Oct. 16, 2000
THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 62-69-0 (.473) record at WSU in 11 years and a career mark of 108-113-0 (.487) in 20 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). ARIZONA STATE - The Sun Devils are coached by Bruce Snyder, who is 56-41-0 in nine seasons at ASU and 124-102-5 in his 21-year career.
WSU VS. ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils hold a 15-9-2 series advantage since the first game was played in 1960...ASU has won three straight, including 1997 and 1999 wins in Tempe...The Cougars had won four straight prior to ASU's win in 1997, an upset of WSU's Pac-10 championship team...the Cougars are 4-10-2 in Tempe...Mike Price is 4-5 in nine games against ASU and Bruce Snyder, while at ASU, is 3-3 against WSU.
GESSER STREAK HALTED AT 130 PASSES: Sophomore Jason Gesser had thrown 130 straight passes without an interception over nearly five games before Michael Jolivette of Arizona picked off one in the fourth quarter last week...in the season opener Gesser threw two picks, the last one on WSU's last possession...he was 20-of-36 for 161 yards, two interceptions and no TDs against Stanford, a QB rating of 82.02...since then, in five games, he has hit 81 of 139 passes (two interceptions) for 1346 yards and 15 touchdowns...in WSU's last five games Gesser's QB rating is a 172.34...his performance in the last five outings has raised his season rating to 153.76, which ranks first in the Pac-10 and sixth in the nation.
BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: Against Arizona WSU's starting lineup of 22 players included 2 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 4 juniors and 6 seniors, while the Top 44 (two-deep) consisted of 11 freshmen, 13 sophomores, 12 juniors and 8 seniors...in the two-deep, WSU lists 24 freshmen and sophomores and 20 juniors and seniors.
INJURIES: WSU's injury report for Monday, Oct. 16 from the training staff: Austin Matson (ankle/knee sprain, questionable), Ryan Raymond (neck stinger, probable), Serign Marong (back, doubtful) Jason White (ankle, possible), Ing Aleaga (broken foot, probable), Dave Minnich (knee sprain, probable). Out indefinitely are: Lamont Thompson (neck), Wendell Smith (shoulder), Sam Lightbody (ruptured thumb ligament), Reed Raymond (left knee, torn MCL), Adam Davis (back), Nick Lambert (quad strain), Derrick Dillon (broken collar bone)
OFFENSE OFF TO GOOD START: WSU has generated 2,341 yards in total offense through six games, averaging 390.2 yards...on the ground WSU averages 128.5 yards, plus 261.7 in the air.
BURNETT NEARS 1200 RUSHING YARDS: Sophomore Deon Burnett has now run for 1,235 career yards, leaving him 504 yards short of a spot in WSU's top 10 list...tenth on WSU's all-time list is Dan Doornink, who gained 1,739 yards during career, 1974-77...ninth place is held by Bernard Jackson, who gained 1,779 during his two Cougar seasons, 1970 and 1971.
BURNETT & MINNICH GIVE WSU 1-2 PUNCH: Last year's leading rusher Deon Burnett has some help this year in Dave Minnich, the ex-Marine who transferred this fall from Mt. San Jacinto JC...Minnich, who has played in all six games, has rushed for 360 yards and two scores, while Burnett has gained 261 despite missing the Cal game with a bone bruise...Burnett is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and Minnich 4.3...WSU has 771 yards rushing this year, or 128.5 per game...last year WSU averaged 113.9 per game.
COUGARS DO WELL ON THE ROAD: WSU has won three of its last four road games, including a win at Hawaii last year in the season's finale...that game was followed this season by road wins at Utah and California...Arizona then snapped the road win streak with a three-overtime win over WSU.
SECONDARY PICKS 8 PASSES: Each starter has made at least one interception this season, headed by Mory Bank's three picks...Marcus Trufant and Chris Martin each have picked off two opponent passes and Billy Newman has one interception...Banks is currently tied for 22nd in the nation with his three interceptions and ranks tied for third in the Pac-10...for their careers, Martin has five interceptions, Trufant four and Banks three.
