Nov. 6, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Martin Stadium (35,117) Pullman, Wash.
November 10, 2007 3:30 p.m.
Television: FSN Northwest
WSU vs. STANFORD: The Cougars return to Martin Stadium for the first of two straight when they host Stanford in a game televised by FSN Northwest. The Cougars enter the contest following a narrow, 20-17, loss at California last week while the Cardinal dropped a home contest against Washington, 27-9.
WSU-STANFORD SERIES: Stanford leads the all-time series between the teams, 32-24-1, including the last three games which were each played at Pullman. Prior to that the Cougars had won three straight, all at Stanford. Last season WSU posted a 36-10 victory in the first game played at the remodeled Stanford Stadium. When playing at Martin Stadium the Cardinal hold a 13-6 advantage. The last WSU win at home came during the 1997 season, a 38-28 victory.
BRINK AMONG ALL-TIME PAC-10 BEST: Alex Brink is not only moving up the WSU career passing lists, he is also ascending the all-time lists in the Pacific-10 Conference, cementing his place as one of the most prolific passers in conference history. With his 9,751 passing yards and 70 touchdown passes, Brink is on pace to become only the sixth quarterback in league history to throw for more than 10,000 yards and toss 70-or-more touchdown passes in a career. He is also on pace to become only the eighth quarterback in conference history to accumulate more than 10,000 yards of total offense. Currently his totals rank eighth in passing yards and tied for seventh in TD passes.
TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE? IT COULD HAPPEN: In Saturday's contest against Stanford, two Cougars could break ties and move alone into the top spot in a pair of career statistical categories. Senior wide receiver Michael Bumpus is tied with Hugh Campbell for the career receptions lead with 176 while senior quarterback Alex Brink is tied with Jason Gesser for most touchdowns thrown in a career with 70. Could Bumpus' first reception be a touchdown pass from Brink? It could happen.
FSN NORTHWEST TO CARRY WSU-OREGON STATE GAME: Washington State University and FSN Northwest announced today an agreement has been reached to televise the Cougars' Nov. 17 football game against Oregon State, WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced Monday. Game time for the Oregon State contest has been set for 3:30 p.m. The Cougars will be making their ninth television appearance this season when they host the Beavers, and fourth this season produced by FSN Northwest. The nine televised games are the most ever for a WSU team, with seven of them airing regionally or nationally on FSN. WSU is 9-1 all-time in games televised by FSN Northwest.
TARDY LOST FOR SEASON AFTER BREAKOUT GAME: Sophomore running back Dwight Tardy enjoyed the finest game of his young career two weeks ago against UCLA, rushing for a personal-best 214 yards and two touchdowns. It marked the highest output by a Cougar running back since Jerome Harrison went for 218 yards at Stanford during the 2005 season, and tied for the ninth-highest total in school history. Tardy's big night came courtesy of 37 carries, which tied for the fifth-most at WSU, and included TD runs of one and 51 yards to open and close the Cougar scoring, respectively. The following week it was determined that on the 51-yard run, his last of the night, Tardy torn his left ACL and will be lost for the remainder of the season.
FSN NORTHWEST TO CARRY STANFORD CONTEST: Saturday's game against Stanford will be televised by FSN Northwest, the first of two straight carried by the network. Brian Davis will handle play-by-play duties with Jason Stiles and Todd Husak serving as analysts and Cara Capuano on the sidelines.
BUMPUS CLIMBING CAREER RECEPTIONS LIST: Following his four-catch effort at California, senior Michael Bumpus moved into a tie with Hugh Campbell for the all-time mark. Bumpus' next catch moves him alone into the top spot, breaking one of WSU's longest standing records. Also against California the senior moved into ninth place on the all-time receiving yards list with his current position coach, Mike Levenseller, next on the list.
McCALL GETS FIRST START: Senior running back Kevin McCall received his first career start last week against California. His 53 yards were a season high and the second-highest single-game total of his career. In 2006 McCall rushed for 60 yards against the Vandals, highlighted by a 53-yard touchdown run. His 16 rushes against California were a career high.
THREE TIMES THREE: Senior kicker Romeen Abdollmohammadi nailed all three of his field goal attempts against California last week, becoming the first kicker since Loren Langley to hit three field goals in a game. Langley accomplished the feat against USC, Sept. 30, 2006.
