Nov. 19, 2012
COUGARS SET TO HOST APPLE CUP FRIDAY: Washington State closes out the season hosting Washington in the 105th annual Apple Cup Friday at Martin Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on FOX.
WASHINGTON STATE TO HONOR 13 ON SENIOR DAY: Prior to Friday's season finale, Washington State will honor 13 seniors who will be playing their final game in Martin Stadium. That list includes Phillp Brandt, Adam Coerper, Steven Hoffart, Wade Jacobson, Corey Laufasa, Andrei Lintz, Travis Long, Taylor Meighen, Daniel Simmons, Gino Simone, Tyree Toomer, Jeff Tuel and Carl Winston.
APPLE CUP HISTORY: Dating back to the first meeting between the Huskies and Cougars in 1900, a 5-5 tie in Seattle, Washington leads the 104-game series by a 67-31-6 margin. From 1934-61 the winner of the cross-state rivalry was awarded the Governor's Trophy. In 1962 the Apple Cup trophy was instituted, and Washington holds a 35-14 record in Apple Cup games since then. The teams have split the last eight Apple Cups, with UW winning the last three. The Cougars last Apple Cup victory came in 2008, posting a 16-13 double-overtime win in Martin Stadium. Washington holds a 16-13-1 advantage when playing in Pullman, although the teams have split the last four meetings in Martin Stadium.
Mike Leach RADIO SHOW: Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach holds a weekly radio show on WSU's flagship station 920 KXLY live from Zeppoz in Pullman. This week's show will be Wednesday from 6-7 p.m.
BOARD FOR REGENTS APPROVES FOOTBALL OPERATIONS BUILDING: The Washington State University Board of Regents gave approval for a $61 million football operation building to be constructed beginning this month, it was announced last Friday. The Regents approved the project by a unanimous vote. The new building will provide the football program with a new weight, locker, equipment and training rooms for players, in addition to meeting rooms and coaches' offices. It will also feature a WSU Football heritage area and a game-day home for Gray W former letter winners. The construction process begins the Monday after the Apple Cup with completion expected to be in June, 2014.
COLLEGE GAMEDAY RECORD: In addition to Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso, ESPN's College GameDay has had another constant - the WSU flag, which this weekend will be making its 130th consecutive appearance on the weekly show, dating back to the beginning of the 2004 season. Two flags - Ol' Crimson and Gray - have been flown in the background of the GameDay set by dozens of friends and alumni. The Gray flag was added this year after Whitey was retired in honor of Steve Gleason's "No White Flags." WSU recognized the GameDay flag wavers in a pregame ceremony prior to the Montana State game in 2010. In addition to the flags that fly, there is a traveling flag signed by the holders after each episode. The traveling flag is retired after each season, the first of which is hanging in WSU's Alumni Center.
DEFENSE RACKING UP THE SACKS: The Washington State defense tallied four more sacks at Arizona State to enter the week fifth in the Pac-12 Conference and tied for No. 11 in the country with 32 sacks. Following a year in which the Cougars recorded 17 all of the season, the switch to a 3-4 defense has seen more linebackers in the backfield as 23 of the 32 sacks have come from linebackers. The Cougars have also racked up 85 tackles-for-loss, fourth-most in the Pac-12 and seventh in the country. The 32 sacks are the most by a Cougar defense since the 2006 team had 34 while the 85 tackles-for-loss are the most since the 2004 team had 89.
LONG LEADING THE WAY: Senior Travis Long enters the week tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks, already surpassing his four from a season ago. His now owns 20.5 sacks in his career, placing him sixth on WSU's top-10 for career sacks. Long's team-leading 13.0 tackles-for-loss puts his career total at 42, good for fourth on WSU's career top-10.
TUEL AMONG WSU'S ELITE PASSERS: Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel enters Friday's game fifth on WSU's career top-10 for completions (498) and seventh in passing yards (5,586). The Fresno, Calif. native's touchdown pass at Utah pushed his career touchdown pass mark to 33, also seventh-most in WSU history. Tuel completed a school-record 42 passes in 59 attempts at Stanford and currently owns a career completion percentage of .613 (498/812), the best by any quarterback in WSU history.
