THE COACHES: WSU - Bill Doba (Ball State '62) is in his first season as WSU's head coach (2-1) and in his first season as a college head coach (2-1). NEW MEXICO - The Lobos are coached by Rocky Long, who has a New Mexico and career record of 26-37 in six seasons.
WSU VS. NEW MEXICO: This is the first time Washington State and New Mexico have met on the gridiron...next year the Cougars and Lobos are scheduled to open the 2004 season Sept. 4 at Albuquerque.
COUGARS RETURN TO THE POLLS: Washington State returned to the national football polls this week after a 47-26 win over #17 Colorado...in that game WSU led 47-13 before substituting freely over the final 20 minutes of the contest at Boulder...this week WSU is ranked 25th by USA Today/ESPN and 24th in the Associated Press media poll...over the course of the 2001 and 2002 seasons, the Cougars were ranked a school record 28 straight weeks...WSU, however, was not ranked in the 2003 pre-season poll, nor in the polls conducted after the first two weeks of the season.
WSU-OREGON TV: Washington State's upcoming football game at Oregon Sept. 27 is expected to be televised by either ABC Sports or FOX Sports Net, according to Pacific-10 Conference officials...the two games up for consideration next Monday are ASU at OSU and WSU at Oregon...if ABC picks the WSU-Oregon game, kickoff will be 12:30 p.m. (the original kickoff time posted by Oregon)...if ABC selects the ASU-OSU game, FOX will televise WSU-Oregon with kickoff at 7:00 p.m...FOX Sports Net has already selected the USC at California game for their 3:30 p.m. time slot.
KEGEL IS PAC-10'S POW: WSU quarterback Matt Kegel was named the Pacific-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance at Colorado...the senior, making his fifth career start, threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, hitting 17 of his 33 passes...he had one interception...Kegel is the third Cougar player in as many weeks to win a Pac-10 POW award...Drew Dunning's four field goals against Idaho earned him special team honors and Will Derting was selected on defense after making three sacks and 12 tackles at Notre Dame.
WSU RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS:
P 5: Drew Dunning moves into second on WSU career scoring list
MISC. GAME NOTES:
TIME ZONES: WSU played its opener in the Pacific time zone, the Notre Dame in the Eastern Standard zone and the Colorado game in the Mountain Daylight zone...WSU's remaining nine games will all be played in the Pacific time zone.
DAVID NOW SIXTH IN INTERCEPTIONS: Jason picked off the 11th pass of his career at Colorado and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown...David is now tied for sixth in career interceptions with Don Paul, 1946-49, and Torey Hunter, 1991-94...his 215 return yards is fourth on the list, leaving him 16 yards short of Rick Reed's record of 231 return yards...in addition, David has tied the WSU career record with his two TD returns...Bill Gaskins, 1963-65, Billy Newman, 1998-01, and current teammate Erik Coleman also have two interception returns for scores.
COUGS 22-6 IN LAST THREE SEASONS: Since the start of the 2001 season, WSU has won 22 of 28 games...in the 1929-1930-1931 seasons WSU went 21-3, including 10-2 (1929) and 9-1 (1930) seasons...WSU is currently eighth among D-I teams the past three years: Miami is 27-1, Oklahoma 26-4, Ohio State 24-5, Georgia 24-5, Texas 23-5, Boise State 21-5, Marshall 23-6, WSU 22-6 and Tennessee 21-7.
WSU WINS WHEN SCORING IN THE THIRD: WSU has captured 20 straight victories when scoring in the third quarter...the last time WSU scored in the third quarter and did not win was the 2000 Apple Cup setback...conversely, the Cougars are 2-6 since the Apple Cup game when they did not score in the third quarter...the string is 16 straight wins when WSU has scored a touchdown in the third quarter.
LATE PULLMAN OPENER: The last time WSU opened its Pullman schedule this late into the season was 1996 when WSU and Oregon met in Pullman Sept. 21...WSU won that game 55-44 over the nationally ranked Ducks...Ryan Leaf hit four TD passes and threw for 225 yards in that game and Michael Black picked up 161 yards on the ground...the last time WSU didn't have a Pullman game in the first three contests was 1982 when the Cougars played in Spokane twice (both counted as WSU's home game) and then played at Minnesota and Tennessee.
WSU SCORING: WSU has scored 25 or more points in 11 of its last 12 regular season games...the exception was a 21-13 win at Arizona in 2002...only once has WSU put together a better scoring streak, scoring 25 or more points 14 times over 15 regular season games during the 1988 and 1989 seasons...the exception was also a win, 24-21 over Stanford in 1988.
