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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
WSU Back On The Road; Face USC At The Coliseum
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 10/27/2003
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Oct. 27, 2003

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WHO: #6/6 WSU Cougars (7-1 overall, 4-0 Pac-10) vs. #3/3 USC Trojans (7-1 overall, 3-1 Pac-10)
WHAT: 2003 Pacific-10 Conference Football
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 1; Kickoff 4:00 p.m. PDT
WHERE: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (92,000, grass), Los Angeles, Calif/
TV: Live ABC Sports, WSU replay by FOX Sports Northwest Sunday, Nov. 2, 10:00 a.m.

THE COACHES: WSU - Bill Doba (Ball State '62) is in his first season as WSU's head coach (7-1) and in his first season as a college head coach (7-1). USC - The Trojans are coached by Pete Carroll (Pacific '73), who has a 24-9 career and USC record in three seasons as a head coach. WSU VS. USC: The Cougars and Trojans have played 62 times, with USC winning 50 and WSU eight, including a thrilling 30-27 overtime victory in Pullman last year...there have been four ties...the Cougars have won three of the last five games with USC, including the last two in Los Angeles, 28-21 in 1997 when WSU went on to win the Pac-10 title, and 33-27 in 2000...the two teams did not meet in 2001. Most WSU Points: 35, 1973 (35-46) Most USC Points: 70, 1970 (70-33) Widest WSU Victory: 20 (34-14, 1986) Widest USC Victory: 49 (49-0, 1967) Longest WSU Winning Streak: 2 (2000-02) Longest USC Winning Streak: 16, 1958-85 Last WSU Win: 2002 (30-27, ot) Last USC Win: 1999 (31-28) Last WSU Win Pullman: 2002 (30-27, ot) Last USC Win Pullman: 1999 (31-28) Last WSU Win Los Angeles: 2000 (33-27) Last USC Win Los Angeles: 1995 (26-14) WSU at Pullman: 4-9-2 (+1) USC at Home: 34-4-2 (-2) WSU at Los Angeles: 4-34-2 (+1) USC at Pullman: 9-4-2 (-1) WSU at Spokane: 0-7-0 USC at Spokane: 7-0-0 Bill Doba vs. USC: 0-0 Pete Carroll vs. WSU: 0-1 WSU Streak: +2 USC Streak: -2

COUGARS REMAIN SIXTH IN THE POLLS: Washington State remained sixth for the third straight week in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and the Associated Press media poll...over the course of the 2001 and 2002 seasons, the Cougars were ranked a school record 28 straight weeks, but didn't appear this year until Sept. 14....WSU moved to eighth this week in the BSC ranking. (see page 3) DOBA LEADING ROOKIE COACHES: Washington State first-year head coach Bill Doba is one of three rookie Div. I coaches who are 7-1...the others include Bowling Green's Gregg Brandon and Louisville's Bobby Petrino...Michigan State's first year coach John L. Smith is also 7-1, but he has head coaching experience prior to taking over at MSU this year.

2003 CAPTAINS: WSU - QB Matt Kegel (4), FS Erik Coleman (27), ST Al Genatone (48). USC: LB Melvin Simmons (51) and WR Keary Colbert (83), plus game captains selected each week.

WSU GAME NOTES VS. IDAHO (25-0):

  • In blanking Idaho 25-0, Bill Doba became the first WSU coach since Babe Hollingbery to win his first game by a shutout;
  • WSU's 127 passing yards against Idaho were the least since throwing for 122 against Washington in 2002;
  • WSU averaged 6.8 yards per rushing attempt against Idaho, the most since averaging 7.3 against California in a 63-37 win in 1997;
  • WSU ran off an 18-play drive in the first quarter against Idaho that used 8:59...time consumed was the most found in research back to the 1970's...WSU had two 18-play drives in 2001 against Stanford and Arizona...Idaho had just one possession in that first quarter;
  • Wide receiver Sammy Moore's twisting, one-handed touchdown reception to send WSU into overtime at Notre Dame was selected by ESPN as the "Play of the Day" September 6, and was tabbed No. 4 on Chris Berman's "Plays of the Week" segment Sunday, September 7;
  • WSU's first season-opening shutout since beating Iowa 7-0 to open the 1965 season;

    WSU GAME NOTES VS. NOTRE DAME (26-29, ot):

  • Against Notre Dame, quarterback Matt Kegel threw for a career high 274 yards and two touchdowns;
  • WSU had seven sacks against Notre Dame, including three by Will Derting, two by Virgil Williams, one by Josh Shavies and one sack shared by Tai Tupai and D.D. Acholonu;
  • WSU held opponents its first two opponents out of the endzone for 89 minutes, 50 seconds (seven quarters), before the Irish scored two TDs in the fourth quarter.

