Oct. 28, 2002
THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has an 80-76-0 (.513) record at WSU in 14 years and a career mark of 126-120-0 (.512) in 22 seasons at Weber State (1981-88; 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). ARIZONA STATE - The Sun Devils are coached by Dirk Koetter, who is 11-9 in his two seasons at ASU and 37-19 in his five-year career.
WSU VS. ARIZONA STATE: The Cougars and Sun Devils have played 28 times, with ASU holding a 16-10-2 advantage...last year WSU won 28-16 in Tempe, while the previous year in Pullman ASU won 23-20 in overtime...WSU's win last year snapped a four-game ASU win streak...WSU's last win over ASU in Pullman was 44-25 in 1993...since then ASU is 2-0 in Pullman...the two teams did not meet in 1995 and 1996...Mike Price is 5-6 against ASU, while Koetter is 0-3 against WSU.
GESSER SETS T-OFFENSE RECORD; PASSING NEXT: Jason Gesser is the most prolific QB in WSU history...Gesser's 270 total offense yards last week at Arizona gives him a school record 7,829 yards and moved him past Jack Thompson (1975-78), who held the record at 7,698 yards...Gesser now needs 228 passing yards to capture Thompson's school record of 7,818 yards...Gesser also tied Ryan Leaf's school record of 59 TD passes when he threw 16 yards to Devard Darling in the third quarter at Arizona...Gesser is 21-9 as a starter, the best record ever for a starting quarterback at Washington State. . (For details see Gesser pages 3-4)
PRICE WINS BACK-TO-BACK: Mike Price, 10-2 last year and 7-1 this season, is just the second WSU coach to record back-to-back winning seasons at WSU since O. E. "Babe" Hollingberry (1928-36 and 1941-42) and he also will become the first Cougar coach to take WSU to consecutive bowl games (Sun Bowl last year)...Jim Walden had winning seasons in 1983 (7-4) and 1984 (6-5), while Jim Sutherland had winning campaigns in 1957 (6-4), 1958 (7-3) and 1959 (6-4).
NEWCOMERS SCORE FOR WSU: The Cougars have scored 33 touchdowns this season, 30 offensively and three defensively...23 of those touchdowns have been scored by first-year players...on offense Devard Darling has scored nine TD's, Jonathan Smith seven and Jermaine Green six...redshirt freshman Will Derting has one of WSU's three defensive touchdowns.
HENDERSON THE BEST QB?: Collin Henderson has completed all 10 passes in his four-year career for an amazing five touchdowns and 433 yards...that's a QB rating of 628.72...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 2-for-2 for 59 yards.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: Washington State has won seven of its last eight road games in Pac-10 action...WSU closed out the end of the 2000 season with a win at USC...last year the Cougars defeated Arizona, Stanford and ASU on the road before a loss at Washington, while this year WSU has defeated California, Stanford and Arizona in Pac-10 action.
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, then had three last season...he has returned his nine interceptions 106 yards.
TRUFANT MOVES UP PUNT RETURN LISTS: Marcus Trufant returned four punts 110 yards against Montana State earlier this season, including returns of 52 and 47 yards...only two players have returned punts for more yards in a game than Trufant...Shawn Tims, in 1997 against USL, and Kitrick Taylor against Oregon in 1983...Trufant has also moved into fifth on the single season list with 274 punt return yards this season...in addition, he is one yard short of a spot on the WSU career Top 10 list:
SCORING STREAKS: WSU currently has three significant scoring streaks on the line:
COUGS IN THE POLLS: WSU moved to eighth this week in the AP poll, and 9th in the coaches poll.
FOUR COUGS AMONG SACK LEADERS: Four Cougar linemen, including three juniors, are ranked among WSU's career sack leaders...Isaac Brown currently ranks 5th (17.0), DD Achonolu 8th (13.0) and Rien Long 11th (11.0), while senior Fred Shavies is tied for 13th (11.0)...in addition they are among the sack yardage leaders: Brown 6th (-111), Acholonu 8th (-91), Long 11th (-79) and Shavies 12th (-78).
WSU WIN STREAKS: Washington State's five-game win streak since losing at Ohio State, is the longest among Pacific-10 schools...in addition, WSU and Arizona State have each won four straight conference games, the longest streak among Pac-10 schools.