FURNEY GOES LONG DISTANCE: Junior kicker Andrew Furney has provided a couple highlights for the Cougars this season, hitting a pair of 40+ yard field goals (47, 41) at BYU, closing the half against Eastern Washington with a 60-yard field goal and hitting another pair of 40+ yard field goals against Colorado (45, 42). Furney's 60-yarder was the second longest in WSU history behind Jason Hanson's 62-yard kick at UNLV in 1991. The 60-yarder is also tied for the second longest in conference history and is the longest in Martin Stadium history. The Burlington, Wash. native enters the week with the seventh-most made field goals in WSU history with 28.
NEW FACES MAKING AN IMPACT: Washington State has seen a number of new faces on the field this season as 17 freshmen (nine true freshmen) have made their debuts and 19 players have made their first career start in 2012. The newcomers have been led by junior nose tackle Ioane Gauta who has started all 11 games, made 27 stops including 6.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack and an interception. Freshman wideouts Brett Bartolone and Gabe Marks each own 49 and 47 receptions, respectively, with Marks posting his first two career 100-yard performances at UNLV and against Colorado while Bartolone recorded nine catches for 87 yards and a touchdown against Oregon and two more touchdowns against California. Freshman running back Teondray Caldwell paces the club in rushing and is fourth in the Pac-12 in kickoff return average at 25.3, already owning a 63-yard return at BYU, a 54-yarder against Colorado and a 92-yarder against Oregon.
MONROE MAKING HIS MARK: Redshirt-freshman linebacker Darryl Monroe has produced for the Cougars while starting at MIKE linebacker in all 11 games this season. Monroe is second on the team with 73 tackles, has forced two fumbles, recovered one and made three sacks. The Orlando, Fla. native redshirted last season after suffering a leg injury in the 2011 season opener against Idaho State. Monroe added 15 pounds to his frame since arriving from Dr. Phillips High School where he was named one of the top five linebackers in the state of Florida as a senior.
HALLIDAY AT IT AGAIN: Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Connor Halliday picked up where he left off from last season, tearing up the record books once again as the Spokane native passed for 378 yards and four touchdowns at UNLV then followed with 401 yards and four touchdown passes against Colorado. It was the first time a WSU quarterback has posted back-to-back four-touchdown games since 2007 when Alex Brink threw for five scores against San Diego State and four against Idaho. Halliday threw for 348 yards against No. 2 Oregon and 330 yards against UCLA and now owns five 300-yard performances, two 400-yard games and four four-touchdown performances after passing for 494 yards and four scores against Arizona State last season. He notched his first career five-touchdown game against UCLA, the tenth such game in WSU history.
BUCANNON'S INT'S: Junior safety Deone Bucannon made his ninth career interception against Oregon State and enters the Apple Cup tied for third in the Pac-12 Conference with four this season. Bucannon picked off two passes against Oregon to post the first multiple-interception game by a Cougar since Xavier Hicks at Oregon State in 2008. Bucannon notched two picks as a freshman in 2010 before making three interceptions last season, at San Diego State, at Colorado and at Oregon. Bucannon has made a team-best 95 tackles this season, third-most in the Pac-12 and is five tackles away from posting WSU's first 100-tackle season Eric Frampton finished with 100 in 2006.
SPECIAL TEAMS IMPROVES: The Washington State return game as already seen improvement from 2011 as kick returner Teondray Caldwell headlines the Cougars No. 46 nationally ranked kickoff return team with a 25.3 average. Caldwell owns kick returns of 63 yards at BYU, a 54-yarder against Colorado and nearly took one to house against No. 2 Oregon, going for 92 yards. The punt return team owns the No. 62 best return average in the country with Leon Brooks averaging 10.6 yards-per-return, more than three times the average last season. Brooks made a career-best 29-yard return against Eastern Washington earlier this season. Additionally, the kickoff coverage team is No. 74 in the country, allowing 21.9 per return, a big improvement from last year's coverage team that ranked No. 99 at 23.7 yards-per-return.
BOWLIN BLASTS AWAY: Redshirt-junior Michael Bowlin has provided a big boost to the WSU kicking game, already recording 15 touchbacks on kickoffs to surpass last year's total of one, Nick Grasu's mark of 11 in 2010 and Loren Langley and Romeen Abdollmohammadi combined total of 14 in 2006. Graham Siderius recorded 18 in 2005. Bowlin also owns 14 punts of 50+ yards including a 69-yarder against Eastern Washington, a 60-yarder at UNLV, one for 65 yards against Oregon and has put eight punts inside the 20.