    WSU GAME NOTES VS. COLORADO (47-26):

  • Sammy Moore's 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Colorado was the #2 Play of the Day feature on ESPN, but this time he didn't make Chris Berman's Plays of the Week;
  • Matt Kegel threw for a career-high 310 yards and three touchdowns at Colorado;
  • WSU had scoring passes of 77 (Matt Kegel to Scott Lunde) and 74 yards (Kegel to Sammy Moore) at Colorado, the first time WSU has had two scoring passes 74 yards or longer in one game;
  • Jason David returned the 11th interception of his career for a touchdown at Colorado; he is now sixth on the career list;
  • WSU's 47 points were the most against a ranked opponent since the Cougars beat #25 Oregon 55-44 in 1996; the win also was WSU's first on the road against a ranked team since beating #23 Stanford in 2001;

    WSU GAME NOTES VS. NEW MEXICO (23-13):

  • WSU had 433 total offense yards against New Mexico and held the Lobos to 257 yards, including just 22 rushing;
  • Matt Kegel had career highs against UNM with 42 passes, 29 completions and 346 yards;
  • WSU had 204 yards in total offense on its first three possessions against UNM, but settled for three field goals.

    WSU GAME NOTES VS. OREGON (55-16):

  • WSU set a school record by picking off seven passes, two by Jason David and one each by Virgil Williams, Aaron Wagner, Jeremy Bohannon, Don Jackson and Erik Coleman;
  • WSU forced nine turnovers, believed to be a school record and the most in the last 28 years (since before 1976);
  • WSU's 55 points was the second most by WSU against Oregon and WSU's 39-point margin of victory the most by WSU against Oregon;
  • Matt Kegel threw three touchdown passes and no interceptions;
  • Sammy Moore continued his big plays with a 41-yard TD catch and a 43-yard reception to set up a score;
  • Jason David's 35 yards in interception returns set a WSU career record at 250 yards; David has 13 career interceptions, tying him for third on the WSU list;
  • WSU scored 28 points off Oregon's nine turnovers;
  • WSU allowed Oregon just one run longer than eight yards.

    WSU GAME NOTES VS. ARIZONA (30-7):

  • Matt Kegel to Devard Darling 84-yard pass the fifth longest in WSU history and the longest since Kegel hit Marcus Williams in 2000 with an 88-yarder;
  • WSU did not record a sack for the first time in 23 games;
  • WSU was -1 in turnovers, the first time this year they were not on the plus-side;
  • WSU held Arizona to 0-for-13 in third down conversions.
  • Arizona scored the only time it drove past midfield;
  • Michael Bell had Arizona's only run longer than nine yards, a 29-yarder;

    WSU GAME NOTES VS. STANFORD (24-14):

  • WSU held Stanford to 42 yards rushing and just one run (15 yards) longer than nine yards and only three over five;
  • WSU held Stanford scoreless for 36 minutes, 42 seconds;
  • Redshirt freshman Chris Jordan caught the first two TD passes of his career;
  • Sammy Moore set up WSU's final TD (21-7 lead) with a 64-yard punt return in the fourth quarter; WSU GAME NOTES VS. OREGON STATE (36-30):
  • WSU scored 20 points off five OSU turnovers;
  • The teams combined for seven interceptions and five lost fumbles, plus three safeties;
  • Matt Kegel threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted five times;
  • Jason David preserved the win with a late interception, the 15 of his career (second all-time at WSU);
  • WSU held OSU to 25 plays of three yards rushing or less; the longest rush OSU had was nine yards and they finished +15 for the game;
  • OSU's lead over WSU was the first time a Cougar opponent had led since the third quarter against New Mexico;
  • Kyle Basler hit a 68-yard punt in the third quarter, the longest of his career and the second this year over 60;
  • Scott Lunde equaled his career high with eight catches (Ohio State last year) for a career best 110 yards and two touchdowns.

    SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: WSU has won 10 of its last 11 Pac-10 road games...WSU closed out the end of the 2000 season with a win at USC...in 2001 the Cougars defeated Arizona, Stanford and ASU on the road before a loss at Washington, while in 2002 WSU defeated California, Stanford, Arizona and UCLA in Pac-10 action...this year WSU has won at Oregon and Stanford.

    DARLING HAULS IN NINE PASSES: Junior Devard Darling caught a career-high nine passes for 113 yards against New Mexico, just one reception short of making the WSU single-game list and only three short of the WSU record for one game...Darling caught 54 passes for 800 yards and a team-high 11 touchdowns last year...he has topped the 100-yard mark three times in his career, 133 against Oregon and 109 at California last year and 113 against New Mexico this season...his 15 career TD receptions is eighth on WSU's all-time list...