DAD'S DAY GAMES: This week's game against Stanford will mark the 74th Dad's Day game in Cougar history. WSU is 33-35-5 in Dad's Day games, and has lost three consecutive games (2004-06) after winning three consecutive games from 2001-03. The Cougars have never lost four straight Dad's Day games dating back to the first one, a 61-0 victory over Montana.
MATTINGLY CONTINUES STRONG PLAY: Sophomore linebacker Andy Mattingly took advantage of his first career start against Arizona State and responded with career-highs in tackles (13), sacks (4) and tackles-for-loss (5). Starting in place of the injured Kendrick Dunn, Mattingly tied a school record with his five TFLs while his four sacks rank second on the all-time list, trailing only Mkristo Bruce, who recorded five sacks last season at Stanford. The sophomore followed up that performance with a 13-tackle, two-sack performance at Oregon. He added four tackles-for-loss and two forced fumbles to his stat line as he started his second straight game. In his three starts, including UCLA, he has averaged 10.3 tackles, 3.3 tackles for loss and 2.7 sacks. His nine tackles-for-loss in back-to-back games (first two starts) is the most recorded by a Cougar in school history.
ACCORDING TO POLLS, TOUGH PART OF SCHEDULE OVER: Nine games into the 2007 campaign and if the polls are any indication, the difficult part of the schedule is behind the Cougars. Starting with the season-opener at then No. 7 Wisconsin, four of WSU's first eight games came against ranked teams, three on the road. In addition to the Badgers, the Cougars faced No. 1 USC and No. 9 Oregon on the road, along with No. 18 Arizona State at Martin Stadium. Two of WSU's final three games will be played at home and according to the most recent AP poll, nobody on the remaining schedule is ranked.
COUGAR PUNTING ON THE RISE: In the last four games the Cougar punt team has found its groove. Over that span WSU freshman punter Reid Forrest has punted 21 times for an average of 41.8 yards per punt, which would be third in this week's Pac-10 rankings. More impressive has been the punt team defense, which has limited opponents to just 24 total yards in eight punt returns, an average of 3.0 yards per return. In those four games the Cougars have a net punting average of 37.8 yards. That is more than a eight-yard improvement over WSU's net punting average through the first five games of the season.
ABDULLAH RAKING UP TACKLES: Senior Husain Abdullah has been a tackling machine lately, racking up a total of 50 over the past five games. Abdullah led the Cougars with a career-high 14 tackles Saturday against California, his third double-digit total in the past five weeks.
WSU-STANFORD - LAST MEETING: September 23, 2006, Stanford, Calif. - The WSU defense scored twice and limited Stanford to 195 yards of total offense as the Cougars opened Pacific-10 Conference play with a 36-10 win at Stanford Stadium. After a first-quarter safety to give WSU a 2-0 lead, Mike Graise intercepted a Trent Edwards pass and went 33 yards for the touchdown. Two more Cougar scores in the quarter extended the lead to 22-0 at halftime. Mkristo Bruce set a WSU record with 5.0 sacks and his total also tied the best ever by any Pac-10 player. Jason Hill caught his 28th career touchdown pass from Alex Brink in the third quarter, extending his school record, while Dwight Tardy's one-yard touchdown run in the fourth capped the scoring. Tardy led the way with 97 yards rushing, part of the Cougars' 240 yards on the ground.
COUGARS HOLDING ONTO THE FOOTBALL: Through nine games this season, Washington State has fumbled the ball only nine times, losing only three of those, the fewest since 1990 when the Cougars had also lost three fumbles through nine games. The WSU record for fewest fumbles in a season is 16, set in 1990.
SACK STREAKS: Since recording his first start against Arizona State through the UCLA game, sophomore Andy Mattingly put together three consecutive games with a sack. Prior to Mattingly the feat had been accomplished 12 times by eight players since the beginning of the 2000 season. Mkristo Bruce (three times), D.D. Acholonu (twice) and Rien Long (once) are the only players in that time frame to have four consecutive games with a sack, the longest streak over the course of the last eight seasons. Mattingly's streak came to an end last weekend at Cal when the Cougars were held sackless for just the second time this season, the other coming at Arizona.