Three possessions, three takeaways.

For Ayden Hector, that’s one takeaway for every week of preseason workouts he got under his belt.

Midway through the first half of Washington State’s 43-29 loss Saturday to Oregon, Hector recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass — all in the span of a few minutes.

Not bad for a guy who didn’t join the team until mid-October. The true freshman from Seattle was a late addition to the WSU roster as a walk-on and made his debut as a starting safety in a season-opening win at Oregon State.

In this game, Tyrese Ross returned from a Game 1 absence and started ahead of Hector. But after the flurry of thefts, the newbie played the rest of the way.

“That man’s a player,” defensive tackle Dallas Hobbs said. “Shoot, we still don’t fully know him yet. It seems like, what — I think he had three or four weeks of fall camp. It’s crazy to see someone come in — in the circumstances we’re in in 2020 — to come in and play like that. He has relentless effort and is football-smart. Great things are going to come out of him. Just keep learning things.”

Sophomore defensive linemen Ahmir Crowder and Brennan Jackson, respectively, caused the two Oregon fumbles.

Roster notes

In addition to Ross, the Cougars also welcomed back linebacker Travion Brown, but he played sparingly.

Running back Max Borghi missed his second consecutive game, and this time edge rusher Willie Taylor III, cornerback Derrick Langford and receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. also were out. Jackson was in street clothes in the press box.

Cardboard spectators

Like other schools and professional sports teams this year, WSU adorned a section of the stadium stands with hundreds of cardboard cutouts bearing various images of “fans.” They included former Cougar football players Drew Bledsoe, Gardner Minshew, Luke Falk and Gabe Marks, as well as former basketball stars Klay Thompson and Craig Ehlo.

The cutouts were in the “Crimzone” seats beyond the west end zone.

Dale Grummert may be contacted at daleg@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2290.

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