Oct. 1, 2012
WASHINGTON STATE FACES OREGON STATE SATURDAY IN CORVALLIS: Washington State University will head to Corvallis, Ore for a Pac-12 Conference matchup with Oregon State University, 3 p.m. Saturday on Pac-12 Networks.
COUGARS TO HOST CALIFORNIA ON PAC-12 NETWORKS: Next Saturday, Washington State will host University of California at 7:30 p.m. in Martin Stadium. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
WSU-OSU SERIES HISTORY: WSU leads the all-time series by a 48-45-3 margin and has posted wins in two of its last three trips to Corvallis, 2006 and 2010. The Cougars snapped a three-game series skid in 2010 when they posted a 31-14 win in Corvallis but the Beavers earned a 44-21 victory over WSU in The Seattle Game last season behind Sean Mannion's four touchdown passes. These two teams have played throughout the northwest during the series, with games in Corvallis, Portland, Pullman, Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma.
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 123rd 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 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.
WILSON AMONG PAC-12's CAREER LEADERS: Junior wide receiver Marquess Wilson enters the week as the Pac-12 Conference's active career leader in receiving yards with 2,893, good for No. 17 all-time in conference history. His 1,388 receiving yards in 2011 was the 12th most in Pac-12 history.
WILSON CLIMBING WSU RECORD BOOKS: Junior Marquess Wilson continued his climb up WSU's career receiving records with 12 catches for 182 yards against Oregon Saturday. His 182 receiving yards upped his career total to 2,893, pushing him past Brandon Gibson for the most receiving yards in school history. Wilson now has 167 career catches, 10 away from Hugh Campbell who sits third with 177. Wilson's touchdown catch on Saturday pushed him past Campbell and into second on WSU's top-10 for career touchdown receptions with 23.
WILSON'S BIG PLAYS: Marquess Wilson's 81-yard touchdown at UNLV wasn't the first big play of his career. In 29 games, the junior wideout owns eight career touchdown catches of 50-plus yards, including five in 2011 highlighted by a 85-yard score from Connor Halliday against Arizona State. Dating back to the 1984 season, the only Cougar with as many as seven touchdown catches of 50-plus yards is former Cougar great Tim Stallworth.
DEFENSE RACKING UP THE SACKS: The Washington State defense enters the week tied for third in the Pac-12 Conference with 16 sacks through the first five games. Following a year in which the Cougars recorded 17 for the season, the switch to a 3-4 defense has seen more linebackers in the backfield as 13 of the 16 sacks have come from linebackers.
LONG LEADING THE WAY: Senior Travis Long tallied nine tackles and two sacks at UNLV for the second time this season after reaching the marks at BYU in week one. The Spokane, Wash. native followed that with 2.5 sacks against Colorado and enters the week sharing the lead in the Pac-12 Conference and tied for third in the country with 6.5 sacks, already surpassing his four from a season ago. His now owns 17.5 sacks in his career, placing him in a tie for seventh with Ivan Cook on WSU's top-10 for career sacks. Long's team-leading 9.0 tackles-for-loss puts his career total at 38, good for fifth on WSU's career top-10.
FURNEY GOES LONG DISTANCE: Junior kicker Andrew Furney has already 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.
NEW FACES MAKING AN IMPACT: Washington State has seen a number of new faces on the field in 2012. First-year Cougars making an impact are led by junior nose tackle Ioane Gauta who has started all five games and made 14 stops including four tackles-for-loss. Freshman safety Taylor Taliulu started the first two games and was one of the top two tacklers in each contest, making nine at BYU and seven against Eastern Washington. Freshman wideouts Gabe Marks and Brett Bartolone each own 22 receptions, 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. Freshman running back Teondray Caldwell is second on the team in rushing and leads the Pac-12 in kickoff return average at 27.1, 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 five games those season. Monroe is tied with Travis Long for the second most tackles (32), 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 that 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 now owns four 300-yard performances, two 400-yard games and three four-touchdown performances after passing for 494 yards and four scores against Arizona State last season.
BOWLIN BLASTS AWAY: Redshirt-junior Michael Bowlin has provided a big boost to the WSU kicking game, already recording 10 touchbacks on kickoffs to surpass last year's total of one and is closing in on Nick Grasu's mark of 11 in 2010. Bowlin also owns 10 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 seven punts inside the 20.
RETURN GAME: The Washington State return game as already seen improvement from 2011 as punt returner Leon Brooks followed up a 17-yard return at BYU with a career best 29-yard return against Eastern Washington. Kick returner Teondray Caldwell has shown the ability to break one, starting the second half at BYU with a 63-yard return, posting an 54-yard return against Colorado and nearly taking one to house against No. 2 Oregon Saturday, going for 92 yards. Additionally, the kickoff and punt coverage teams both rank in the top-50 nationally with the kickoff coverage team ranked No. 11.
TUEL AMONG WSU'S ELITE PASSERS: Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel enters Saturday's game against Oregon State seventh on WSU's career top-10 for completions with 373 and eighth in career passing yards (4,307). The Fresno, Calif. native's fourth-quarter touchdown pass against Oregon put him in a tie for seventh with Mark Rypien for career touchdown passes (28). His career completion percentage also improved to .614 (373/607, the best by any quarterback in WSU history.
BUCANNON'S INT'S: Junior safety Deone Bucannon made his seventh and eighth career interceptions Saturday and enters the game against Oregon State with three this season. It was 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.
WILLIAM "LONE STAR" DIETZ SELECTED TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Former Washington State football coach William "Lone Star" Dietz was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame 2012 Divisional Class by the National Football Foundation in May. With a lengthy career spanning many schools and decades, William "Lone Star" Dietz provided a foundation for football success at many universities across the nation. He served as the head coach for 19 seasons at seven institutions and enjoyed a distinguished career as an assistant coach, helping College Football Hall of Fame coach Pop Warner prepare Stanford for two Rose Bowl appearances. Truly a legend in his own time, "Lone Star" Dietz had a fantastic career as Washington State's football coach from 1915-17. His teams posted a 17-2-1 record with 15 shutouts. In his inaugural year, he guided WSC (Washington State College) to the Rose Bowl and a 14-0 shutout of Ivy League foe Brown. That team was 7-0 and allowed just one touchdown and one field goal all year. A year later, WSC was 4-2 and his 1917 team finished 6-0-1 while yielding three points to opponents, a field goal in the second game of the season.