Nov. 3, 2003
WHO: #12/13 WSU Cougars (7-2 overall, 4-1 Pac-10) vs. UCLA Bruins (6-3 overall, 4-1 Pac-10)
WHAT: 2003 Pacific-10 Conference Football
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 8; Kickoff 4:00 p.m. PDT
WHERE: Martin Stadium (35,117, FieldTurf), Pullman, Wash.
TV: Live ABC Sports, WSU replay by FOX Sports Northwest Sunday, Nov. 9, 10:00 a.m.
THE COACHES: WSU - Bill Doba (Ball State '62) is in his first season as WSU's head coach (7-2) and in his first season as a college head coach (7-2). UCLA - The Bruins are coached by Karl Dorrell (UCLA '87), 6-3 in his first season as a head coach.
WSU VS. UCLA: Overall the Bruins hold a 34-14-1 series advantage, but the Cougars won last year 48-27 in Pasadena, have won five of the last seven games and seven of the last 12 games played...at Pasadena WSU has also had success, capturing three of the last six games played at UCLA's home field, including last year's December game that earned WSU a share of the Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl Berth...in Pullman, WSU has won three straight over UCLA and four of the last five games.
COUGARS SLIP IN THE POLLS: Washington State, following last week's loss at USC, slipped to 12th in this week's Associated Press media poll and 13th in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll...over the course of the 2001 and 2002 seasons, the Cougars were ranked a school record 28 straight weeks, but didn't appear this year until Sept. 14....WSU fell to 15th in this week's BSC ranking. (see page 3)
DOBA AMONG LEADING ROOKIE COACHES: Washington State first-year head coach Bill Doba is having a great rookie season, guiding WSU to a 7-2 mark...only two other rookie head coaches have better marks, Bowling Green's Gregg Brandon and Louisville's Bobby Petrino, who are both 7-1...Michigan State's John L. Smith is also 7-2, but he had head coaching experience prior to taking over at MSU this year.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: WSU has won 10 of its last 12 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...this year WSU has won at Oregon and Stanford and lost at USC.
DARLING HAULS IN 16 TD PASSES: Junior Devard Darling has caught 16 touchdown passes in his career, 11 last year and five so far this season...he now ranks tied for fourth in career TD receptions...earlier this season he caught a career-high nine passes for 113 yards against New Mexico, just one reception short of making the WSU single-game list and only three short of the WSU record for one game...he has topped the 100-yard mark three times in his career, 133 against Oregon and 109 at California last year and 113 against New Mexico this season...
COUGS 27-7 IN LAST THREE SEASONS: Since the start of the 2001 season, WSU has won 27 of 34 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 31-2, Oklahoma 32-4, Ohio State 29-6, Texas 29-6, Georgia 28-7, Boise State 28-6, Marshall 28-7 and WSU 27-7.
MULTIPLE RECEIVERS: At least WSU seven players have caught passes in every game this year...in all, six wide receivers, two tight ends and three running backs have catches.
WSU AND UCLA AMONG PAC-10'S BEST: WSU leads the Pac-10 in passing offense, opponent third down conversions and field goals and is second in nine categories, scoring defense, kickoff returns, punting, rushing defense, turnover margin, opponent first downs, sacks, pass defense efficiency and time of possession...UCLA leads the league in pass defense and is second in total defense, field goals and kickoff coverage.
COLEMAN NINTH WITH 9 INTERCEPTIONS: When safety Erik Coleman picked off his fourth pass of the season against Oregon State, he moved into a tie for ninth on WSU's career list with nine interceptions...Greg Burns, 1991-95, also had nine during his career.
SCORING STREAKS: WSU currently has three significant scoring streaks on the line:
COUGS IN THE POLLS: Washington State, during the course of the 2001 and 2002 seasons, was ranked for 28 straight weeks, the longest continuous stint in the polls for WSU...after finishing 10th in both polls at the close of the 2002 season, WSU was not ranked at the start of the 2003 campaign...
COUG DEFENSE HALTS RUSHING TDs: WSU opponents have not a great deal of success rushing for touchdowns against the Cougars this year...WSU has allowed 14 passing scores and five rushing touchdown...Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford and USC (twice) are the only teams to score rushing touchdowns against the Cougar defense.
WSU WINS WHEN SCORING IN THE THIRD: WSU has won 25 straight games when scoring in the third quarter...the last time WSU scored in the third quarter and did not win was the 2000 Apple Cup...conversely, the Cougars are 2-7 since the Apple Cup game when they did not score in the third quarter...the string is 19 straight wins when WSU has scored a touchdown in the third quarter...WSU did not score in the third quarter of their most recent loss at USC.
