 of 22 for 155 yards, with one touchdown. Guarantano was 8 of 13 for 56 yards before leaving with the injury.

Still, Rolovich wasn’t pleased his team blew a 12-point lead in the final 5 1/2 minutes.

“We had an opportunity on both sides of the ball to win that game,” he said. “We don’t care (which unit) wins the game, we’ve just got to be looking forward to that opportunity to win the game.”

Portland State suffered a 49-35 loss at Hawaii in its season opener after falling behind by 28 points in the first quarter.

Vikings quarterback Davis Alexander threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns.

“It was a slow start,” Portland State coach Bruce Barnum said. “We talked about their speed and addressed it in practice, but we didn’t seem ready for it.

“I’m proud of the team though, because they did finally stick their feet in the ground and did what needed to be done. We just needed to do that from the first snap.”

–Field Level Media

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