LONG DRIVES: WSU has had 11 scoring drives of 70 yards or longer in the first five games, including six drives of 80 yards or more.
SCORING STREAKS: WSU currently has three significant scoring streaks on the line:
GESSER THROWS FOR TD RECORD: In the second overtime period at Arizona Oct. 14, Jason Gesser drilled a 19-yard scoring pass to Nakoa McElrath, Gesser's sixth TD pass of the game and a WSU record...no previous quarterback at WSU had thrown as many TD passes in a game as Gesser, including the Fab Four who shared the previous record of five - Jack Thompson (vs. Washington, 1976), Timm Rosenbach (Tennessee, 1988), Drew Bledsoe (Oregon State, 1991), or Ryan Leaf (California, 1977).
COUG FOOTBALL HAS TWO SETS OF TWINS: WSU's football roster in 2000 includes two sets of identical twins...they are offensive linemen Reed and Ryan Raymond (Moses Lake, Wash., born 10/23/77) and linebackers Brandon and Ryan Pickering (Monroe, Wash., born 3/31/77).
MORE BROTHERS: In addition to two sets of twins on the Cougar roster, there are five other pairs of brothers...they are Fred and Josh Shavies, Adam and Blair Hawkins, Pat and Collin Henderson, Raonall and Kealan Smith, and Deon and Anthony Burnett.
WSU-WASHINGTON CONNECTION: Two members of WSU's 2000 football roster boast brothers who have played at Washington...Cougar Ing Aleaga's brother Ink was a standout 1994-95-96, while Russell Mizin's brother was a senior in 1999.
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...Idaho currently uses WSU's Martin Stadium as their home field in an effort to qualify for NCAA D-I status...the Vandal's Kibbie Dome is not large enough to allow Idaho to meet the average needed for D-I status...this year Idaho plays three home games in WSU's stadium.
COUGS GO MARINES: While looking for a few good men the past two years, the WSU coaching staff discovered the Marines...a pair of WSU players are former Marines, Wendell Smith and Dave Minnich...Smith, from Spokane's Gonzaga Prep, joined the Cougars last fall as a freshman after four years in the service...this season WSU brought in running back Dave Minnich from Mt. San Jacinto College...originally from Stonington, Conn., Minnich spent four years in the Marines before going the jaycee route...Smith is currently sidelined following shoulder surgery in the spring.
WELCOME BACK ZUBEDI: Receiver Farwan Zubedi, one of WSU's four co-captains, has a unique pet that draws some folks to him while others will take the long way around him - a pet snake...not just your common garden snake hidden in the folds of his cloths or in a pocket...it's a 4-foot boa named Unique...hard to hide and not everyone's favorite pet...Unique has yet to make an appearance on the field.
COUG LINE AVERAGES 291: WSU's offensive line currently weighs in at a collective 1,459 pounds, or an average of 291.4 pounds...the heavyweights of the group include Phil Locker at 311 and Ryan Raymond at 304, while Josh Parrish weighed in at 284 this fall...the lightweights are Tyler Hunt and Derrick Roche, each at 280 pounds...prior to the loss of 312-pound Reed Raymond to a season-sending knee injury at California, the line averaged 294 pounds...last year's line weighed 1,489 and the 1998 line tipped the scales at a WSU record 1,508 pounds.
GESSER/WILAIKUL PAC-10 HONOREES: Quarterback Jason Gesser and kicker Anousith Wilaikul have each received Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season...Gesser, for his play at Utah when he completed 11 of 18 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 37 yards, won offensive honors, while Wilaikul [pronounced A-new-sit Vee-lie-khoun] was the special teams winner after his three field goals of 38, 22 and 34 yards against Boise State...Gesser was the first Cougar to earn conference player of the week honors since Nian Taylor was selected after the third game of the 1998 season.