BROWN, ACHOLONU AMONG TFL/SACK LEADERS: WSU's senior defensive ends, D.D. Acholono and Isaac Brown, both rank among the leaders at WSU in both tackles-for-losses and in sacks, and in yardage lost for both categories...while Brown started throughout the 2002 season, Acholonu started his first game against Idaho earlier this year...
SACKS AND INTERCEPTIONS: WSU has recorded 150 sacks over the last four seasons, ranking second in the nation behind Texas, 152...Louisville (149), TCU (147), USC (145) and California (141) are right behind WSU...WSU, Oregon and Miami have 85 interceptions since the start of the 1999 season and are tied for third nationally behind Oklahoma, 95, and Kansas State, 89.
COUGS AMONG SACK LEADERS: The Cougars currently are second in the Pac-10 with 32 sacks...USC leads with 35 after recording five sacks against WSU last week...the Coug's seven sacks against Oregon State marks the fifth time in the past two seasons that the Cougar defense has recorded six or more sacks in a game...WSU also had seven sacks at Notre Dame earlier this season...the Cougars recorded a sack in 22 straight games between 2001 and the Arizona game earlier this season...WSU sack totals this year are Idaho 3, Notre Dame 7, Colorado 2, New Mexico 4, Oregon 4, Arizona 0, Stanford 4, OSU 7, and USC 1.
PAC-10 HONORS COUGARS: Four Washington State football players have been honored six times by the Pacific-10 Conference this year with Player-of-the-Week honors:
WSU JUMPS TO EARLY LEADS: WSU has outscored opponents 89-18 in the first quarter and 146-71 in the first half...WSU holds a 57-53 second quarter scoring advantage, a 59-54 lead in the third quarter and 77-50 in the fourth quarter...the only first quarter points allowed by the Cougs have been touchdowns by Colorado and Oregon State (interception return), a safety by Oregon and a field goal by USC...half of the 18 points have been scored by the defense.
WSU STARTS STRONG AFTER BOWL GAMES: The Cougars, in recent years, have started the season strong coming off a bowl game appearance...in 1989 (after the 1988 Aloha Bowl) the Cougars started 6-1...in 1993 (after the 1992 Copper Bowl) WSU started 5-2...in 1995 (after the 1994 Alamo Bowl) WSU started 3-2...in 1998 (after the 1997 Rose Bowl season) WSU started 3-0...in 2002 (after the 2001 Sun Bowl) WSU started 9-1...this year (after the 2002 Rose Bowl season) WSU is 4-1.
BLOCK THOSE KICKS: WSU has blocked four placement kicks this season and blocked two punts...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...he also had a blocked PAT against New Mexico...at Colorado defensive tackle Steve Cook blocked the Buffs' first PAT attempt...against Oregon D.D. Acholonu and Jason Hill each blocked a Duck punt.
FIVE WSU FOES UNDER 300 YARDS T-OFFENSE: WSU has held four opponents to less than 260 yards this year and five under 300 yards: Idaho 250, Notre Dame 316, Colorado 445, New Mexico 257, Oregon 414, Arizona 198, Stanford 259, Oregon State 291 and USC 436.
DUNNING SETS RECORD: Senior Drew Dunning set a WSU record with five field goals against New Mexico, hitting from 37-36-23-21-49 yards...in 2001 Dunning set a WSU record for kickers with 101 points and then broke his own record with 113 points in 2002...this year he is really on a tear...he currently is second nationally with 20 field goals in 22 attempts (90.9%):
FG Attempts: Hanson 96, Dunning 79;
FG Made: Hanson 63, Dunning 61;
PAT Attempts: Hanson 144, Dunning 130;
PAT Made: Hanson 139, Dunning 121;
BALANCED OFFENSE: The Cougars have a reputation of being a passing team, but over the past 10 years have actually run the ball more times than they have passes...in 10 years WSU has run 4,467 rushing plays (50.2%), 4,439 passing plays...this year WSU has rushed the ball 330 times and thrown 358 passes...the passing game has had the upper hand in six of the 10 seasons, but usually by a small margin.
STREAKING COUGARS: WSU has won six of seven Pac-10 road games, seven of eight Pac-10 games in California, 10 of 11 games against California schools and five of the last six league games.