    WSU TRAILS THREE TIMES: In outscoring opponents 116- 56 in the first half, WSU has trailed just three times in seven games this year...the Cougs trailed at Notre Dame, came back to tie the game, then lost in overtime...New Mexico led before WSU came back to take the lead in the third quarter...OSU led into the final quarter before WSU scored 20 fourth-quarter points...in all, WSU has trailed for 41:06 and has been tied for 54:29.

    COUGS 27-6 IN LAST THREE SEASONS: Since the start of the 2001 season, WSU has won 27 of 33 games...in the 1929-1930-1931 seasons WSU went 21-3, including 10-2 (1929) and 9-1 (1930) seasons...WSU is currently tied for sixth among D-I teams the past three years: Miami 31-1, Oklahoma 31-4, Ohio State 28-6, Texas 28-6, Georgia 28-6, WSU 27-6, Boise State 27-6, and Marshall 27-7.

    MULTIPLE RECEIVERS: At least seven players have caught passes in every game this year...in all, six wide receivers, two tight ends and three running backs have catches.

    WSU AND USC AMONG PAC-10'S BEST: WSU leads the Pac-10 in nine categories, scoring defense, pass offense, rushing defense, total defense, turnover margin, sacks, pass defense efficiency, opponent 3rd down conversions and field goals...USC leads in six categories, scoring offense, punting, rushing offense, total offense, pass efficiency and sacks against.

    SCORING STREAKS: WSU currently has three significant scoring streaks on the line:

  • The Cougars have scored in 215 consecutive Pacific-10 games, the longest active streak for any league team...the last time WSU was shut out in Pac-10 play was at Oregon State in 1975;
  • WSU has scored in 222 consecutive games since a 44-0 shutout at Ohio State in 1984...the streak is the fifth longest among D-I schools.
  • The Cougars have scored in 176 consecutive Martin Stadium home games since a 21-0 loss to Oregon State in Pullman in 1956.

    COUGS IN THE POLLS: Washington State, during the course of the 2001 and 2002 seasons, was ranked for 28 straight weeks, the longest continuous stint in the polls for WSU...after finishing 10th in both polls at the close of the 2002 season, WSU was not ranked at the start of the 2003 campaign...

    COUG DEFENSE HALTS RUSHING TDs: WSU opponents have not had much success rushing for touchdowns against the Cougars this year...WSU has allowed 11 passing scores and three rushing touchdown...Notre Dame, Oregon and Stanford are the only teams to score a rushing TD on WSU.

    WSU WINS WHEN SCORING IN THE THIRD: WSU has won 25 straight games when scoring in the third quarter...the last time WSU scored in the third quarter and did not win was the 2000 Apple Cup...conversely, the Cougars are 2-6 since the Apple Cup game when they did not score in the third quarter...the string is 19 straight wins when WSU has scored a touchdown in the third quarter.

    COLEMAN NINTH WITH 9 INTERCEPTIONS: When safety Erik Coleman picked off his fourth pass of the season against Oregon State, he moved into a tie for ninth on WSU's career list with nine interceptions...Greg Burns, 1991-95, also had nine during his career.

    BROWN, ACHOLONU AMONG TFL/SACK LEADERS: WSU's senior defensive ends, D.D. Acholono and Isaac Brown, both rank among the leaders at WSU in both tacklesfor- losses and in sacks, and in yardage lost for both categories...while Brown started throughout the 2002 season, Acholonu started his first game against Idaho earlier this year...

    SACKS AND INTERCEPTIONS: WSU has 149 sacks since 2000, the most in the nation over the last four years...Louisville also has 149 and TCU 147...WSU has 85 interceptions since the start of the 1999 season, the sixth most in the country...Oklahoma's 95 is the leader.

    COUGS AMONG SACK LEADERS: The Cougars currently are first in the Pac-10 with 31 sacks...USC has 30...the Coug's seven sacks against Oregon State marks the fifth time in the past two seasons that the Cougar defense has recorded six or more sacks in a game...WSU also had seven sacks at Notre Dame earlier this season...the Cougars recorded a sack in 22 straight games between 2001 and the Arizona game earlier this season...WSU had three sacks against Idaho, seven at Notre Dame and against OSU, two at Colorado and four against New Mexico, Oregon and Stanford.

    COUGS SWEEP OREGON: WSU defeated Oregon 55-16 and Oregon State 36-30 this season, the first time since 1996 the Cougars have swept the two Oregon schools.

