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Cougars Set to Host Oregon on Homecoming Day
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 09/22/2008
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Sept. 22, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State Cougars (1-3, 0-1)
vs. Oregon Ducks (3-1, 1-0)
September 27 - Martin Stadium
FSN Northwest - 3:15 p.m. (PT)

SATURDAY'S MATCHUP: The Washington State Cougars (1-3, 0-1) will host the Oregon Ducks (3-1, 1-0) at Martin Stadium, Saturday at 3:15 p.m. The Cougars return to conference play following their win over Portland State last Saturday and will be playing in front of a Homecoming Day crowd. Saturday's contest will be televised by FSN Northwest, with Rich Burk calling play-by-play, Cougar great Jason Gesser serving as analyst, and Jen Mueller serving as the sideline reporter.

WASHINGTON STATE vs. OREGON - THE SERIES: In the 85 games played against the Ducks since the first meeting in 1901, WSU trails Oregon 38-40-7 in the all-time series. The Cougars are 20-21-2 in Pullman, and are looking for their second consecutive victory at Martin Stadium. In 2006 the Cougars handed a 16th-ranked Ducks team a 34-23 defeat in front of a sold-out home crowd. Oregon, ranked No. 9 at the time, won last year's meeting 53-7 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. The Ducks and Cougars have split the last six games overall, and are each 2-2 in the last four games played in Pullman. Since the 2000 season, the Cougars are 7-5 against Pacific-10 Conference opponents in September.

LOBBESTAEL NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Redshirt freshman Marshall Lobbestael was named the Pacific-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week following his performance in WSU's 48-9 victory over Portland State last Saturday. Lobbestael came in during the third quarter of the contest after the first two Cougar quarterbacks suffered injuries and responded by completing 9-of-12 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. On his first pass attempt, Lobbestael found Jeshua Anderson for a 14-yard touchdown strike, the first completion and first touchdown pass of his career. On the Cougars next possession, and Lobbestael's next pass attempt, he connected with Devin Frischknecht on a 53-yard touchdown pass. After Lobbestael entered the game the Cougars scored on each of their next four possessions to secure the victory. Prior to Saturday, Lobbestael had attempted only two passes in his career, both coming against Cal Sept. 6.

ROGERS RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL: Senior quarterback Gary Rogers was released from Pullman Regional Hospital Sunday afternoon, one day after suffering a "stable cervical spine fracture that is non surgical." Rogers was injured during the third quarter of Saturday's contest and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. During tests Saturday evening the fracture was discovered. Rogers will wear a hard collar for six weeks followed by a three-to-fourth month rehabilitation.

FSN NORTHWEST PICKS UP WSU-UCLA CONTEST: Washington State University and FSN Northwest said an agreement has been reached to televise the Cougars' Oct. 4 football game at UCLA, WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced Monday. The UCLA contest is set for a 7:15 p.m. start. The addition means WSU's first six contests of the 2008 campaign, and eight total for the season, have now been selected for television. Three of the games have been or will be available in high definition on FSN HD, including the season-opener against Oklahoma State, along with future contests against USC, Oct. 18, which is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. start, and the annual Apple Cup against Washington, Nov. 22, with a noon start from Pullman.

MAYES TO BE HONORED AT HALFTIME: Former Cougar record-setting All-America running back Rueben Mayes, selected for induction into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame earlier this year, will be honored by Washington State at halftime of the WSU-Oregon game this Saturday. Mayes is the first Cougar player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since tackle Glen "Turk" Edwards (1929-31) was enshrined in 1975, and the third player overall. Center Mel Hein (1928-30) was the first Cougar to be inducted in 1954, while coaches Orin "Babe" Hollingbery (1979) and Forest "Evy" Evashevski (2000) complete the list of Cougars in the Hall of Fame. In 2004 longtime Cougar broadcaster Bob Robertson was presented the Chris Schenkel Award, given by the NFF and College Hall of Fame to a sports broadcaster who has had a long and distinguished career broadcasting college football.