TURNOVERS = 112 POINTS: WSU has turned 19 of the opponent's 31 turnovers into 112 points this year...the Cougars have taken the ball away from the opponents 18 times with interceptions and have recovered 13 of the opponent's 27 fumbles:
SAMMY MOORE MAKES CRUCIAL CATCHES: Senior Sammy Moore is becoming known as the Big Play guy...here's a look at some of Moore's big plays in 2002 and 2003:
MOORE ON NEAR-RECORD PACE: Sammy Moore is averaging 131 all-purpose yards per game, which puts him on pace to finish the year with 1,572 yards...that would place him fourth on WSU's single season list...the top four are Bernard Jackson (2,118 in 1971), Steve Broussard (1,790 in 1989), Rueben Mayes (1,768 in 1984) and Broussard (1,533 in 1988)...Moore has 457 receiving yards, 272 punt return yards and 450 kickoff return yards for 1,179 total yards.
WSU START AMONG BEST: WSU's 7-2 start in 2003 is the sixth best ever for the Cougars through nine games...the best start was an 9-0 beginning to the 1930 season (finished 9-1, losing to Alabama in the Rose Bowl)...four other Cougar teams have started the year 8-1...they are the 2002 (9-1), 2001 (9-1), 1997 (10-1) and 1929 (8-1) clubs.
DAVID SETS INTERCEPTION RECORDS: Jason David now stands second on the career interception list with 15 and now holds three career interception records:
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 43.7 yards per punt (18th nationally) and has dumped 17 of his 54 kicks inside the 20 yard line...his long this year is a career best 65 yards...Dunning has hit 20 of 22 field goals (2nd nationally) and has scored 84 points in nine games...Moore is also having a great year, averaging 26.5 yards per kickoff return (16th nationally) and 9.1 yards on punt returns...he also has a 97-yard kickoff return for a TD to his credit, along with four receiving touchdowns.
COUGS LIMIT THIRD DOWNS: WSU rarely allows an opponent a third down conversion in the first and fourth quarters and only a 22% success rate for the game...opponent conversions are 4-for-30 in the first quarter, 9-for-41 in the second quarter, 13-for-34 in the third quarter and 4-for-31 in the fourth quarter, a total of 30-for-136 (22%) for the season...WSU did not allowed a first quarter third down conversion in five straight games and none in the fourth quarter in four straight games...
KEGEL IMPROVES EACH GAME: Matt Kegel has shown steady improvement as a quarterback this year and currently has completed 55.7% of his passes...Kegel also is protecting the ball well, other than the OSU game when he was picked off five times...he's thrown just five interceptions in the other eight games...against New Mexico he had career highs in completions and yardage...against Colorado, Oregon, Stanford and Oregon State he threw three touchdown passes...in the past five games he has 12 touchdown passes.
KEGEL NEARING LISTS: Matt Kegel has moved into WSU's single season and career Top 10 lists eight games into the season and 34 games into his career:
TURNOVERS: WSU is +8 in turnovers for 2003...in the last 15 years, WSU is -29 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.
NOTHING LIKE HOME: WSU performs better at home than on the road, as do most schools...since 1989, at home, the Cougars are 49-32 (60.5%) and on the road the team is 41-48 (46.2%)...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.
WSU DEFENSE HALTS LONG RUSHES: In the last 15 years WSU has allowed just 171 runs of 20 yards or longer in 170 games...this year the Cougars have allowed 7 runs of 20 or more yards and 14 runs of 10-19 yards.
COUGS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pac-10 in passing offense, opponent third down conversions and field goals and is second in scoring defense, kickoff returns, punting, rushing defense, turnover margin, opponent first downs, sacks, pass defense efficiency and time of possession...Jason David is first in passes defensed, Sammy Moore is first in kickoff returns and Drew Dunning is tops in field goals and field goal percentage...second is Jason David in interceptions, Scott Davis in fumbles recovered, Dunning in kick scoring, Moore in all-purpose running and Matt Kegel in passing and total offense.
COUGS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: WSU ranks seventh in pass defense efficiency, eighth in rushing defense, tenth in net punting, 13th in passing offense and 17th in turnover margin...Drew dunning is second in field goals and 15th in scoring, while Jason David is 12th in interceptions and Sammy Moore is 16th in kickoff returns...Kyle Basler is 18th in punting and Matt Kegel 18th in total offense.
COUGS SCORE OFTEN: Since 1980 WSU has averaged 26.3 points per game...this year WSU is averaging 31.3 points per outing and last year the average was 33.2 points.
RUSHING TOTALS UNDER 100: In the last 15 years WSU has held 68 of 170 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 169 games, WSU held opponents to 50 or less yards 20 times...Notre Dame and USC are the only teams this year to go over 100 yards.
100-YARD RUSHERS FEW: Only 62 running backs have been able to crack the 100-yard mark in the last 15 years and 170 games against WSU's defense...USC's LenDale White is the only back this year to top 10 yards rushing against WSU.