DEFENSE, SPECIAL TEAMS SCORE: At Colorado last week WSU scored both on defense and via special team play for the first time since Oct. 13, 2001 at Stanford...against the Buffs Sammy Moore ran a kickoff back for a TD and Jason David returned an interception for a score...in 2001 against the Cardinal, Jeremy Bohannon returned a block punt four yards for a score and Billy Newman ran back an interception 54 yards for a touchdown.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: WSU has won eight of its last nine Pac-10 road games...WSU closed out the end of the 2000 season with a win at USC...in 2001 the Cougars defeated Arizona, Stanford and ASU on the road before a loss at Washington, while in 2002 WSU defeated California, Stanford, Arizona and UCLA in Pac-10 action.
TURNER CATCHING ATTENTION: Don Turner, a cornerback out of Spokane's (Wash.) University High, is catching some attention after picking off passes in his first two Cougar games...the redshirt-freshman had an interception against Idaho, then came back with another pick deep in Cougar territory against Notre Dame...at Colorado Turner was credited with three tackles, including one TFL...he was a standout wide receiver and defensive back in high school.
COUGS 10-WIN SEASONS AMONG BEST: WSU is the only Pac-10 school with three 10-win seasons in the last 10 years (actually accomplished in the last six years)...WSU was 10-2 in 1997, 10-2 in 2001 and 10-3 in 2002...in the last six years WSU has made appearances in two Rose Bowls, 1998 and 2003...UCLA is the only other Pac-10 team with two Rose Bowl appearances in the last 10 years...WSU and Washington (1981-82-84) are the only Pac-10 teams to ever post three 10-win seasons in a six-year span.
BACK-TO-BACK 10-WIN SEASONS RARE IN PAC-10: WSU is one of just five Pac-10 teams to post back-to-back 10-win seasons since the 10-team league was formed: WSU 2001-02, Oregon 2000-01, UCLA twice, 1997-98 and 1987-88, Washington twice, 1990-91 and 1981-82, and USC, 1978-79.
KEGEL IMPROVES EACH GAME: Bill Doba says Matt Kegel has improved each game and the stats verify Doba's comments...against Idaho Kegel hit 12 of 21 passes for 108 yards, with one interception and no TD passes...at Notre Dame he was 22 of 39 for 274 yards with two TD passes and one interception, while at Colorado last week he was 17 for 33 for 310 yards, three touchdown tosses and one interception.
COUGS RETURN NINE PAC-10 ALL-STARS: WSU and Oregon both return nine members of last year's All-Pacific-10 teams (first/second team and honorable mention), while USC returns eight and UCLA seven...WSU's returnees include first team pick Calvin Armstrong and honorable mention honorees Kyle Basler, Eric Coleman, Isaac Brown, Devard Darling, Jason David, Drew Dunning, Jermaine Green and Jeremey Williams.
COUGAR SPECIAL TEAMS HOT: College Football News predicted WSU has the fifth best special team units in college football...they base their prediction on the basis of kicker Drew Dunning, punter Kyle Basler and return specialist Sammy Moore...so far this season WSU's special team units have lived up to the billing...Basler is averaging 45.6 yards per punt (8th nationally) and has dumped four of his 17 kicks inside the 20 yard line...his long this year is a career best 62 yards...Dunning has hit eight of nine field goals (2nd nationally) and has scored 32 points in three games...Moore is also off to a great start, averaging 35.0 yards per kickoff return (5th nationally) and 8.5 yards on punt returns...he also has a 97-yard kickoff return for a TD to his credit, along with three receiving touchdowns.
O-LINE AVERAGES 307: The projected starters on WSU's offensive line weigh a combined 1,537 pounds and average 307 pounds...four of the starters weigh in at over 300 pounds...OLG Josh Parrish leads the way at 324 pounds, while ORT Sam Lightbody, at 6-9, is right behind him at 319 pounds...next is ORG Riley Fitt Chappell at 314, followed by OLT Calvin Armstrong at 311...the lightweight on the line is C Mike Shelford at 269.
WSU STAYING AHEAD: Last year WSU came from behind in 10 of 13 games, but this year the only time WSU trailed was at Notre Dame late in the game.
HONORS CANDIDATES: The Washington State roster features five players who have been included on preseason watch lists for major national awards:
Drew Dunning (Lou Groza Award for the nation's top kicker, listed for the third straight year); Isaac Brown (Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award); Jason David (Jim Thorpe Award for the nation's top defensive back); Calvin Armstrong (Rotary Lombardi Award for the nation's top down lineman or linebacker); Jermaine Green (Doak Walker Award for the nation's top running back).PAC-10 HONORS COUGARS: Three Washington State football players have been honored by the Pacific-10 Conference this year with Player-of-the-Week honors:
PK Drew Dunning was honored for his special team play against Idaho when he booted four field goals and one extra point;
LB Will Derting was the defensive POW winner for his 12-tackle performance against Notre Dame that included three sacks and one forced fumble, which led to a touchdown...he won the same honor in 2002 when he picked off three passes against Nevada, returning one 98 yards for a TD.
