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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Hit The Road To Face Arizona State
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 11/05/2001
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Nov. 5, 2001

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THE COACHES:
WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 71-74-0 (.490) record at WSU in 13 years and a career mark of 117-118-0 (.498) in 22 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). ASU - The ASU Sun Devils are coached by first-year mentor Dirk Koetter, who has a 30-14-0 career mark...he was at Boise State for three years before taking over at ASU this season.

WSU VS. ASU:
The WSU-ASU series goes back to 1960, with the Sun Devils winning 16 times, WSU nine times...there have been two draws...ASU has won the last four games, with WSU's last win 28-21 in Tempe in 1994...last year ASU won 23-20 in overtime...ASU handed WSU its only regular season loss in 1997 44-31 in Tempe.

COUGS MOVE UP IN RANKINGS:
WSU, picked to finish last at the August Pac-10 Media Day gathering, has surprised the college football world with an 8-1 start... prior to this season, the last time WSU was nationally ranked was in 1997, when the Cougars finished ninth in both season-ending polls.

THOMPSON TIES PAC-10 RECORD:
WSU's Lamont Thompson picked off a WSU-record four passes against UCLA, pushing his career total to a Pac-10 record-equaling 21...Thompson's efforts in WSU's win over UCLA earned him Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors. (see page 3 for Thompson recap)

McELRATH AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS:
Nakoa McElrath, WSU's senior receiver is now ranked 16th nationally in receptions, 6.67 per game, and eighth in reception yards, 104.00 per game.

McELRATH COULD CHALLENGE WSU RECORDS:
Nakoa McElrath, averaging 6.67 receptions per game and 104.00 yards per game, is on pace to set two Cougar single-season records...at his current pace he could finish with 73 receptions for 1,144 yards...the WSU records are 67 receptions by current WSU receiver coach and offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller, and 1,151 receiving yards by Tim Stallworth.

McELRATH/BUSH AMONG NATION'S LEADERS:
Senior Nakoa McElrath and junior Mike Bush have turned into one of the most productive receiving tandems in the nation...together they rank third in touchdowns, 1.78 per game, fourth in receiving yards, 191.0 per game, and 11th in receptions per game, 10.78 per game.

MIKE BUSH SHOWS FOOTBALL SKILLS:
Junior Mike Bush, WSU's top basketball player who averaged 15.9 points and 5.2 rebounds last winter, has now made a name for himself on the football field...Bush joined the Cougar receiver corps last spring and has started all nine games...he currently ranks 24th nationally and is third in the Pac-10, averaging 87.00 receiving yards per game.

MISC. NOTES:
Pac-10 Player of the Week winners: Nakoa McElrath for his play against Boise State when he caught eight passes for 210 yards and three scores, walk-on Josh Moen after blocking a punt at Stanford that was returned for a TD...WSU set three school records against California: 513 passing yards by Jason Gesser (432), Matt Kegel (53) and Tali Ena (28), three receivers with over 100 receiving yards, Nakoa McElrath 163, Mike Bush 144 and Jerome Riley 124, for the first time in school history, Lamont Thompson's 15 career interception...against Oregon State Dave Minnich rushed for a career high 195 yards, threw a 22-yard TD pass to Nakoa McElrath, caught a seven-yard TD pass from Jason Gesser, made two tackles and forced one fumble after Gesser threw an interception.

WSU'S EXPERIENCED SECONDARY:
WSU's starting secondary for ASU has a collective 93 starts and 38 interceptions - seniors Lamont Thompson (30 starts, 21 interceptions) and Billy Newman (32, 8), junior Marcus Trufant (22, 8) and sophomore Jason David (9, 1) with Eric Coleman (5, 3) waiting in the wings.

WSU'S SACK ATTACK:
WSU's defense has racked up 29 sacks this season, including seven sacks against BSU and Stanford, the most in one game since the 1994 club recorded 10 in a 21-7 win over Oregon in Pullman...the school record is 48 sacks in 1989.

NEWMAN SEVENTH IN CAREER TACKLES:
Billy Newman, WSU's senior safety has 305 career tackles to rank seventh on WSU's single season list...Newman is 12 tackles away from Gary Larson, sixth on the list with his 317 tackles, 1971-74...Newman made 45 tackles as a freshman, led WSU in 1999 with 105, then tacked on 100 more last year to again lead the Cougars...he also has eight career interceptions...Newman could have more tackles than any non-linebacker in WSU history.

