Oct. 23, 2000
THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 62-70-0 (.470) record at WSU in 11 years and a career mark of 108-114-0 (.486) in 20 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). OREGON STATE - The Beavers are coached by Dennis Erickson...in his two seasons at OSU, he is 13-6, while over his 15-year career Erickson is 126-46-1, including a 12-10-1 mark while WSU's head coach, 1987-88.
WSU VS. OREGON STATE: The Cougars lead the series 44-38-3 since the first game in 1903, a 6-0 Beaver win...WSU's last win in Corvallis was 24-3 in 1996, while the Cougs' last loss at OSU was 21-3 in 1994...last year the Beavers won in Pullman 27-13.
COUGS PLAY CLOSE GAMES: The outcome of WSU's last five games has been determined by seven points or less, with WSU winning two and losing three...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 and the three-point overtime loss against ASU...the last time WSU played five consecutive games decided by seven points or less was in 1957 when the Cougars beat California 13-7, lost to Iowa 13-20, beat Stanford 21-18, lost to Oregon 14-13, and beat USC 13-12...the home field has not been much of an advantage in the close games...in 1957 WSU was 1-1 at home and 2-1 on the road...this year WSU is 1-2 at home and 1-1 on the road in the close games.
2000 CAPTAINS: WSU - QB Jason Gesser (17), RB Adam Hawkins (37), DE Austin Matson (61), WR Farwan Zubedi (41). OREGON STATE: RB Ken Simonton (35), QB Jonathan Smith (9), SS Terrence Carroll (44), DE DeLawrence Grant (1), SLB Darnell Robinson (5).
INJURIES: WSU's injury report for Monday, Oct. 23 from the training staff: Dave Minnich (hand, probable), Eric Coleman (bruised kidney, probable), Mory Banks (shoulder sprain, probable), Austin Matson (ankle/knee sprain, possible), Serign Marong (back, probable) Jason White (ankle, possible). Out indefinitely are: Lamont Thompson (neck), Wendell Smith (shoulder), Sam Lightbody (ruptured thumb ligament), Reed Raymond (left knee, torn MCL), Ryan Raymond (neck), Adam Davis (back), Nick Lambert (quad strain), Derrick Dillon (broken collar bone)
OFFENSE OFF TO GOOD START: WSU has generated 2,829 yards in total offense through seven games, averaging 404.1 yards...on the ground WSU averages 134.0 yards, plus 270.1 in the air...WSU has averaged 429.5 yards in the last six games.
BURNETT TOPS 1300 RUSHING YARDS: Sophomore Deon Burnett has now run for 1,307 career yards, leaving him 432 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 SCORES FIRST TD OF YEAR: Deon Burnett's eight yard touchdown run against ASU last week was his first TD of the year...last year he scored 12 rushing touchdowns, the second most in a season by a WSU player.
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 has played in all seven games, rushing for 422 yards and two scores, while Burnett has gained 333 despite missing the Cal game with a bone bruise...Burnett is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and Minnich 4.4.
COUGARS DOING WELL ON THE ROAD: WSU has won three of its last four road games, including last year's season-ending win at Hawaii...this season WSU opened with road wins at Utah and California...Arizona snapped the road win streak with a three-overtime win over WSU.
SECONDARY PICKS 10 PASSES: Each starter has made at least two interceptions this season...Mory Banks and Marcus Trufant each have three picks, while Chris Martin and Billy Newman have two each...for their careers, Martin and Trufant each have five interceptions, Newman and Banks three each.
LONG DRIVES: WSU has had 12 scoring drives of 70 yards or longer in the first seven games, including seven 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).
TURNOVERS: WSU is +2 in turnovers this year...WSU was -1 in a loss to Stanford and -3 in the loss to Arizona, but otherwise has been even or on the plus side in four games this season...WSU's turnover margin was -4 in 1999, -17 in 1998, -1 in 1997, -9 in 1996, 0 in 1995, +9 in 1994.
