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Jayden de Laura injured, Victor Gabalis in at quarterback for Wazzu

A freshman comes in during a big spot for the Cougars.

Washington State Cougars quarterback Jayden de Laura throws a pass against the USC Trojans in the first half at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium.  James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

An injury to Washington State Cougars quarterback Jayden de Laura has him in a brace, and freshman backup Victor Gabalis came in for the Coogs for the first drive of the second half against the USC Trojans. WSU was up 14-7 at half, but a turnover on the kickoff return led to a Trojans score, and it’s 14-14 early in the third quarter.

De Laura was 10-16 for 117 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and looked sharp against favored USC. Gabalis was a preferred walk-on to the team last season under new head coach Nick Rolovich, and has earned his way up the depth chart to be here in a big moment.

De Laura started four games as a freshman for WSU last season, but seemed to be playing his way into a more permanent role during his team’s 1-1 start to the season.

For bettors, it seems to be a fair trade as Kedon Slovis went down on the first series for USC, and was replaced by true freshman Jaxson Dart. The Trojans were 7.5-point favorites at kickoff via DraftKings Sportsbook.