JASON DAVID'S RECORD STREAK: WSU's junior cornerback Jason David has picked off opponent passes in five straight games...he started the streak against Montana State with one interception...then, in order, he has had interceptions against California, USC, Stanford and Arizona...he had two at Stanford, with returns of 36 and 35 yards...none of his other six interceptions this year have been returned...no other WSU player has ever had interceptions in five straight games, including school career record holder Lamont Thompson...David is now tied with teammate Marcus Trufant for eighth on the Cougar career list...each has nine career interceptions, as does Greg Burns.
COUGS OVERCOME OPPONENTS FAST START: WSU has had to come from behind in all but the Idaho (WSU led 21-0) and Stanford (23-0) games...Nevada led 7-0, Ohio State 3-0, Montana State 7-0, California 14-0, USC 7-0 and Arizona 10-5...the Cougars came back to take the lead in all cases, including the Ohio State contest when WSU led 7-6 at halftime, then lost in the second half.
WSU CAN SWEEP ARIZONA SCHOOLS: WSU has swept the Arizona schools in back-to-back seasons once, 1991-92...this year the Cougars are one win away from another two-year sweep after defeating both Arizona and ASU in 2001 and downing Arizona last week.
DEFENSE CAN SCORE: In the past three seasons covering the last 31 games, WSU's defense has scored in 12 games...in addition, special team units have scored in four games, each time with a blocked punt...those blocked punts have resulted in three touchdowns and a safety...in 2001 the Cougars scored eight defensive touchdowns and this year the defense has three touchdowns.
DEFENSIVE SCORES LEAD TO WINS: The last time WSU scored defensively and lost was in a triple overtime setback at Arizona in 2000...since then WSU has won 10 straight games when the defense scored a safety or touchdown.
JASON GESSER NOTES: 2001 season: Gesser's 432 yards passing against California was the third best performance ever by a Cougar QB...the top two are Drew Bledsoe's 476 yards against Utah in the 1992 Copper Bowl and Ryan Leaf's 447 yards against ASU in 1997...he had a streak of 64 passes without an interception before a pick against California when the receiver fell down...2000 season: Gesser threw six touchdown passes at Arizona, the most ever by a Cougar quarterback...his record setter was a 19-yard pass to Nakoa McElrath...Gesser threw 130 passes without an interception before Arizona picked off a pass in their 3-OT win...in that loss Gesser threw for 348 yards, his best outing of the season...1999 season: poised to start before being sidelined with a thumb injury against Arizona...came back to play against Washington and start in WSU's win at Hawaii.
GESSER WINNINGEST COUG QB: Jason Gesser is 21-9 as a starting quarterback for WSU, the most wins ever by a starting signal caller...during his 1999-2002 career, WSU is 24-19...Mark Rypien was 11-13 as a starter, Ryan Leaf 15-9, Jack Thompson 14-15-1, Drew Bledsoe 14-14 and Timm Rosenbach 12-11-1...Rypien was a member of four WSU teams with a combined record of 25-19-1.
JASONGESSER.COM: Washington State and the Official College Sports Network maintain JasonGesser.com, a website that promotes and tracks the senior quarterback's bid for the prestigious Heisman Trophy. The site can be accessed through the WSU Athletics main page, or browsers can type in jasongesser.com for the most direct route...Gesser's weekly teleconferences will be included, as will highlights from his first three seasons.
GESSER FIRST THREE-TIME CAPTAIN: Senior quarterback Jason Gesser was named one of three team captains for the 2002 season, along with cornerback Marcus Trufant and wide receiver Curtis Nettles. Gesser was also selected captain as a junior and sophomore, making him the first three-time captain in the 108-year history of Cougar football.
GESSER TELECONFERENCES: Senior Jason Gesser will participate in weekly teleconferences each Tuesday at 11:40 a.m. Each teleconference will last 20 minutes...to access the teleconference, contact the WSU sports information office...his weekly teleconference will also be available on the Cougar web site at www.wsucougars.com.
GESSER ON FOX: Jason Gesser does a weekly 10 minute radio interview with FOX Sports Radio each Tuesday at 11:05 p.m. PT.
GESSER HAD A GREAT JUNIOR SEASON: Jason Gesser's 2001 totals ranked fourth on WSU's single season passing and total offense lists:
BIG PLAY COUGS: The Jason Gesser-led WSU offense has run 54 fewer plays (547-601) than the opponents and has far less possession time (26:42-33:18 average minutes per game), but has out gained the opponents by 744 yards (3,499-2,755), averaging 6.397 yards per play...opponents average 4.584 yards per play).