QB Matt Kegel was the league's offensive POW after throwing for 310 yards in WSU's win at Colorado...he had three touchdown passes and was 17of-33 with one interception.
WHEN DEFENSE SCORES, WSU WINS: WSU has won 13 of its last 14 regular season games in which touchdowns or safeties have been scored by the Cougar defense or special team units...the lone exception was Notre Dame two weeks ago.
DUNNING SETS RECORD: Senior Drew Dunning, who set a WSU record for kickers with 101 points in 2001 and then broke his own record with 113 points last year, started off the 2003 season strong, connecting on all four field goal attempts in the opener against Idaho...he had field goals of 46-42-29-35 yards...he added two more and eight points at Notre Dame and two field goals and 11 points at Colorado...he now ranks second in career scoring with 252 points...Dunning needs 77 points to pass school record holder Jason Hanson, now a 12-year NFL veteran with Detroit...Dunning averaged 107 points a year over the 2001 and 2002 seasons and is currently on pace for a 128 point season.
COUGARS "ON CAMPUS": On Campus, Sports Illustrated's new publication geared toward intercollegiate athletics, has featured Washington State football players in each of its first two issues. The Sept. 9 issue made light of offensive tackle Sam Lightbody's last name. At 6-9, 319 pounds, it just doesn't quite fit. Sept. 16 was sophomore tight end Adam West's turn, as he appeared in an article titled "Faces In The Crowd", where collegiate athletes who shared names with celebrities commented on the association. Of course, Adam West is also the name of the actor who played Batman in the original series. The actor's birth name is Williams West Anderson, while the Cougar football player's is Adam William West. "Coincidence," WSU's West said. "In the hospital when I was born, the nurses wrote BATMAN on the card above my head. My parents thought it said BADMAN and that I was a bad kid. They never made the correlation."
BLOCK THOSE KICKS: WSU linemen have blocked three placement kicks this season...in WSU's opener against Idaho, freshman Cody Boyd got his hand on two field goal attempts by the Vandals, helping preserve WSU's shutout...at Colorado defensive tackle Steve Cook blocked the Buffs' first PAT attempt.
COOK BLOCKS PAT: Junior defensive tackle Steve Cook, at 6-3 and 293 pounds, got off the ground against Colorado, blocking the Buffs' first PAT attempt...he is the first Cougar to block a PAT since Gary Holmes against USC in 1997.
COUGS ON THE ROAD: WSU has played five straight games away from Martin Stadium, winning three and losing two...last year WSU closed out the season with games at UCLA (win) and against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl (loss)...this year WSU played Idaho at Seattle (win) and Notre Dame at South Bend (loss) and Colorado at Boulder (win)...the last time WSU played five straight games away from home was during the 1981 and 1982 seasons when the Cougars had seven straight at the visitor's home stadium, or at a neutral site...the last time WSU opened the season with three straight games away from Martin Stadium was 1982, with the first two games in Spokane, then contests at Minnesota and Tennessee.
COUGS RACK UP SEVEN SACKS: WSU's seven sacks against Notre Dame marks the fourth time in the past two seasons that the Cougar defense has recorded six or more sacks in a game...in 2002, WSU brought the quarterback down behind the line of scrimmage six times against Idaho, seven times against Arizona, and eight times against Arizona State...the Cougars have recorded a sack in 20 straight games dating back to the 2001 season...the Cougs had three sacks against Idaho, seven at Notre Dame and two at Colorado for 12 total sacks...that ranks second in the Pac-10, two behind USC's 14 sacks.
WSU WIN IN THE MOUNTAINS: WSU has won six straight games when playing in the Mountain Time Zone, including last week's win at Colorado...WSU is 35-24-2 all-time in the Mountain Time Zone.
SUPPLEMENTAL RELEASE NOTES [See WSU's "Supplemental Notes" for additional details]
WSU DEFENSE HALTS LONG RUSHES: In the last 15 years WSU has allowed just 167 runs of 20 yards or longer in 164 games...this year the Cougars have allowed 3 runs of 20 or more yards and 4 runs of 10-19 yards.
COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 1995: WSU is 10-19 against ranked teams since 1995...when WSU has also been ranked, the Cougars are 4-6.
COUGS SCORE OFTEN: Since 1980 WSU has averaged more than three touchdowns a game, currently boasting an average of 26.1 points per outing, including 32.7 points per game this year.
