Nov. 12, 2012
COUGARS WRAP UP ROAD SLATE AT ARIZONA STATE SATURDAY: Washington State University makes its final road trip of the season Saturday, facing Arizona State University Saturday in Tempe, Ariz. Kickoff is slated for Noon (PT) on the Pac-12 Networks.
NEXT WEEK: WSU will close out the 2012 season hosting the 105th Apple Cup against the University of Washington, Friday at 12:30 p.m. on FOX.
WSU-ASU SERIES HISTORY: Arizona State leads the all-time series by a 23-13-2 margin, despite the Cougars 37-27 win behind Connor Halliday's 494 yards, four touchdown performance in Pullman last season. ASU has won seven of the last eight meetings in the series including a 42-0 victory in Tempe in 2010.
COLLEGE GAMEDAY RECORD: In addition to Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso, ESPN's College GameDay has had another constant - the WSU flag, which this weekend will be making its 129th consecutive appearance on the weekly show, dating back to the beginning of the 2004 season. Two flags - Ol' Crimson and Gray - have been flown in the background of the GameDay set by dozens of friends and alumni. The Gray flag was added this year after Whitey was retired in honor of Steve Gleason's "No White Flags." WSU recognized the GameDay flag wavers in a pregame ceremony prior to the Montana State game in 2010. In addition to the flags that fly, there is a traveling flag signed by the holders after each episode. The traveling flag is retired after each season, the first of which is hanging in WSU's Alumni Center.
DEFENSE RACKING UP THE SACKS: The Washington State defense tallied four more sacks against UCLA to enter the week fifth in the Pac-12 Conference and tied for No. 17 in the country with 28 sacks. Following a year in which the Cougars recorded 17 all of the season, the switch to a 3-4 defense has seen more linebackers in the backfield as 22 of the 28 sacks have come from linebackers. The Cougars have also racked up 65 tackles-for-loss, fifth-most in the Pac-12 and tied for No. 13 nationally.
LONG LEADING THE WAY: Senior Travis Long tallied nine tackles and two sacks for the third time this season after posting those numbers against UCLA Saturday. He also did so at BYU and UNLV. The Spokane, Wash. native made a career-best 2.5 sacks against Colorado and enters the week tied for third in the Pac-12 Conference with 9.5 sacks, already surpassing his four from a season ago. His now owns 20.5 sacks in his career, placing him sixth on WSU's top-10 for career sacks. Long's team-leading 13.0 tackles-for-loss puts his career total at 42, good for fourth on WSU's career top-10.
TUEL AMONG WSU'S ELITE PASSERS: Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel enters Saturday's game at Arizona State fifth on WSU's career top-10 for completions (490) and seventh in passing yards (5,519). The Fresno, Calif. native's touchdown pass at Utah pushed his career touchdown pass mark to 33, also seventh-most in WSU history. Tuel completed a school-record 42 passes in 59 attempts at Stanford and currently owns a career completion percentage of .616 (490/796), the best by any quarterback in WSU history.
FURNEY GOES LONG DISTANCE: Junior kicker Andrew Furney has provided a couple highlights for the Cougars this season, hitting a pair of 40+ yard field goals (47, 41) at BYU, closing the half against Eastern Washington with a 60-yard field goal and hitting another pair of 40+ yard field goals against Colorado (45, 42). Furney's 60-yarder was the second longest in WSU history behind Jason Hanson's 62-yard kick at UNLV in 1991. The 60-yarder is also tied for the second longest in conference history and is the longest in Martin Stadium history. The Burlington, Wash. native enters the week with the seventh-most made field goals in WSU history with 28.
NEW FACES MAKING AN IMPACT: Washington State has seen a number of new faces on the field in 2012. First-year Cougars making an impact are led by junior nose tackle Ioane Gauta who has started all 10 games, made 23 stops including 6.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack and added an interception. Freshman wideouts Brett Bartolone and Gabe Marks each own 46 and 44 receptions, respectively, with Marks posting his first two career 100-yard performances at UNLV and against Colorado while Bartolone recorded nine catches for 87 yards and a touchdown against Oregon and two more touchdowns against California. Freshman running back Teondray Caldwell paces the club in rushing and is third in the Pac-12 in kickoff return average at 26.1, already owning a 63-yard return at BYU, a 54-yarder against Colorado and a 92-yarder against Oregon.
MONROE MAKING HIS MARK: Redshirt-freshman linebacker Darryl Monroe has produced for the Cougars while starting at MIKE linebacker in all 10 games this season. Monroe is second on the team with 65 tackles, has forced two fumbles, recovered one and made three sacks. The Orlando, Fla. native redshirted last season after suffering a leg injury in the 2011 season opener against Idaho State. Monroe added 15 pounds to his frame since arriving from Dr. Phillips High School where he was named one of the top five linebackers in the state of Florida as a senior.
HALLIDAY AT IT AGAIN: Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Connor Halliday picked up where he left off from last season, tearing up the record books once again as the Spokane native passed for 378 yards and four touchdowns at UNLV then followed with 401 yards and four touchdown passes against Colorado. It was the first time a WSU quarterback has posted back-to-back four-touchdown games since 2007 when Alex Brink threw for five scores against San Diego State and four against Idaho. Halliday threw for 348 yards against No. 2 Oregon and 330 yards against UCLA and now owns five 300-yard performances, two 400-yard games and four four-touchdown performances after passing for 494 yards and four scores against Arizona State last season. He notched his first career five-touchdown game against UCLA this past Saturday, the tenth such game in WSU history.
BUCANNON'S INT'S: Junior safety Deone Bucannon made his ninth career interception against Oregon State and enters the game at Arizona State tied for third in the Pac-12 Conference with four this season. Bucannon picked off two passes against Oregon to post the first multiple-interception game by a Cougar since Xavier Hicks at Oregon State in 2008. Bucannon notched two picks as a freshman in 2010 before making three interceptions last season, at San Diego State, at Colorado and at Oregon. Bucannon has made a team-best 78 tackles this season, seventh-most in the Pac-12.