LONG DRIVES:
WSU has had 38 scoring drives of 50 yards or longer, including seven in a win over California...eight of those 33 drives have been 80 or longer, 21 were 70 or longer and 29 were 60 yards or longer...one drive at Arizona covered 87 yards in 18 plays and lasted 8:06, the longest time consuming drive in Mike Price's WSU tenure...at Stanford WSU had drives of 18 and 13 plays in the fourth quarter that consumed 12:16.

HENDERSON THE BEST QB?:
Receiver Nakoa McElrath recently joked, when asked if Jason Gesser or Matt Kegel threw the best pass, "Collin Henderson"...small wonder...Henderson has completed all eight passes in his three-year career for an amazing five touchdowns and 374 yards...that's a QB rating of 698.95...he completed one as a freshman in 1999 for 24 yards and a TD...last year he was 4-for-4 for 154 yards and two scores...this year he has thrown three passes for 71-62-63 yards, plus two TDs.

GESSER'S NATIONAL RANKING:
Jason Gesser, through nine games, ranks 20th nationally in total offense at 264.44 yards per game, 23rd in pass efficiency at 139.57 and 18th in points-responsible-for at 14.67.

JASON GESSER NOTES:
2001 season: Gesser's 432 yards passing against California was the third best performance ever by a Cougar QB...the top two are Drew Bledsoe's 476 yards against Utah in the 1992 Copper Bowl and Ryan Leaf's 447 yards against ASU in 1997...Gesser's 374 passing yards against Montana State is his second best outing...he had a streak of 64 passes without an interception before a pick against California when the receiver fell down...2000 season: Gesser threw six touchdown passes at Arizona, the most ever by a Cougar quarterback...his record setter was a 19-yard pass to Nakoa McElrath...Gesser threw 130 passes without an interception before Arizona picked off a pass in their 3-OT win...in that loss Gesser threw for 348 yards, his best outing of the season.

COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 1995:
In 2001, WSU is 2-1 against ranked teams, beating #9 UCLA and #23 Stanford, while losing to #11 Oregon...in 2000 WSU was 0-4 against ranked teams, losing to #22 Arizona (47-53, triple OT), #18 OSU (9-38), #7 Oregon (24-27, OT) and #6 Washington (3-51)... in 1999 WSU did not meet a ranked team...in 1998 WSU lost to No. 4 UCLA, No. 15 Oregon and No. 10 Arizona...in 1997 WSU defeated No. 22 USC and lost to 21st ranked ASU...unranked at the start of the season when WSU won, UCLA finished the year ranked seventh...in the final game of the year, WSU lost to co-national champion Michigan...in 1996 WSU lost at No. 5 Colorado, defeated No. 25 Oregon and No. 19 California and lost to No. 12 Washington...WSU, in 1995, suffered losses to three nationally ranked teams: at No. 2 Nebraska, at No. 5 USC and at No. 12 Oregon.

PRICE DEAN OF PAC-10 COACHES:
WSU coach Mike Price is the dean of Pac-10 coaches with 13 seasons and 117 career wins...he is number two in wins at WSU with a 71-74-0 (.490) record...Babe Hollingbery was 93-53-14 (.625) during his 17-year tenure with the Cougars, 1926-42...Jim Walden, 1978-86, is third in victories with 44...Walden is now part of WSU's radio broadcast team...among WSU head coaches who served five or more years, only Hollingbery had a better record than Price...Jim Sutherland was 37-39-4 (.488) in eight years.

COUG ROAD STREAK:
WSU has won all four official road games this year (Idaho counts as a road game since the Vandals use WSU's Martin Stadium and Idaho was the home team) and counting last year's win at USC, the road win streak is five...the last time WSU won five road games in a season was 1988...WSU has won five road games in a season three times, 1988, 1959 and 1930...the last time WSU won five straight road games was during the 1958 and 1959 seasons.

HOLIDAY SHINES:
Junior Adam Holiday only sees action in about 7-10 plays a game, but he has made a huge difference for the Cougs...the kickoff specialist has booted 43 of his 65 kickoffs into the endzone and has 27 touchbacks, with 16 of his endzone kicks returned...in 2000 WSU had just five kickoffs into the endzone and just two of them touchbacks.