NOTHING LIKE HOME: WSU performs better at home than on the road, as do most schools...at home the Cougars are 46-32 (59.0%) and on the road the team is 38-47 (45.3%)...WSU's 6-0 Pullman record in 1997 is the best ever for the Cougars, while the 2001 record of 6-1 is the best on the road since the 1988 team also went 6-1.
RUSHING TOTALS UNDER 100: In the last 15 years WSU has held 63 of 164 opponents to less than 100 yards rushing...the lows include Montana State -35 (1993), Arizona -17 (2002), Pacific -6 (1993) and Montana's -6 (1995)...in those 164 games, WSU held opponents to 50 or less yards 17 times.
100-YARD RUSHERS FEW: Only 61 running backs have been able to crack the 100-yard mark in the last 15 years and 164 games against WSU's defense...USC's Mazio Royster, Washington's Beno Bryant, UCLA's Skip Hicks and Reuben Droughns from Oregon are the only backs to have done so in back-to-back seasons.
RED ZONE: In 2003 WSU has scored 8 times in 10 trips into the Red Zone, 4 touchdowns and 4 field goals...the failures have been an interception and an end of half...opponents have scored 5 touchdowns and 3 field goals in 9 Red Zone appearance...the failure was a blocked field goal.
TURNOVERS: WSU is +6 in turnovers for 2003...in the last 15 years, WSU is -31 in turnovers...twice WSU has had fewer turnovers than the opponents, +12 in 2001 and +9 in 1994, while the turnovers were even in 1995.
BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: WSU's starting lineup against New Mexico of 22 players includes 0 freshmen, 3 sophomores, 4 juniors and 15 seniors, while the top 44 (two-deep) consists of 8 freshmen, 8 sophomores, 10 juniors and 18 seniors...in the two-deep, WSU lists a combined 16 freshmen-sophomores and 28 juniors-seniors.
WSU SCORING STREAK FIFTH: Here are the longest current scoring streaks among NCAA Div. I teams: BYU 353, Texas 267, Washington 255, Michigan 228, WSU 217.
WSU IN OVERTIME: WSU is 2-5 in overtime games.
COUGS BOAST STARTING EXPERIENCE: WSU fields an experienced team in 2003, with 33 players having started at least one game...in all, the Cougars boast a collective 354 starts, 174 by defensive players, 135 by offensive players and 45 by kickers...offensively 12 players had starts last year and on defense 12 started at least one game in 2002.
DEFENSE EXPERIENCED: Seven WSU defensive players have each played in 30 or more games and four others have seen action in at least 20 games...in all, the 12 defensive players who have made 174 starts have also played in a collective 389 games...WSU's four top defensive linemen have a collective 59 starts and have played in 154 games...five linebackers have a collective 46 starts and have seen action in 116 games...in the secondary four players have started 69 games and have played in 120 games.
OFFENSE HAS 135 STARTS: WSU boasts 18 offensive players who have made a collective 135 starts during their career and have seen action in 290 games...one Cougar lineman, Josh Parrish, has played in 33 games, while three others have seen action in 20 or more games...in all 16 of the 18 players have tasted action in 10 or more games...up front, there are eight players who have started 83 games and played in 164 games...WSU receivers have a collective 38 starts and have played in 110 games...the running backs have 9 starts and 22 games to their credit, while quarterback Matt Kegel has played in 28 games, with 5 starts.
FIVE COUGS BOAST 20+ STARTS: Five WSU starters have made 20 or more starts in their career and 14 players have made 10 or more starts...Drew Dunning (29), Josh Parrish (27), Jason David (25), Calvin Armstrong (23) and Tai Tupai (22) have the most starts.
WSU SHUTS OUT OPPONENTS FOR 89:50: WSU shut out Idaho and held Notre Dame scoreless until late in the second quarter...in all WSU held opponents scoreless for 89 minutes, 50 seconds...in addition, WSU held the first two opponents without a touchdown for seven quarters...both Notre Dame touchdowns came in the fourth quarter.
COUGS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: WSU is now tied for first in turnover margin among Pac-10 schools and second in kickoff returns...WSU is third in rushing offense, scoring offense, pass efficiency defense and net punting...individually, Drew Dunning ranks first among Pac-10 players for kick scoring, field goals and field goal percentage...Don Turner and Virgil Williams are tied for second in interceptions, while Jonathan Smith is third in rushing, Sammy Moore third in all-purpose yards and Kyle Basler third in punting...Dunning is third in overall scoring.
COUGS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: WSU is tied for third in turnover margin, 11th in net punting, 16th in kickoff returns and 26th in both pass efficiency defense and scoring offense...individually Drew Dunning is second in field goals, while Sammy Moore is fifth in kickoff returns...Kyle Basler is eighth in punting, Will Derting is tied for ninth in sacks and both Don Turner and Virgil Williams are tied for 12th in interceptions.