LAST TOUCH WINS: In WSU's last three losses to Idaho, Arizona and Arizona State, the opponents have pulled out the win on their last possession...Idaho drove 57 yards to score the deciding points with 40 seconds to play...Arizona scored in the third overtime and then picked off a WSU pass to preserve their win, while ASU stopped WSU with an interception in the first overtime and then kicked the winning field goal...Stanford is the only victor over WSU not to decide the game late...the Cardinal scored all 24 of their points in the second quarter and then hung on to hand the Cougars the season-opening loss.
RECEIVERS SET STANDARD: Nakoa McElrath, Deon Burnett, Marcus Williams and Milton Wynn have done something never done by a group of WSU receivers...McElrath racked up 106 receiving yards against Arizona and Burnett had 101 yards in the same game to become the tenth WSU receiving duo to each account for over 100 receiving yards in a game...last week Williams and Wynn duplicated the effort, with Wynn catching five passes for 143 yards and Williams making six catches for 138 yards...that marked only the second time two pairs of receivers had each gone over 100 yards in a season...the last was in 1992 against Temple early in the season and against Utah in the Copper Bowl...it also marked the first time a pair of receivers had topped the 100 yard total in back-to-back games.
DEFENSE STEPS UP AGAINST ASU: Arizona running backs ripped off four runs of 20 yards or longer against WSU's defense two weeks ago, but last week against ASU, the Cougar defense held up...the Sun Devils only had two runs of 10 yards or longer, one for 10 and the other for 12.
OFFENSIVE AVERAGE OK: Three times this year WSU has averaged 6.9 yards per play or better and lost each game...against Idaho the Cougars averaged 7.0 yards, while at Arizona the average was 6.9 yards...last week in a loss to ASU the average was a season-best 7.1 yards...WSU topped the 7.0 average just once in each of the previous two years.
FUMBLES NOT GOING WSU'S WAY: The Cougars are having a little problem with fumbles bouncing the wrong way...in seven games, the Cougs have lost 11 of 19 fumbles...the opponents, meanwhile, have fumbled 14 times, with WSU recovering just 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, two against Idaho and three against ASU...WSU was +5 in turnovers after five games this season, but the last two games the Cougars have been -6, leaving WSU -1 for the season.
MINNICH TOPS 100 YARDS FOR A SECOND TIME: Junior Dave Minnich rushed for 101 yards at Arizona two weeks ago, 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.
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 prior week, 290 yards against Boise State.
GESSER STREAK HALTED AT 130 PASSES: Sophomore Jason Gesser threw 130 straight passes without an interception over nearly five games before Michael Jolivette of Arizona picked off one in the fourth quarter two weeks ago...in the season opener against Stanford 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...in the next five games, he hit 81 of 139 passes (two interceptions) for 1,346 yards and 15 touchdowns...in those five games Gesser's QB rating was 172.34, which elevated his season rating to 153.76, a mark that ranked first in the Pac-10 and sixth in the nation...his rating slipped after last week's ASU game when he hit 14-of-32 with three interceptions (one tipped) and only one TD pass...his rating is now 148.48, which still ranks first in the Pac-10 and 13th in the nation...Gesser has now hit 18 of his last 41 passes (44%) with five interceptions and three touchdown passes.
WSU CUTS PENALTIES: WSU cut its penalties to eight for 66 yards last week against ASU after suffering through 15 penalties for 84 yards at Arizona...in the process, WSU did not allow ASU a first down by penalty, the first time this year a Cougar penalty did not lead to a first down...in only two games in 1999 and in one game in 1998 did WSU not give up a first down because of a penalty.
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 420 first quarter points in the last 87 games (4.83/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 49 in 2000...BSU and ASU both scored 14 first-quarter points against WSU...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 125 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 62-70-0 (.470), while his career mark is now 108-114-0...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 35-28 (55.6%) 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 overtime loss to Arizona State came on the heals of a 3-overtime loss at Arizona the previous week and was the Cougars' fourth overtime game all-time...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.
