Sept. 16, 2002
WHO: #16/18 WSU Cougars (2-1 overall, 0-0 in Pac-10) vs. Montana State Bobcats (2-1, 0-0 in Big Sky)
WHAT: Non-Conference Football
WHEN: Saturday, September 21; Kickoff 2:00 p.m. PDT
WHERE: Martin Stadium (37,600, FieldTurf), Pullman, Wash.
TV: No Live TV; FOX Sports Northwest will air the replay Sunday, 10:00 a.m., Sept. 22
THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 75-76-0 (.497) record at WSU in 14 years and a career mark of 121-120-0 (.502) in 22 seasons at Weber State (1981-88; 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). MONTANA STATE - The Bobcats are coached by Mike Kramer (Idaho '76)...Kramer is 7-18 in his three seasons at Montana State and 44-50 in his nine-year career.
WSU VS. MONTANA STATE: The Cougars and Bobcats played their first game against each other back in 1905, with WSU winning 32-0...the two teams didn't resume the series until 1981...WSU has won all six games, including victories in Spokane in 1981 and 1983...the other four games have been played in Pullman...WSU's last win was 53-28 last season in a game scheduled after the terrorist attack Sept. 11 forced the cancellation of WSU's game with Colorado.
GESSER MOVES UP LIST: Jason Gesser moved past former NFL star Timm Rosenbach last week at Ohio State on WSU's career passing list and this week could move past Rosenbach on the total offense list...Gesser has thrown for 6,131 yards in his career and has 6,418 yards in total offense to rank fifth on the WSU career list...he needs 272 yards in total offense to move past Rosenbach, who now is the offensive coordinator at Eastern Washington...Gesser's passing total leaves him 1,686 yards behind WSU record holder Jack Thompson, who amassed 7,818 passing yards during his career, 1975-78, and 7,698 in total offense...Gesser is 1,279 yards behind Thompson on the total offense list.
COUGS BOAST STARTING EXPERIENCE: WSU fields an experienced team in 2002, with 34 players having started at least one game...collectively they made 374 career starts...the Cougar defense boasts 157 career starts by 15 players, including 79 by six linemen, 19 by five linebackers, and 55 by four defensive backs...on offense eight linemen made 114 starts, five receivers made 49 starts, and four backfield players had 35 starts.
EIGHT COUGS BOAST 20+ STARTS: Eight of WSU's top 22 players have started 20 or more games in their career, headed by Derrick Roche with 29...three of his teammates on the line are also on the list...Tyler Hunt has 24 starts, Josh Parrish 22 and Phil Locker 21...Marcus Trufant has the most starts among the Cougar defenders and is second to Roche with 28...Fred Shavies has made 26 starts for the Cougar defense...both receiver Collin Henderson and quarterback Jason Gesser have made 25 starts.
DERTING SETS WSU RECORDS: Will Derting, in the 2002 season opener, set a pair of WSU interception records when he stepped in front of a Nevada pass near the Cougar endzone and returned it 98 yards...it was the longest return in WSU history, breaking the mark of 93 by Lionel Thomas against UCLA in 1969...his 98 return yards in a game also bettered the previous mark of 96 yards by Frank Miyaki against Idaho in 1945.
WSU IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: Among Cougar leaders in the latest Pac-10 football rankings, Jason Gesser is ranked fifth in passing yards, sixth in total offense and ninth in passing efficiency...Rien Long is now tied for third in sacks and fourth in TFLs, Jonathan Smith is tied for fourth in scoring and Kyle Basler is fourth in punting...Marcus Trufant is fifth in punt returns and Devard Darling is fifth in receptions.
WSU IN NCAA RANKINGS: Among the WSU players ranked nationally by the NCAA, Kyle Basler is 13th in punting, Devard Darling 25th in receptions and Jason Gesser 31st in pass efficiency and 37th in total offense.
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES (taken from WSU's supplemental release): WSU is 41-31 at home since Mike Price took over in 1989 and 34-45 on the road...the Cougars, since 1980, average 25.7 points per game and have scored 30 or more points 91 times in the last 252 games...the Cougs are -1 in turnover margin this year, and -34 during Mike Price's 14 seasons at WSU...the 1994 and 2001 Price teams are the only ones to finish the year ahead in turnovers.
