Sept. 12, 2011
PULLMAN, Wash. -
San Diego State Aztecs (2-0)
September 17, 2011 Qualcomm Stadium 3:30 p.m.
TV: The Mtn. (Mountain West Sports Network)
Radio: Bob Robertson, Jim Walden, Bud Nameck
Washington State IMG College Sports Network
Sirius: Channel 132
SATURDAY'S GAME: The Washington State University football team looks to start its season with three straight wins for the first time since 2005 when it travels to San Diego State to face the Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 17. Gametime is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised by The Mtn. and can be heard across the IMG College Sports Radio Network.
WASHINGTON STATE vs. SAN DIEGO STATE - THE SERIES: Saturday's contest marks the second meeting in the all-time series. The Cougars won the previous meeting, 45-17, behind Alex Brink's five touchdown passes, Sept. 8, 2007 in Seattle, Wash.
WSU VS. THE MOUNTAIN WEST: The Cougars are 16-3 overall against current members of the Mountain West Conference, dating back to the 1953 when WSU faced TCU. WSU has won its last nine matchups against MWC opponents dating back to a 1990 loss against Wyoming, including last week's 59-7 win against UNLV.
COUG GUYS AND GALS BRING SPOKANE CLOSER: Prior to Saturday's victory over UNLV, roughly 75 members of the Coug Guys and Gals, a student ambassador group for Cougar Athletics, lined all 75 miles along Highway 195 between Spokane and Pullman, waving their flags for Cougar Athletics. At nearly every mile marker members stood just off the highway waving the Cougar flag in support of WSU Athletics and to demonstrate the close proximity between Spokane and Pullman.
LOBBESTAEL OFF TO FAST START: Senior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael was thrust into the starting lineup against Idaho State when starter Jeff Tuel woke up Saturday morning with a stomach virus. Lobbestael has taken advantage of the each opportunity the last two weeks, throwing for a combined 591 yards and seven touchdowns. Lobbestael has completed 38 of 51 passes with no interceptions, a passing efficiency rating of 217.15. Lobbestael entered this season having played in 19 career games, six as a starter, and threw for seven total touchdowns. Last week against UNLV he was 24-of-32 for 361 yards and five touchdowns, playing a little more than a half. Four of those touchdowns came in the first half, tying a WSU record for touchdown passes in a half. Lobbestael's efforts last week were recognized nationally as he is one of eight quarterbacks nominated for the Manning Award "Stars of the Week" and one of the top quarterbacks according to the College Football Performance Awards.
COUGARS APPROACHING 500 WINS: With its victory over UNLV last Saturday, Washington State University football improved its all-time record to 499-505-45. Entering the 2011 season there were 72 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams with at least 500 wins while in the Pac-12 Conference, the Cougars are tied with Oregon State in the race for win No. 500.
COUGAR OFFENSE CLICKING: Through the first two games the Cougar offense is averaging 600 yards per game in total offense, 610 against UNLV and 590 against Idaho State. The 600 ypg ranks fourth in the nation while it has been since the 2005 season that WSU has recorded back-to-back games of 500-plus yards (534 at Nevada, 515 vs. Grambling). You have to go back to the first two games of the 1988 campaign to find the last time the WSU offense put together consecutive 600-plus yard efforts (601 at Illinois; 615 at Minnesota).
PICK A TARGET: The Cougar passing attack has not only been efficient in the first two games of the season, it has been very equitable. In each of the first two games, 11 different receivers have caught passes, with no receiver grabbing more than five in a game. Sophomore Marquess Wilson leads the team with nine receptions for 193 yards. Four different receivers, Wilson, Jared Karstetter, Isiah Barton and Kristoff Williams, are tied for the team lead with two touchdowns each.
COUGARS SCORING AT PROLIFIC RATE: Through the first two games of the season the Cougar offense leads the nation in scoring at 61.5 points per game. WSU's 123 total points in its first two games (64 vs. Idaho State, 59 vs. UNLV) are the second-most points scored in a two-game span since the first two games of the 1907 season, 132 points, beating Eastern Washington 46-0 (10/5/07) and Blair Business College 86-0 (10/12/07). More recent, the scoring outburst marks the first time scoring 50-plus points in back-to-back games since beating Oregon 55-44 (9/21/96) and San Jose State 52-16 (9/28/96).
KARSTETTER CLOSING IN: Senior wide receiver Jared Karstetter enters this weekend's game at San Diego State on the brink of WSU's top-10 career lists for receptions and touchdown catches. The Spokane native owns 114 career catches and needs eight more to surpass former Cougar and current WSU wide receivers coach Mike Levenseller for 10th place. Karstetter's two touchdown catches last weekend was his fourth career multi-touchdown performance, upping his career touchdown receptions total to 15 and moving him one away from entering the top-10.
WSU AGAINST NONCONFERENCE FOES: Since the opening of the 2001 season, WSU is 24-7 against unranked nonconference opponents. WSU has wins over Idaho (seven times), Montana State (3 times), Nevada (twice), New Mexico (twice), Boise State, Purdue, Colorado, Grambling State, Baylor, Portland State, SMU, Idaho State and most recently, UNLV.
TUEL SUFFERS INJURY, MONROE AND SMITH LOST FOR YEAR: Junior quarterback Jeff Tuel suffered a fractured left clavicle in Saturday's victory over Idaho State. Tuel played only one series before suffering the injury late in the first quarter. Freshman linebacker Darryl Monroe suffered a torn Achilles tendon and Travion Smith suffered a torn ACL injury. Both Monroe and Smith are season-ending injuries while Tuel is expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks.
COUGAR GROUND ATTACK BEST IN FIVE YEARS: The Cougars rushed for 289 yards against Idaho State, their highest output on the ground since going for 344 yards against Idaho, Sept. 9, 2006. Freshman Marcus Mason led the way with 88 yards on six carries, including a 65-yard touchdown run. Freshman Rickey Galvin had 64 yards and two scores while senior Logwone Mitz had 58 yards and a score. WSU averaged 8.0 yards per game and did not have a play go for a loss all afternoon.
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 107th consecutive appearance on the weekly show, dating back to the beginning of the 2004 season. Two flags - Ol' Crimson and Whitey - have been flown in the background of the Gameday set by dozens of friends and alumni. WSU recognized the Gameday flag wavers in a pregame ceremony prior to the Montana State game last season. 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.