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Previously this week, McBride announced he will be throwing in the towel and retiring at the end of this season. The end of this season will mark his seventh season as the leader of the Wildcats.
Director of Football Operations Kamaal Ahmad said to him and many players, it would mean everything to win the last game at home, for McBride’s sake as well as the 13 seniors.
“It would mean everything,” Ahmad said. “You know that the last home game for your coach and seniors is going to be in the back of your mind the entire game, and it will push you.”
Running back Josh Booker said the final home game for McBride gives the team a bigger push to succeed.
“It adds extra motivation for us as a team,” Booker said. “Coach Mac has done a lot for us, so we definitely don’t want to go out losing.”
The 13 seniors who will be sharing their final game on the home field with McBride are Gabe Bowers, Tyrell Francisco, Zach Higgins, Matt Miller, Mo Neal, J.C. Oram, Austin Raught, Pete Rolf, Kyle Shaney, Caleb Turner, Joel Turrubiates, Marvin Walker and Nick Webb. All but five of these athletes have played all four years of their college careers at WSU.
WSU will be facing off against the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks on Saturday. The Wildcats are going into the game with a 3-6 overall record on the season and 3-3 in the Big Sky Conference. WSU has lost the last three games and has struggled in the third quarter. WSU has been outscored 93-63 in the third quarter this season and has scored just seven total points in the third quarter in the last three games.
“We have been mentally preparing for this game,” Booker said. “We have been sharpening what we do well and are trying to put together four solid quarters of football.”
This game will be the 48th game between NAU and WSU. WSU holds a 25-22 record over NAU in the series.
Individual members of the team have been performing their best as of late. Sophomore Anthony Morales recorded 13 total tackles against Montana State University last week. He now has 92 tackles on the season. He has recorded double-figure tackles in the last four games.
Booker put up a career high of 121 rushing yards against MSU. He had 17 carries and scored two touchdowns. He now has 651 rushing yards on the season. He is currently ranked 23rd in school history in career rushing yards with 1,201.
Ahmad said the game against NAU will be a tough one, but the plan is to win. He said if WSU is prepared, the game will go well.
“They’re a good team, but I think we’ll be ready,” Ahmad said. “When you’re ready, everything goes according to plan.”
The game starts at 1:30 pm on Saturday afternoon. It will be the last game at Stewart Stadium for many Wildcats.
“I hope that we end the season with two wins and I’m sorry the season couldn’t be longer,” Booker said.