WSU ON THE ROAD AT HOME:
In years to come it may be a trivia question - When did the Cougars play on the road at home?...Sept. 18, 1999 Idaho was officially the home team and the Cougars were the visiting team, complete with white uniforms...and ditto Aug. 30, 2001...Idaho currently uses WSU's Martin Stadium as their home field in an effort to qualify for NCAA D-I status.

WSU'S OVERTIME EXPERIENCE:
The Cougars are 1-4 in overtime games...WSU played three overtime games last year and lost all three, including back-to-back OT losses at Arizona (3 OT) and at home against ASU (1 OT), plus a 1-OT loss to Oregon...in 1996, Washington beat WSU 31-24 in overtime in Pullman...WSU's other OT game was a 35-34 win over Arizona in 1997 in Pullman.

MIKE PRICE TV SHOWS:
"KXLY Cougar Football Saturday" airs each Saturday during the football season at 12:00 p.m. PT, leading into ABC's Pac-10 Game of the Week...Rick Lukens, Dennis Patchin, Mike Boyle and Bud Nameck host the shows...FOX Sports Net Northwest's nightly (7:00 p.m.) Northwest Tonight program also gives extensive coverage to Price and Cougar football.

WEEKLY WSU PRESS CONFERENCES:
WSU hosts a weekly press conference each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. in the Media Information Conference Room, Bohler Addition 195. All in-season head coaches and selected players (when available) will be available for the phone conference and in-person interviews. Contact the WSU Media Information Office for more information. Members of the media may attend in person or participate by use of the telephone.

LISTEN TO COUGAR GAMES ANYWHERE:
Cougar football fans can listen to the Voice of the Cougars Bob Robertson's broadcasts, even if a network station is not in your locale. TRZ Sports Service Inc.'s "Teamline" provides the hookup directly into the Cougar Sports Network. Call 1-800-846-4700 and punch in the Cougar access code 5938. The cost is charged to your VISA or Mastercard.

LIVE TELEVISION:
Pac-10 television action Saturday, Nov. 10, will include ABC's regional coverage of Oregon at UCLA at 12:30 p.m. and Stanford at Arizona at 4:00 p.m....FOX Sports Net will carry the Washington at Oregon State game nationally at 12:30 p.m. and then the WSU at Arizona State game at 3:30 p.m. on their syndicated network.

FSNW-TV:
FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will replay WSU's Nov. 10 game with Arizona State Sunday, Nov. 11, at 10:00 a.m.

TICKETS:
Tickets for all Cougar home and away games are available through the WSU Ticket Office, North 225 Grand, Pullman, Wash. 99164-1910, or by calling 800-GO-COUGS (available toll free from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands).

AUDIO ON INTERNET:
WSU's football broadcasts are now available on the Internet through FansOnly, WSU's Web provider...the address is: http://www.wsucougars.com.

WSU RADIO:
Bob Robertson, Jim Walden, Jeff Aaron, and Bud Nameck combine talents on the 24-station Cougar Sports Network. Robertson is in his 35th year of broadcasting Cougar sports, while Walden, a former Cougar head coach (1978-86), is in his first season as a Cougar broadcaster. Broadcast time is 60 minutes prior to kickoff. Additionally, the one-hour "Mike Price Show," produced and distributed by Learfield Communications, airs weekly on most network stations live Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.. Robertson is the show's regular host...all broadcasts are available via the internet. To listen, and for complete broadcast schedules, connect to wsucougars.com.

SATELLITE:
The Pacific-10 office transmits a weekly 30-minute highlight package each Wednesday at 11:30 - 12:00 PT on Telstar 6, Transponder 9, C-Band (if trouble, call 310-543-1835 or the Pac-10 office).

PAC-10 TELECONFERENCE:
The Pacific-10 Conference hosts a weekly teleconference call each Tuesday during the football season...the teleconference call begins at 10 a.m....Mike Price participates at 11:20 a.m....contact the Pac-10 media relations office for details, 925-932-4411.

PRICE AND PLAYERS AVAILABLE:
WSU head football coach Mike Price is available for individual media interviews 11:00 a.m.-Noon Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (except prior to road games). Arrangements for Price interviews must be made through his office, 509-335-0250. WSU players are available for interviews before and after practice each Tuesday and Wednesday and before practice each Thursday. Contact Jason Hickman at the WSU Media Information Office.

PRICE PHONE CONFERENCES:
Mike Price is available for media interviews three times weekly via a conference phone hookup, Sunday at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. For access information contact the WSU Media Information Office.

Washington State Cougars Football
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