COUGS BOAST STARTING EXPERIENCE: WSU fields an experienced team in 2003, with 40 players having started at least one game...in all, the Cougars boast a collective 498 starts, 240 by defensive players, 201 by offensive players and 57 by kickers.
DEFENSE EXPERIENCED: Ten WSU defensive players have each played in 30 or more games and five others have seen action in at least 20 games...in all 15 defensive players who have made 240 starts have also played in a collective 491 games:
OFFENSE HAS 190 STARTS: WSU boasts 23 offensive players who have made a collective 201 starts during their career and have seen action in 456 games...one Cougar lineman, Josh Parrish, has played in 39 games, while three other linemen have seen action in 20 or more games:
TEN COUGS BOAST 20+ STARTS: Ten starters have made 20 or more starts in their career and 15 players have made 10 or more starts...Drew Dunning (35), Josh Parrish (33), Jason David (31), Calvin Armstrong (29), Tai Tupai (28), Erik Coleman (28), Al Genatone (25), Isaac Brown (23), Virgil Williams (22) and Devard Darling (22) all have 20 or more career starts.
BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: WSU's starting lineup against UCLA of 22 players includes 0 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 4 juniors and 16 seniors, while the top 44 (two-deep) consists of 7 freshmen, 8 sophomores, 11 juniors and 18 seniors...in the two-deep, WSU lists a combined 15 freshmen-sophomores and 29 juniors-seniors.
RED ZONE: In 2003 WSU has scored 286 times in 384 trips into the Red Zone, 164 touchdowns and 12 field goals...the failures have been five interceptions, two fumbles, once on downs and two times at the end of the half...opponents have scored 12 touchdowns and 7 field goals in 23 Red Zone appearance...the failures were a blocked field goal, a missed field goal, an interception and once on downs.
COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 1995: WSU is 11-20 against ranked teams since 1995...when WSU has also been ranked, the Cougars are 5-7.
WSU SCORING STREAK FIFTH: Here are the longest current scoring streaks among NCAA Div. I teams: BYU 360, Texas 274, Washington 262, Michigan 235, WSU 223.
WSU GAME NOTES VS. IDAHO (25-0):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. NOTRE DAME (26-29, ot):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. COLORADO (47-26):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. NEW MEXICO (23-13):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. OREGON (55-16):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. ARIZONA (30-7):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. STANFORD (24-14):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. OREGON STATE (36-30):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. USC (16-43):
WSU GAME NOTES VS. UCLA ():
FIRST LATE SHOWING FOR UCLA: The UCLA Bruins will be making their latest appearance of the season in Pullman when they visit WSU Saturday, Nov. 8...UCLA has played the first Saturday of November in Pullman three times, 1938, 1993 and 2001, but never the second Saturday of the month...they did play in Spokane the second Saturday in November back in 1957...UCLA is 2-1 in early November games in Pullman, winning in 1938 and 1993 before WSU won two years ago.
COUG BOWL TEAMS 6-0-1 AGAINST UCLA: WSU has never lost to UCLA during seasons when the Cougars played in a bowl game...the two teams did not play each other during WSU's Rose Bowl seasons of 1915 and 1930, but since then WSU is 6-0-1...the tie was a 17-17 deadlock in 1981 when WSU went to the Holiday Bowl...WSU defeated UCLA following bowl seasons - 1988 Aloha Bowl, 1992 Copper Bowl, 1994 Alamo Bowl, 1997 and 2002 Rose Bowls and 2001 Sun Bowl.
COUGS HAVE BOUNCED BACK: The last five times WSU lost a November game, the team bounced back to win their next contest...WSU is coming off a loss at USC and now facing UCLA...WSU is 5-5 in November over the last four seasons, including the USC loss this year.
TURNOVERS NOW HURTING WSU: Through the first seven games of the season WSU opponents scored 24 points off 10 cougar turnovers...in the last two games opponents have scored 40 points off 11 turnovers...USC did not have a turnover last week, while WSU had four...the Trojans are the first WSU opponent not to have a turnover since California in 2002, a string of 17 games.
COUG TD STREAK: WSU quarterbacks threw touchdown passes in every game during the 2001 and 2002 seasons and in seven of nine games this year...the two games when WSU didn't throw a TD pass were against Idaho to open the 2003 season in Seattle, and at home against New Mexico...WSU won both games without going to the air for a score...the last time WSU didn't throw a TD pass at an opponents home field or in a bowl game was at Hawai'I to close out the 1999 season...since then WSU has thrown at least one TD pass in 22 straight games played at the opponent's field or in a bowl game.