Sept. 4, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Qwest Field (67,000) Seattle, Wash.
September 8, 2007 4 p.m. PT
WSU vs. SAN DIEGO STATE: The Cougars return to the state of Washington to host the San Diego State Aztecs at Qwest Field in Seattle, home of the Seattle Seahawks.The annual Cougar Gridiron Classic is presented by Washington's Beef Producers. The game will be the 1000th in school history for WSU, which holds an all-time record of 487-467-45 (.510). Saturday's game also marks the first time since the 2004 season the Cougars open their home schedule in Seattle. In that contest WSU dropped a 20-12 contest against Colorado. WSU will be making its sixth appearance at the home field of the Seattle Seahawks. The series started in 2002 with WSU hosting Nevada in the first football game played in the new stadium. WSU beat the Wolfpack and have also defeated Idaho (2003), Grambling (2005) and Baylor (2006) in Seattle, with its only setback a loss to Colorado in 2004.
LAST WEEK: WSU opened its 2007 schedule last Saturday at No. 7 Wisconsin, falling 42-21 to the Badgers. Sophomore running back Dwight Tardy led the way offensively with 96 rushing yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Chris Ivory added 35 yards on seven carries and a touchdown as WSU rushed for 157 yards on the day. Senior quarterback Alex Brink threw for 171 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown pass to junior Brandon Gibson, who led Cougar receivers with six catches for 82 yards. Defensively, junior linebacker Greg Trent garnered a game-high 10 tackles while freshman cornerback Chima Nwachukwu added nine.
LAST TIME AT QWEST: The last time the Cougars played at Qwest Field Loren Langley connected on a 17-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining to lift WSU to a come-from-behind, 17-15, win over Baylor last season. The Bears went ahead on a 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Quarterback Alex Brink then led the Cougars on a 14-play, 81-yard drive over the next 5:15 that went to the Baylor one yard line before Langley's heriocs won the game.
THE SERIES: Saturday's contest marks the first meeting in the series between these two teams.
COUGARS IN HOME-OPENERS: The Cougars open the home portion of their 2007 schedule Saturday against San Diego State. Saturday's game marks the fourth time in the past six years WSU has opened its home schedule at Qwest Field, going 2-1 in the previous three contests. Overall, the Cougars are 74-32-3 all-time in home openers, including games in Pullman, Spokane and Seattle. Since 1990 WSU boasts a 12-5 record in its home debut and is 22-10 dating back to the start of the 1975 season.
FORMER COUGARS FIND HOME IN NFL: Four players from the 2006 Cougar football team, have found a home in the NFL this season. Following cut-down day in the NFL last Sunday, wide receiver Jason Hill (San Francisco), cornerback Tyron Brackenridge (Kansas City), safety Eric Frampton (Detroit) and tight end Cody Boyd (Washington) were part of each team's 53-man roster. Hill made the squad as a third-round draft pick while Brackenridge was an undrafted free agent. Frampton was released by Oakland Sunday after being the team's fifth-round pick, then was signed to the roster by Detroit while Boyd was another undrafted free agent signed by Pittsburgh before Washington picked him up this past Sunday. Additionally, 2005 Cougar co-captain Troy Bienemann made the final roster of the Arizona Cardinals as a tight end.
WSU'S FIRST FIVE GAMES IN DIFFERENT STADIUMS: When Washington State hosts the Arizona State Sun Devils (Oct. 6) in Pullman's Martin Stadium, the Cougars will have played five teams in five different stadiums. The Cougars began play at Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium Sept. 1, then host San Diego State this week, (Sept. 8), at Qwest Field (home of the Seattle Seahawks) before returning home to face Idaho at Martin Stadium. The Cougars then play at USC (Sept. 22) and at Arizona (Sept. 29), before returning to Martin Stadium against Arizona State.
BUMPUS CLIMBING CAREER RECEPTIONS LIST: Senior wide receiver Michael Bumpus entered the 2007 season tied for seventh with Tim Stallworth (1986-89) on the Cougars' all-time receptions list with 125. Following Satruday's four-catch effort at Wisconsin, Bumpus moved alone into sixth place. Should he match his career-high of 60 which he reached last season, Bumpus would pass current leader Hugh Campbell (176, 1960-62) on the all-time list.
WSU AGAINST MOUNTAIN WEST: Washington State is 16-10 all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference: BYU (1-2), UNLV (4-0), New Mexico (2-0), TCU (1-1), Utah (5-5) and Wyoming (3-2). Since the Mountain West Conference's inception in 1999, the Cougars are 3-1 against MWC opponents. The Cougars lost at home to Utah in 1999 (27-7), won at Utah in 2000 (38-21), defeated New Mexico at home in 2003 (23-13) and won at New Mexico in 2004 (21-17).
WSU SHINES AGAINST NONCONFERENCE FOES: Washington State is 16-1 over the last six seasons when playing an unranked nonconference opponent. WSU has wins over Idaho (six times), Nevada (twice), Boise State, Montana State, Purdue, New Mexico, Colorado, Grambling State and Baylor. The lone loss was to Colorado (20-12) in 2002 at Qwest Field.
GOOD NEWS AFTER WISCONSIN: The last four times Washington State has lost to a Big Ten team, it has won its next game. In 2002 lost at No. 6 Ohio State, defeated Montana State at home; lost 1998 Rose Bowl to No. 1 Michigan, defeated Illinois at home in 1998 season-opener; lost at No. 3 Michigan in 1993, defeated Montana State at home; lost at No. 16 Ohio State in 1991, won at UNLV.
COUGS HAVE RECENTLY PLAYED THE BEST: Including No. 7 Wisconsin, WSU has played seven of the teams ranked in the 2007 Associated Press preseason Top 15 over the last six seasons...the list includes Pac-10 opponents USC (No. 1), California (No. 12) and UCLA (No. 14), as well as Texas (No. 4) in the 2003 Holiday Bowl, Oklahoma (No. 8) in the 2003 Rose Bowl, and a 2002 game at Ohio State (No. 11).
BRINK DEAN OF PAC-10 QUARTERBACKS: Senior Alex Brink began his final campaign as the dean of Pacific-10 Conference quarterbacks...Brink enters Saturday's game against San Diego State having started his last 29 games dating back to his freshman season...that mark is 10 ahead of Arizona State junior Rudy Carpenter's 19 and 14 more than California's Nate Longshore (15).
NEW ADDITIONS TO COACHING STAFF: For the first time in Bill Doba's head coaching tenure at WSU, the coaching staff has seen more than a little tinkering...new to the Cougars staff this season are defensive line coach Marty Long, running backs coach Steve Broussard and cornerbacks coach Dave Walkosky...the three join Mike Levenseller (offensive coordinator/wide receivers), Timm Rosenbach (quarterbacks), George Yarno (offensive line), Mike Walker (defensive tackles), Greg Peterson (tight ends/recruiting coordinator) and Leon Burtnett (safeties) on Doba's staff...as for the head coach, he also has added duties for 2007, taking over the role of defensive coordinator while working with the linebackers.