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 in 1998.
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 286: WSU's offensive line currently weighs in at a collective 1,430 pounds, or an average of 286 pounds...the heavyweight of the group is Phil Locker at 311...Josh Parrish weighed in at 284 this fall, while Tyler Hunt and Derrick Roche checked in at 280 and Billy Knotts at 275...at the start of the season, with both Reed (312) and Ryan (304) Raymond in the lineup, WSU's line averaged 294...the averaged dipped to 291 after the loss of Reed Raymond and now to 286 with both on the sidelines.
TURNOVERS STOP POTENTIAL SCORES: WSU turned the ball over five times against ASU and all five were in Sun Devil territory...in addition WSU suffered a blocked punt from its own 35 yard line...the interceptions came with the ball at the ASU 28, 24 and then in overtime at the 20, while WSU had possession at the ASU 40 and 12 before losing key fumbles...against the Sun Devils WSU's second interception and the blocked punt led directly to ASU touchdowns...the turnovers also thwarted WSU scoring opportunities...the previous week WSU also turned the ball over five times, including a fumble at the Arizona 32 and an interception at the Wildcat 36...in addition there was the interception on WSU's final possession of the third overtime...against the Wildcats, WSU's third fumble recovered by the Wildcats came at the Cougar 17 and led to an Arizona touchdown.
OFFENSE ROLLS LAST TWO WEEKS: WSU's offense generated 490 yards at Arizona two weeks ago and 488 yards against ASU last week...50 of the yards against Arizona came in overtime and five yards against ASU were in overtime...in the two games overall WSU generated 978 yards of total offense and in regulation time 923 yards...only once last year did WSU generate over 400 yards against a Pac-10 foe - 420 against USC...in 1998 WSU had 551 yards against Stanford and 482 against ASU...against the Sun Devils the last three years WSU has generated 1,261 yards, or 420 per game.
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.
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.
BURNETT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Deon Burnett, a true freshman in 1999, notched the best season ever for a Cougar freshman running back...among his accomplishments:
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.
RUSHING TOTALS UNDER 100: In the last eight years WSU has held 32 of 87 opponents to less than 100 yards rushing...the lows include Montana State's -35 and Pacific's -6 in 1993 and Montana's -6 in 1995...in those 87 games, WSU has held opponents to 50 or less yards 12 times.
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.
WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS: Washington State's weekly FOX Sports Net award winners from the Arizona State game are:
Pac-10 Offense: Marcus Williams (Oakland, Calif.)
Pac-10 Defense: Billy Newman (Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
Pac-10 Special Teams: None
Offensive Lineman: Josh Parrish (Chewelah, Wash.)
Offensive Back: Milton Wynn (Lancaster, Calif.)
Offensive Scout Team: Joe Williams (Tacoma, Wash.)
Defensive Back: None
Defensive Lineman: Tomasi Kongaika (Anchorage, Alaska)
Defensive Scout Team: Karl Payma (Culver City, Calif.)
Defensive Pursuit Player: Issac Brown (Upland, Calif.)
Cougar Claw: Erik Coleman (Spokane, Wash.)
Big Hit: Melvin Camarena (East Palo Alto, Calif.)
Cougar Tackler: Billy Newman (Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
Specialist of the Week: Erik Coleman (Spokane, Wash.)
Most Disciplined Offense: Russell Mizin (Aberdeen, Wash.)
Most Disciplined Defense: Chris Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Most Disciplined Special Teams: None
Special Teams Big Play: None
Assassin: Erik Coleman (Spokane, Wash.)
Iron Man: Adam Hawkins (Pendleton, Ore.)
Gamebreaker: Erik Coleman (Spokane, Wash.)
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. 28, will include Oregon at Arizona State on ABC regional at 12:30 p.m. PT and California at USC on Fox Sports Net Syndication at 3:30 p.m. PT. Washington State at Oregon State 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 Oregon State Oct. 29 at 9:00 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.