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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Set to Host No. 20 USC
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 09/20/2010
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Sept. 20, 2010

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State Cougars (1-2, 0-0) vs.
USC Trojans (3-0, 0-0)
September 25, 2010 • Martin Stadium • Noon
Radio: Washington State ISP Sports Network

SATURDAY'S GAME: The Washington State University football team (1-2) returns to Martin Stadium Saturday (Sept. 25), to play host to USC (3-0) for each team's Pacific-10 Conference opener. Kickoff between the Cougars and Trojans is scheduled for noon, and the game will be televised live by FSN Northwest.

FSN NW TO TELEVISE WSU-USC: FSN NW will televise Saturday's game between Washington State and USC with Tom Glasgow calling play-by-play, Jason Gesser serving as the analyst, Mack Strong as the sideline analyst and Jen Mueller reporting.

WSU vs. USC - THE SERIES: The Cougars have dropped seven-straight to USC after winning back-to-back games in 2000 and 2002. The Cougars' last victory was a 30-27 overtime win at home, Oct. 5, 2002. WSU trails the all-time series with USC 8-57-4.

COUGARS IN CONFERENCE OPENERS: Dating back to the start of Pac-10 play in 1978, WSU is 15-16-1 in conference openers. When the conference openers are played at home, the Cougars are 9-9-1.

FRESHMAN PHENOM: Wide receiver Marquess Wilson already has four receptions of 40-plus yards through the first three games of the season, more than any Cougar had in all of 2009. Wilson finished with a career-high 134 yards against SMU, his second-career 100-yard receiving game. He is just the second freshman wide receiver in school history to post multiple 100-yard games in a single season. Phillip Bobo did it three times in 1990.

STARTING STALWART: Since WSU's 2007 season-opener against Wisconsin, Micah Hannam has started every game the Cougars have played. The redshirt senior has started 40-straight games, all of which have come at right tackle. The streak is the longest by a Cougar offensive lineman since Mike Utley started 42 in a row from 1985-88. Hannam is tied for the longest starting streak in the conference with Arizona center Colin Baxter.

COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 2000: Since 2000 WSU is 9-30 against ranked teams and 6-5 when WSU was also ranked. This week's opponent, USC, is the first ranked team the Cougars have faced in 2010.

NEWCOMERS SEEING TIME: Of the 60 players to see the field against Oklahoma State, 24 were making their debuts with the Cougars, or 40 percent. The Cougars played seven true freshmen - after playing just six in all of 2009 - and nine redshirt freshmen. Six players also made their starting debuts for the Cougars. WSU has added to the true freshman total as linebacker Eric Oertel made his collegiate debut at SMU.

PUNTING HIS WAY TO THE TOP: Redshirt senior punter Reid Forrest has moved into second place on both WSU's career punts and career punt yards lists. He passed Gavin Hedrick (217; 1974-77) on the all-time list punts list against Oklahoma State. Forrest now has 229 career punts, and now trails only Kyle Basler (255; 2002-05) for the most in school history. Forrest also passed Hedrick (9,409) on the all-time punt yards list against SMU. Forrest now has 9,653 for his career, trailing just Basler (10,794). His career punting average of 42.2 ranks third all-time amongst punters with more than 150 career punts, behind Hedrick (43.4) and Basler (42.3).

BIG LEG: Senior kicker Nico Grasu's 56-yard field goal in the second quarter against Oklahoma State was a career long, and the sixth-longest field goal in school history. It was the longest by a Cougar kicker since Rian Lindell's 57-yarder against Boise State, Sept. 27, 1997, and the first WSU field goal of 50 or more yards since Lindell's 50-yarder against Oregon State, Oct. 30, 1999.

NWACHUKWU A LOWE'S CANDIDATE: Washington State University senior Chima Nwachukwu was one of 30 NCAA® football bowl subdivision student-athletes candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. A 2009 ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-American, Nwachukwu is a three-year starter for the Cougars, playing both the safety and cornerback positions. A native of Allen, Texas, the senior posted a 4.0 GPA during his sophomore and junior years and served as WSU's 2009-10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president. Additionally, Nwachukwu has assisted in several community outreach programs, including the Cougs Helping Haiti Fundraiser, Nike Shoe Drive and Reading Buddies, a program where student-athletes volunteer once a week to read to elementary school students. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

• Freshman safety Deone Bucannon made his first-career start against the Mustangs, and fellow freshman Eric Oertel made his collegiate debut...WSU has now played eight true freshmen through the first three games of 2010 after playing just six in all of 2009.
Jared Karstetter's first-quarter touchdown was the first by a Cougar in the opening stanza since Dwight Tardy scored on an 18-yard rush against Arizona, Nov. 8, 2008...the last time the Cougars scored a first-quarter touchdown on the road was against Baylor, Sept. 12, 2008...Chantz Staden scored on a one-yard run...the last first-quarter passing touchdown for the Cougars came against Washington, Nov. 24, 2007, when Alex Brink hit tight end Devin Frischknecht.
• Redshirt senior defensive end Kevin Kooyman recorded his first multiple-sack game since Sept. 8, 2007, when he recorded two against San Diego State in Seattle...Kooyman also forced two fumbles, doubling his previous career total.
• WSU and SMU were tied at 14 at halftime, marking the first time since Nov. 17, 2007 (Washington; 21-20), that the Cougars did not trail at halftime against a Football Bowl Subdivision team...WSU led Football Championship Division opponent Portland State at halftime (17-3), Sept. 20, 2008.
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