WSU LIMITS LONG RUNS: WSU's string of not allowing a long run ended on the field at Ohio State last week, but the Cougars in three games have still only given up five rushing plays of 20 yards or more and just 11 plays between 10 and 19 yards...Maurice Clarett became just the fourth back in the last 10 seasons to top 200 yards rushing, finishing with 230 after being limited to 36 yards in the first half.
TRUFANT GRABS NINTH INTERCEPTION: Marcus Trufant intercepted one pass against Idaho to give him nine career thefts...he is now tied for eighth with Greg Burns...one more would break the tie (no one else has 10) and two more picks would tie him for sixth with Don Paul and Torey Hunter...Trufant grabbed two interceptions his freshman year (1999), made three more picks as a sophomore, than had three last season...he has returned his nine interceptions 106 yards.
COUGARS BANGED UP: Washington State will go into Saturday's game with Montana State with as many as three offensive and two defensive starters on the sidelines...the injury situation was compounded this week with the indefinite suspension of starting defensive tackle Rien Long and offensive lineman Billy Knotts for breaking what Mike Price described as "team rules"...offensive linemen Josh Parrish and Phil Locker and receiver Jerome Riley are not expected to play against MSU, while on defense tackle Jeremey Williams and linebacker Will Derting are not expected to see any action.
WATCH LISTS: Four Washington State players are on watch lists for postseason awards:
Drew Dunning - Lou Groza Award (Kicker)
Jason Gesser - Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)
Rien Long - Rotary Lombardi Award (Lineman)
Derrick Roche - Rotary Lombardi Award (Lineman); Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman)
Tyler Hunt - Dave Rimington Trophy (Center)
COUGS ENJOY PRE-SEASON NATIONAL RANKINGS: WSU has been ranked by Associated Press just twice in their pre-season poll. In 1952 WSU was ranked 15th. This year WSU entered the season ranked in just about everyone's top 15, including AP, where they are ranked 11th.
PRICE TO COACH 2003 EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME: Washington State Head Coach Mike Price will patrol one of the sidelines for the East-West Shrine Game January 11, 2003 at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco, Calif. Price, who has guided the Cougars to a pair of 10-win seasons over the last five years, was selected along with Tyrone Willingham of Notre Dame. Price served as an assistant in the same event in 1996. Quarterback Jason Gesser, cornerback Marcus Trufant, and offensive lineman Derrick Roche have committed to play in the 2003 game.
WSU AT OHIO STATE DRAWS 104,553: The announced attendance at the WSU-Ohio State game was 104,553, the second largest crowd to ever witness a Cougar football game...in 1993, WSU and Michigan drew 105,512 at Michigan Stadium...Saturday's crowd at OSU was the fifth time the Cougars had played in front of more than 100,000 fans.
SCORING STREAKS: WSU currently has three significant scoring streaks on the line:
BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: This week against Montana State the WSU starting lineup of 22 players included 1 freshman, 5 sophomores, 5 juniors and 10 seniors, while the top 44 (two-deep) consisted of 11 freshmen, 8 sophomores, 15 juniors and 10 seniors.
HENDERSON THE BEST QB?: Collin Henderson has completed all nine passes in his four-year career for an amazing five touchdowns and 390 yards...that's a QB rating of 647.33...he completed one as a freshman in 1999 for 24 yards and a TD...in 2000 he was 4-for-4 for 154 yards and two scores...in 2001 he threw three passes for 71(td)-62(td)-63 yards...this year he is 1-for-1 for 16 yards.
COUGS IN THE POLLS: WSU opened the 2002 season ranked 11th and 12th in the pre-season polls, just the second time in school history the Cougs have been included in a pre-season poll.
RUSHING NOTES: Ohio State's 292 yards rushing was the most against WSU since Oregon's 446 yards last season...Maurice Clarrett's 230 yards rushing was the most against the Cougars since Onterrio Smith's 285 yards last year and just the fourth 200+ effort in the last 10 seasons...on the other side of the ball, the Cougs gained just 17 net rushing yards, the least since gaining five yards in the opener at Colorado in 1996.
BUSH CATCHES 10 TD PASSES: Mike Bush, in his 15-game WSU football career, has averaged nearly 20 yards a catch, hauling in 57 passes for 1131 yards...last year he caught 10 TD passes in his first collegiate season.