The Washington State Cougars’ 2020 season has been, in one word, painful.
COVID-wise, the Cougars season got off to a solid start, solely based off the fact that WSU was able to play their first two games without any issues. Those two games were against Oregon State and Oregon, where the Cougs went 1-1.
As a fan, they gave us some hope that we could go on and on throughout the season without running into any problems.
That was until week three of the 2020 campaign, where WSU finally ran into their COVID issues prior to the game against Stanford.
WSU Athletics Director Pat Chun explained that at the time, four players tested positive on Friday, November 20th, and nine players that week had already seen positive tests.
“Based on a number of factors, our team has fallen below the Pac-12’s minimum threshold of 53 available scholarship student-athletes to play a game,” Chun explained.
This caused a cancellation of the scheduled Stanford game (11/21) and the Apple Cup (11/27).
After two weeks of no football, WSU returned on Sunday, December 6th (a game originally scheduled for Friday, 12/4). They were worked by USC, losing 38-13.
At the time, WSU was 1-2 and were planning on hosting Cal in a home game where they had a chance to get back to .500. The game was cancelled around 90 minutes prior to kickoff due to one Cal player testing positive while the teams were warming up to play on Saturday.
For their final game of the season, the Cougs head to Salt Lake City on Saturday, to take on the Utah Utes. It will be WSU’s fourth game played in a season scheduled for seven games in total, (fingers crossed).
The games against Stanford, UW and Cal were all deemed “no-contests” and will not be rescheduled.
Head Coach Nick Rolovich stated Tuesday, that he and his team will decline a bowl game invite, in the slim chance they end up becoming bowl-eligible post-Saturday’s game. This will be the first non-bowl game season since 2014.
“I think this will be it… I think it’s been incredibly hard on these guys. The uncertainty of what’s going to hit next, what’s going to hit what team,” Rolovich said Tuesday in a Zoom press conference.
Rolovich also comped 2020 bowl games to “just another away game.”
This will allow the players to head to their respective hometowns for the remainder of winter break. It will be their first time at home since June.