FIRST STARTS: Through the first four weeks of the 2008 season, 20 WSU players have registered their first collegiate start, 13 on offense and seven on defense...WSU had six offensive players and three defensive players starting for the first time in the opener as quarterback Gary Rogers, wide receivers Jared Karstetter and Michael Willis, offensive linemen Steven Ayers and Brian Danaher, tight end Ben Woodard and defensive backs Romeo Pellum, Myron Beck and Tyrone Justin each made their first career starts...against California, three more Cougars made their first career starts: defensive tackle Adam Hineline and wide receivers Daniel Blackledge and Kevin Norrell...week three saw two more Cougars earn their first start as quarterback Kevin Lopina and running back Chantz Staden opened against Baylor...last week against Portland State offensive lineman Joe Eppelle, linebacker Hallston Higgins and cornerback Markus Dawes joined the list of first-time starters...the 20 players include punter Dan Wagner and kickers Wade Penner and Nico Grasu.YOUTH IS SERVED: While the Cougars have had a number of first-time starters this season (20), they have also had an abundant number of underclassmen starting...through the first four games of the season, the Cougars have started 17 different underclassmen, 10 on offense and seven on defense when you include punters and kickers...additionally five true freshmen have seen action this season: WR's Jared Karstetter and Kevin Norrell, linebackers Mike Ledgerwood and Louis Bland, and safety Tyree Toomer.

BUMPUS, HARRISON FIND END ZONE: Two former cougars currently in the NFL recorded their first career touchdowns Sunday...Jerome Harrison caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Derek Anderson in the first quarter against Baltimore while rookie Michael Bumpus hauled in a 19-yard scoring strike in a win over St. Louis.NOTABLES FROM PORTLAND STATE: The Cougars had four different players rush for 40 yards or more, led by Dwight Tardy's game-high 80 yards and one touchdown, part of a 277-yard effort by WSU on the night...Jeshua Anderson had his first touchdown reception of the season, a 14-yard score from Marshall Lobbestael...in his first game of the season, junior safety Xavier hicks led WSU with seven tackles, four solo...the WSU defense had 10 pas break-ups on the game...kicker Nico Grasu connedcted on both of his field goal attempts and is now 4-for-5 on the year. COUGARS PILE UP OFFENSE VS. PSU - WSU's 638 yards of total offense Saturday against Portland State tied for the sixth-highest offensive output in school history and most yards by a WSU team since collecting 654 last season against San Diego State (9/8/07). The 277 yards on the ground are the most since rushing for 344 against Idaho during the 2006 season.

QB TRIO EACH TALLY 100 YARDS: In Saturday's win over Portland State, the Cougars had three quarterbacks that each threw for over 100 yards in the contest. Marshall Lobbestael (149), Kevin Lopina (109) and Gary Rogers (103) became the first Cougar trio to throw for over 100 in at least 26 years dating back to the start of the 1983 season. The last time the Cougars had two quarterbacks throw for over 100 yards in the same game occurred during the 1999 season, when Steve Birnbaum (118) and Paul Mencke (157) eclipsed the century mark at Oregon.ENOUGH TARGETS TO GO AROUND: In WSU's 48-9 victory over Portland State, Cougar signal callers had had no shortage of receivers to throw to. Ten different Cougars caught passes during the contest, led by Devin Frischknecht's five catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. The last time 10 different Cougars caught a pass in the same game occurred last season against San Diego State.COUGARS STYMIE VIKING GROUND GAME - The Cougar defense allowed just eight yards rushing against Portland State Saturday. That total marked the lowest opponent output since WSU held Baylor to minus-10 yards rushing during the 2006 season at the Cougar Gridiron Classic at Qwest Field. Since the start of the 1994 season, WSU's defense had held opponents to negative rushing yards three times: -17 vs. Arizona (2002); -10 vs. Baylor and -6 vs. Montana (1995), while also holding Illinois (5, 1995) and Portland State (8, 2008) to a single-digit rushing total.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior middle linebacker Greg Trent had three tackles against Portland State and has a team-best 24 total tackles for the 2008 season. With his first tackle against Baylor two weeks ago, Trent became the 17th player in WSU history to record 250 tackles in a career. A four-year starter with 28 consecutive starts, Trent currently has 259 career tackles, which places his 16th on the all-time list.

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