GESSER SETS ONE RECORD, NEARS ANOTHER: Jason Gesser broke Jack Thompson's WSU career total offense record at Arizona and is now just 228 yards away from topping Thompson's career passing record.
GESSER CRANKS IT UP: Jason Gesser's 431 passing yards against California ranks as the fourth best in Cougar history, while his 417 yards in total offense against the Bears ranks second to Drew Bledsoe's 468 yards against Utah in the 1992 Copper Bowl...in three career games against California, Gesser completed 62 of 109 passes for 1,101 yards, nine touchdowns and just one interception...he threw for 432 yards in 2001, the third best passing total in WSU history.
GESSER SETS TD PASS RECORDS: Jason Gesser owns or shares three WSU records involving TD passes...he has thrown 59 career TD passes (equaling Ryan Leaf's record)...in addition he has thrown at least one TD pass in 20 consecutive games and his 18 games with two or more TD passes is also a WSU record...he needs to throw TD passes in three of WSU's next four games to break Jack Thompson's record of 28 career games with at least one TD pass.
GESSER TOSSES TD PASSES: In 35 career games, Jason Gesser has thrown 59 touchdown passes, equaling Ryan Leaf's WSU record...Jack Thompson had 53 in his career...in 2001 Gesser had 26 TD passes, second only to Ryan Leaf's 34 in 1997...all of Gesser's 59 TD passes have come in his last 28 games.
WSU DEFENSE HALTS LONG RUSHES: In the last 10 years WSU has allowed just 111 runs of 20 yards or longer in 111 games...this year the Cougars have allowed eight runs of 20 or more yards and 28 runs of 10-19 yards.
COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 1995: WSU is 7-17 against ranked teams since 1995...when WSU has also been ranked, the Cougars are 2-5.
COUGS SCORE OFTEN: Since 1980 WSU has averaged more than three touchdowns a game, currently boasting an average of 25.9 points per outing, including 33.4 points per game this year.
NOTHING LIKE HOME: The Washington State Cougars perform much better at home than on the road during Mike Price's 14 year tenure...at home the Cougars are 43-31 (58.1%) and on the road the team is 37-45 (45.1%)...WSU's 6-0 home 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.
RUSHING TOTALS UNDER 100: In the last 10 years WSU has held 46 of 111 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 111 games, WSU held opponents to 50 or less yards 14 times.
100-YARD RUSHERS FEW: Only 41 running backs have been able to crack the 100-yard mark in the last 10 years and 111 games against WSU's defense...UCLA's Skip Hicks and Reuben Droughns from Oregon are the only backs to have done so in back-to-back seasons.
COUGS BOAST STARTING EXPERIENCE: WSU fields an experienced team in 2002, with 41 players having started at least one game...collectively they made 494 career starts...the Cougar defense boasts 212 career starts by 16 players, including 104 by six linemen, 34 by five linebackers, and 75 by four defensive backs...on offense 11 linemen have made 139 starts, seven receivers made 67 starts, and four backfield players had 45 starts, a total of 253.
RED ZONE: WSU has scored 28 times in 41 trips into the Red Zone, 21 touchdowns and seven field goals...the failures have been three missed field goals, three lost fumbles, an interception, three on downs and three at the end of a half...opponents have scored 14 touchdowns and three field goals in 22 Red Zone appearances and failed three times by interceptions, missed one field goal and failed on downs once.
MIKE PRICE NOTES: WSU head coach Mike Price, the dean of Pac-10 coaches, will serve as head coach at this year's East-West Shrine Game January 11...Price is the second winningest coach in WSU history...his 80-76 record at WSU is second only to Babe Hollingberry, who was 93-53 in 17 years as WSU's head coach (1926-42).
TURNOVERS: WSU is even in turnovers for 2002...the Cougs have turned the ball over 15 times (10 fumbles, five interceptions) and taken the ball away 15 times (three fumbles, 12 interceptions)...WSU didn't have a turnover against MSU, the Cougs' first no-turnover game since playing Oregon last season...in Mike Price's 14 seasons at WSU, only the 1994 and 2001 teams finished on the plus side in turnovers.
BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: This week against Arizona WSU's starting lineup of 22 players included 2 freshmen, 3 sophomores, 7 juniors and 10 seniors, while the top 44 (two-deep) consisted of 5 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 16 juniors and 13 seniors...in the two-deep, WSU lists 15 freshmen and sophomores and 29 juniors and seniors
BUSH HAS A CATCH IN EVERY GAME: Mike Bush has caught at least one pass in each of his 20-games as a Cougar...he averages 19 yards a catch, hauling in 74 passes for 1,406 yards...last year he caught 10 TD passes in his first collegiate season...only Kevin McKenzie with 11 (1997) has more TD catches in a season...Bush has started every game of his WSU football career, having joined the team following his third year with the Cougar basketball team...he completed his fourth varsity basketball season in 2001-02
WSU IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pac-10 in total offense and is second in passing offense and pass efficiency...the Cougs are also fourth in scoring offense, pass efficiency defense, total defense, scoring defense and punt returns...individually, Jason David leads the league in interceptions and is second in passes defensed...Devard Darling is third in scoring touchdowns and Rien Long is third in sacks...Jason Gesser ranks third in pass efficiency and fourth in both passing yards and total offense...also ranked fourth is Kyle Basler in punting, Drew Dunning in kick scoring, Long in TFLs and Marcus Trufant in punt returns.
WSU IN NCAA RANKINGS: WSU is eighth in pass efficiency, ninth in passing offense, 14th in both total offense and rushing defense...individually Jason David ranks tied for third in interceptions and Jason Gesser is seventh in pass efficiency...Drew Dunning is tied for 21st in field goals and Gesser is 22nd in total offense.
COUGS 17-3 IN LAST TWO SEASONS: Since the start of the 2001 season, WSU has won 17 of 20 games...it is the best record for a 20-game stretch since the 1929-30 season when WSU went 19-2 before losing in the 1930 Rose Bowl...WSU is tied for fourth among D-I teams the past two years: Miami is 19-0, Oklahoma 18-2, Texas 18-3, WSU 17-3, Oregon 17-3, and Tennessee 15-5.
WSU TOPS 400 YARDS AGAIN: WSU notched its fourth straight game with over 400 yards in total offense while downing Arizona 21-13 last week...in consecutive games, WSU has run and passed for 400-plus against: Montana State 405, California 578, USC 516 and Arizona 410.
MIKE PRICE TV SHOWS: "KXLY Cougar Football Saturday presented by your Northwest Dodge Dealers" airs each Saturday during the football season at 12:00 p.m. PT, leading into ABC's Pac-10 Game of the Week...Rick Lukens, Dennis Patchin and Bud Nameck host the shows...FOX Sports Net Northwest's nightly (7:00 p.m.) Northwest Tonight program also gives extensive coverage to Price and Cougar football.
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 this week includes:
FSNW-TV: FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will replay WSU's Nov. 2 game with ASU Sunday, Nov. 3, at 9:30 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).
SATELLITE: The Pacific-10 office transmits a weekly 30-minute highlight package each Wednesday at 11:30 - 12:00 PT on GE 2, Transponder 11, C-Band (if trouble, call 310-543-1835 or the Pac-10 office).
AUDIO ON INTERNET: WSU's football broadcasts are available on the Internet through OCSN, WSU's Web provider, and also at Yahoo.com...the address is: http://www.wsucougars.com.
WSU RADIO: Bob Robertson, Jim Walden and Bud Nameck combine talents on the 28-station Cougar Sports Network. Robertson is in his 36th year of broadcasting Cougar sports, while Walden, a former Cougar head coach (1978-86), 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 the Cougar Sports Radio Network and KXLY, airs weekly on most network stations live Tuesdays 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 www.wsucougars.com.
PAC-10 TELECONFERENCE: The Pacific-10 Conference hosts a weekly teleconference call each Tuesday during the football season...the teleconference call begins at 10 a.m....Mike Price participates at 11:10 a.m....contact the Pac-10 media relations office for details, 925-932-4411.
PRICE AND PLAYERS AVAILABLE: WSU head football coach Mike Price is available for individual media interviews 11:00 a.m.-Noon each Wednesday. 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 Jason Hickman 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.
PRICE ON ESPN NEWS: National cable outlet ESPN News is showing Mike Price's weekly Tuesday press conferences live...audio portions of the teleconference are also used on ESPN Radio.
GESSER TAKES MEDIA CALLS EACH TUESDAY: Senior quarterback Jason Gesser conducts a weekly teleconference each Tuesday at 11:40 a.m. Media wishing to talk with Gesser must contact Asst. SID Jason Hickman. Gesser's media time is 11:00-noon each Tuesday, which includes the weekly teleconference call.
INTERNET: WSU releases, statistics, notes and depth chart information are loaded weekly on the WSU Athletics Home Page. The address is: http://www.wsucougars.com.