McELRATH TIES RECORD: Junior (transfer) Nakoa McElrath tied a WSU single game record with his three touchdown receptions from Jason Gesser Oct. 14 at Arizona in a triple overtime loss to the Wildcats...the transfer from Palomar College and graduate of Scripps Ranch High in LaJolla, Calif., hauled in a 54-yarder from Gesser in the second quarter, a 19-yarder in the fourth quarter that earned WSU a 26-26 tie, and then another 19-yarder in the second overtime that put WSU ahead 47-40...six other Cougar receivers have also caught three scoring passes in a game...the first was Doug Flansburg against Houston in 1966 and the last was Nian Taylor against Idaho in 1998.
GESSER'S 348 A CAREER HIGH: Jason Gesser's 348 passing yards against Arizona was a career high for the sophomore...his previous high was the previous week, 290 yards against Boise State.
LAMONT THOMPSON TO REDSHIRT: Senior Lamont Thompson, who shares the WSU record with 14 career interceptions, will redshirt during the 2000 season and rehab his sore neck that has kept him out of all workouts since spring...the senior is currently undergoing physical therapy and neck strengthening exercises...several visits to specialists revealed no structural damage to Thompson's neck area.
COUGS STINGY IN FIRST QUARTER: WSU's defense has allowed 406 first quarter points in the last 86 games (4.72/quarter) over the past eight years...WSU allowed 41 first-quarter points in 1993, 29 in 1994, 45 in 1995, 43 in 1996, 48 in 1997, 87 in 1998, 71 in 1999 and 35 in 2000...BSU is the only WSU opponent this season to score more than seven first quarter points...neither Stanford nor Utah scored in the opening quarter against the Cougs.
COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 1995: WSU did not meet a ranked team in 1999...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: No. 2 Nebraska, at No. 5 USC and at No. 12 Oregon.
PRICE THIRD IN WINS: WSU coach Mike Price is third among the current Pacific-10 coaches with 108 wins... Arizona's Dick Tomey leads Pac-10 coaches with 158, followed by ASU's Bruce Snyder with 124 and Price...Price, in his 12th season at WSU, is second in consecutive years at the same school...Tomey is in his 13th year at Arizona.
MIKE PRICE AMONG WSU'S BEST: Only one Washington State football coach with tenure of five years or longer at WSU put together a better record than Mike Price...Price, in his 11 seasons at WSU, is 62-69-0 (.473), while his career mark is now 108-113-0...Babe Hollingbery was 93-53-14 (.625) during his 1926-42 (17 years) tenure...Price's record is the best at WSU in the last 50 years for coaches with a tenure of three or more years...Price's 62 wins at WSU ranks second to Hollingbery's 93...Jim Walden is third on the victory list at 44.
WSU SECOND IN PAC-10 DEFENSE: Since 1992 WSU has been in the top half of the conference in defense all but once (1992)...the Cougs won the defensive title in 1994, allowing 229 yards a game, the best average in the league since 1982 and the second best since 1971...in 1993 and 1997 WSU's defense was ranked second in the Pac-10.
NOTHING LIKE HOME: The Washington State Cougars perform much better at home than on the road during Mike Price's 12 year tenure...at home the Cougars are 35-27 (56.5%) and on the road the team is 27-42 (39.1%)...WSU's 6-0 home record in 1997 is the best ever for the Cougars.
WSU'S OVERTIME EXPERIENCE: Last week's 3-overtime loss to Arizona was the Cougars' third experience with an overtime game...in 1996, Washington beat WSU 31-24 in overtime in Pullman...WSU's second OT game also involved Arizona and came in 1997 when WSU prevailed 35-34 in Pullman.
MINNICH TOPS 100 YARDS FOR A SECOND TIME: Junior Dave Minnich rushed for 101 yards at Arizona last week, the second time this season the transfer from Mt. San Jacinto College has topped 100 yards...his first triple-digit rushing game was 118 yards at Utah.
