PULLMAN, Wash. — "After Monday's practice our team just kind of came together and were like we've got to move on," said Washington State sophomore starting quarterback Jayden de Laura on the team moving past the Nick Rolovich firing for not meeting the state's vaccine mandate.
The Cougars have had to move on quickly with the saga taking place in the middle of the season. There was no adjustment period with Washington State facing BYU just five days after finding out Rolovich would no longer be the man in charge on Oct. 18th.
The players decided to come together and make the most out of the rest of their season.
"We've still got half of a season to finish. It was tough, but I think we're back on track," said de Laura.
Tuesday morning's press conference was more about football than vaccinations as the Cougars look to turn the page. It was the first time de Laura spoke with the media since Rolovich was terminated.
The quarterback took to twitter after the team was informed Rolovich would no longer be the head coach at WSU posting "We strongly disagree with today's decision. But, we also understand that Cougar football has always been bigger than any one person. We are a band of brothers who play and sacrifice for each other, no matter who the head coach is."
"I just wanted to put something out there, you know. Something to show our team that we've still got to come out there and play. And yes, something like that, something sad happened where we lost our coaches, but at the end of the day we've still got to go out there and finish the season off," said de Laura when asked about the tweet.
With a head coach gone and four assistants, including co-offensive coordinator and his position coach Craig Stutzmann, there were a lot of changes for de Laura. Thankfully, the other co-offensive coordinator Brian Smith is still around, so the transition hasn't been too tumultuous.
"I mean, not really any difference," said de Laura on coach Smith. "Coach Smitty was calling plays for us in the beginning of the season, so it's just back to what we were doing before."
When it comes to his new head coach, Jake Dickert, that bond is starting to form.
"He's really professional and he's really just himself out there on the field. Which I really like," said de Laura. "He's not trying to be too nice, you know, he's just a head coach now."