April 27, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. --- Washington State quarterbacks Jason Gesser and Matt Kegel combined for 417 passing yards and four touchdowns Saturday at Martin Stadium, leading the Crimson squad to a 49-7 victory in the annual Crimson and Gray Game.
The Crimson team had nine passing plays over 20 yards, as Gesser connected on 16 of 33 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Kegel also threw two touchdown passes, going 11 of 16 for 203 yards on the day.
"Matt Kegel is playing as well at quarterback as he has ever played," WSU Head Coach Mike Price said. "Unfortunately, so is Jason Gesser. Between the two of those guys, it's going to be great."
Senior wide receiver Jerome Riley was the most popular target for Crimson signal callers, grabbing eight passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40-yard strike from Kegel. Riley also got it done on the ground, scoring the game's first touchdown on a 12-yard end around with just over six minutes left in the second quarter.
Sophomore Trandon Harvey also scored twice, taking passes of 50 and 38 yards to the endzone.
"I was impressed with the speed of our team offensive and defensively," Price said. "We made big plays today and we have been emphasizing that all spring. We are going to be a big play team next year."
Sophomore Mark Ahlberg and freshman Troy Bienemann helped clear up some of the questions surrounding the tight end position, combining for three catches and 55 yards, including a fingertip grab by Bienemann in the first half.
"I thought the tight ends played well. We have the tight ends back in our offense and that is good," Price said. "Bienemann has only had 15 practices, so we will have to see how he does over the summer."
Defensively, the Crimson squad was just as dominant. Junior defensive end D.D. Acholonu led the way with five tackles, including three for a loss, and a sack. Defensive tackles Rien Long, Tai Tupai, and Jeremey Williams also registered sacks against Gray quarterbacks.
Junior cornerback Karl Paymah showed why he is expected to push Jason David for playing time opposite Marcus Trufant next season, breaking up one pass and intercepting Gray quarterback Dayton Dennison after the ball was tipped by linebacker Ira Davis.
Aside from Paymah, Price liked the progress of several other young Cougars.
"Karl Paymah played very well," Price said. "Mawuli Davis (Gray squad) was all over the field and I liked the way he played. (Riley) Fitt-Chappell played well on the offensive line, and so did Billy Knotts, who came in and played center."
The Gray's biggest play of the game was provided by freshman quarterback Chris Hurd and wide receiver Jevon Miller, who hooked up on a 46-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. That play came with the score already 20-0 in favor of the Crimson, and was followed by 29 unanswered points by the eventual victors.
Miller, who was moved from running back to receiver just one week ago, caught three balls for 62 yards. Hurd was three of seven for 68 yards.
Despite the progress he saw in his team over the last four weeks, Price believes it is what they do between now and the start of next season that will determine how much success they enjoy.
"What we do now between now and August 1 will determine how good we are next year," Price said. "We need to retain everybody and do a good job off the field and we will be fine. Come June 9, this whole football team will be back in Pullman."
Washington State opens the season August 31 in Seattle against the Wolf Pack of Nevada.
CRIMSON 49 GRAY 7
Crimson - Jerome Riley 12-yard run (Dunning kick)
Crimson - Drew Dunning 44-yard field goal
Crimson - John Tippins 1-yard run (Dunning kick)
Crimson - Drew Dunning 42-yard field goal
Gray - Jevon Miller 46-yard pass from Hurd (Siderius kick)
Crimson - Jerome Riley 6-yard pass from Gesser (Dunning kick)
Crimson - Trandon Harvey 50-yard pass from Gesser (Dunning kick)
Crimson - Safety, ball snapped through the back of the endzone
Crimson - Trandon Harvey 33-yard pass from Kegel (Dunning kick)
Crimson - Jerome Riley 40-yard pass from Kegel (Siderius kick failed)
CRIMSON - Gesser 33/16/0/214/2/50, Kegel 16/11/0/203/2/51
GRAY - Hurd 7/3/0/68/1/46, Swogger 8/2/1/6/0/3, Dennison 1/0/1/0/0/0, St. Mary 1/0/0/0/0/0
CRIMSON - Tippins 14/40, Green 6/25, Gesser 2/11, Riley 1/12, Ryan 3/-5, Kegel 1/-7
GRAY - Anderson 1/0 Ryan 3/-1, Hurd 2/-16, Hawkins 3/6, Dennison 1/-1, Bolton 3/-3 Miller 2/2 Swogger 2/-12, Smith 1/-2
CRIMSON - Riley 8/108, Harvey 4/106, Bush 5/78, Nettles 2/45, Bienemann 2/41, Ostrander 3/18, Tippins 2/11, Ahlberg 1/10
GRAY - Miller 3/62, West 1/9, Faries 1/3
CRIMSON - Acholonu 5/4/1, Genatone 4/4/0, Bennett 3/2/1, J. Williams 3/2/1
GRAY - Burnett 6/6/0, Dicko 6/4/2, Joseph 6/2/4, Crump 5/3/2, Wendell Smith 4/4/0, Boyer 4/2/2, Davis 4/2/2, Farley 4/3/1
CRIMSON - Acholonu 1/-8, Long 1/-7, Tupai 1/-6, J. Williams 1/-6
GRAY - Dicko 1/-7, Smith 1/-12
CRIMSON - Paymah 1, Davis 1
GRAY - none