NEWMAN LIKES PLAYING ARIZONA: Safety Billy Newman led WSU with 14 tackles at Arizona last Saturday, including 12 primary or unassisted tackles...a year ago in Pullman Newman had 15 tackles against the Wildcats and as a freshman in 1998 he had four stops.
COUGS PLAY CLOSE GAMES: The outcome of WSU's last four games has been determined by seven points or less, with WSU winning two and losing two...the streak started with a 38-34 loss to Idaho...then came wins over California by four points and over Boise State by seven points...now comes the six-point loss to Arizona in triple overtime...the last time WSU played four consecutive games decided by seven points or less was in 1985 when the Cougars opened the year with four straight close games...the first was a 42-39 loss to Oregon...next came a 20-19 win over California...Arizona was the third game of the year, with the Wildcats winning 12-7...Utah then pulled out a 44-37 victory over WSU...the home field has not been much of an advantage in the close games...the first two were at home in 1985 and WSU won and lost at home, then lost the last two road games...this year WSU is 1-1 at home and 1-1 on the road in the close games.
FUMBLES NOT GOING WSU'S WAY: The Cougars are having a little problem with fumbles bouncing the wrong way...in six games, the Cougs have lost nine of 16 fumbles...the opponents, meanwhile, have fumbled 13 times, with WSU recovering seven...the Cougars have fumbled the ball four times in games against Utah (a win), California (a win) and Arizona (a loss)...WSU had just one fumble against Stanford and two against Idaho in the other two losses.
NEW FIELD TURF FOR MARTIN: WSU opened the season with a new look when it hosted Stanford Sept. 2...the Cougars sported new uniforms and helmets, played on a new artificial turf, FieldTurf and were finally back at home in Bohler Gym with new offices and a new lockerroom...Nebraska was the first NCAA Div. I football school to use FieldTurf, followed by WSU...FieldTurf is a surface that looks and feels very much like grass...the Cougars' practice facility, Rogers Field, also sports the new turf.
MIKE PRICE TV SHOWS: The "Mike Price TV Show" airs Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. PT on KHQ, KNDO (Yakima) and KNDU (Tri-Cities) television stations....KHQ's John Fritz hosts the shows...FOX Sports Net Northwest's nightly (7:00 p.m.) Northwest Tonight program also gives extensive coverage to Price and Cougar football.
JIM STERK RADIO SHOW: "Cougar Conversation with (WSU AD) Jim Sterk" is aired each Sunday for 30 minutes at 10:30 a.m. on Spokane's KXLY Radio (920)...former Cougar player Paul Sorensen hosts the weekly show with the WSU athletic director.
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, Oct. 21, will include USC at Stanford on ABC regional at 12:30 p.m. PT and California at Washington on Fox Sports Net Syndication at 3:30 p.m. PT. Arizona at Oregon will air nationally on Fox Sports Net at 7:15 p.m. PT.
FSNW-TV: FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will replay Washington State's game against Arizona State Oct. 22 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, Scott Pelluer, Jeff Aaron, and Bud Nameck combine talents on the 24-station Cougar Sports Network. Robertson is in his 34th year of broadcasting Cougar sports, while Pelluer, a former Cougar player, is in his second 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 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: WSU uplinks a 15-minute football video package each Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. (C-Band, Telstar 6, Transponder 19 V, 93 degree west, ) with coach and player interviews recorded at practice that afternoon...the service is provided by Northwest Public Television on the WSU campus (if trouble, call 509-335-5177). The Pacific-10 office transmits a weekly 30-minute highlight package each Wednesday at 12:00 noon PDT on Telstar 5, Transponder 16, C-Band (if trouble, call 310-543-1835 or the Pac-10 office).
PRICE AND PLAYERS AVAILABLE: WSU head football coach Mike Price is available for individual media interviews 11:00-Noon Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (expect 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 Rebecka McKinney 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.
COUGAR INFOCONNECTION: Members of the media may access WSU press releases, game statistics and other sports specific information through InfoConnection. For information on how to access information from all 10 Pac-10 schools and the Pac-10 office, contact the league office or any of the Pac-10 sports information offices.