    PAC-10 HONORS COUGARS: Four Washington State football players have been honored six times by the Pacific- 10 Conference this year with Player-of-the-Week honors:

  • PK Drew Dunning Week 1 and 4: honored for his special team play against Idaho when he booted four field goals and one extra point; honored again for his five field goals against New Mexico.
  • LB Will Derting Week 2 and 9: the defensive POW winner for his 12-tackle performance against Notre Dame that included three sacks and one forced fumble, which led to a touchdown...he then won the award for his eight tackle, three-sack performance against Oregon State; he also forced one fumble against the Beavers;
  • QB Matt Kegel Week 3: the league's offensive POW after throwing for 310 yards in WSU's win at Colorado...he had three touchdown passes and was 17-of-33 with one interception.
  • FS Jeremy Bohannon Week 5: the league's special teams POW after intercepting a pass that led to a first quarter touchdown and then recovered a blocked punt and returned it four yards for a TD in WSU's 55-16 win over #10 Oregon. WSU JUMPS TO EARLY LEADS: WSU has outscored opponents 75-8 in the first quarter and 122-31 in the first half...WSU holds a 47-23 second quarter scoring advantage, a 57-37 lead in the third quarter and 51-34 in the fourth quarter...the only first quarter points allowed by the Cougs were a Colorado touchdown in game three, and an Oregon safety.

    WSU STARTS STRONG AFTER BOWL GAMES: The Cougars, in recent years, have started the season strong coming off a bowl game appearance...in 1989 (after the 1988 Aloha Bowl) the Cougars started 6-1...in 1993 (after the 1992 Copper Bowl) WSU started 5-2...in 1995 (after the 1994 Alamo Bowl) WSU started 3-2...in 1998 (after the 1997 Rose Bowl season) WSU started 3-0...in 2002 (after the 2001 Sun Bowl) WSU started 9-1...this year (after the 2002 Rose Bowl season) WSU is 4-1.

    BLOCK THOSE KICKS: WSU has blocked four placement kicks this season and blocked two punts...in WSU's opener against Idaho, freshman Cody Boyd got his hand on two field goal attempts by the Vandals, helping preserve WSU's shutout...he also had a blocked PAT against New Mexico...at Colorado defensive tackle Steve Cook blocked the Buffs' first PAT attempt...against Oregon D.D. Acholonu and Jason Hill each blocked a Duck punt.

    THREE OF LAST FIVE FOES UNDER 260 YARDS: WSU has held three of its last five opponents, New Mexico (257), Arizona (198) and Stanford (259), to 259 or fewer yards in total offense...Idaho (250) also was under that total...only Oregon (414) and Oregon State (291) had more yards among the last five opponents.

    In outscoring opponents 116-56 in the first half, WSU has trailed just three times in seven games this year.


    DUNNING SETS RECORD: Senior Drew Dunning set a WSU record with five field goals against New Mexico, hitting from 37-36-23-21-49 yards...in 2001 Dunning set a WSU record for kickers with 101 points and then broke his own record with 113 points in 2002...this year he is really on a tear...he currently is the national leader with 18 field goals in 20 attempts (90.0%):

  • Dunning needs 29 points to pass school record holder Jason Hanson, now a 12-year NFL veteran with Detroit;
  • Dunning averaged 107 points a year over the 2001 and 2002 seasons and is currently on pace for a 120-point season;

    BALANCED OFFENSE: The Cougars have a reputation of being a passing team, but over the past 10 years have actually run the ball more times than they have passes...in 10 years WSU has run 4,437 rushing plays (50.3%), 4,382 passing plays...this year WSU has rushed the ball 300 times and thrown 301 passes...the passing game has had the upper hand in six of the 10 seasons, but usually by a small margin.

    STREAKING COUGARS: WSU has won six straight Pac-10 road games, seven straight Pac-10 games in California, 10 straight games against California schools and five straight league games. TURNOVERS = 112 POINTS: WSU has turned 19 of the opponent's 31 turnovers into 112 points this year...the Cougars have taken the ball away from the opponents 18 times with interceptions and have recovered 13 of the opponent's 27 fumbles.

    SAMMY MOORE MAKES CRUCIAL CATCHES: Senior Sammy Moore is becoming known as the Big Play guy...here's a look at some of Moore's big plays in 2002 and 2003:

  • 2002 - Caught a 53-yard pass from Jason Gesser to set up a WSU field goal in the closing minutes against USC...the field goal tied the game and WSU then won in OT...Moore pulled a hamstring on the play and missed the next two games;
  • 2002 - In the Rose Bowl Moore returned a kickoff 89 yards for a WSU touchdown;
  • 2003 - At Notre Dame he made a great catch of a 34-yard TD pass from Matt Kegel, allowing WSU to tie the Irish and send the game into overtime;
  • 2003 - At Colorado Moore picked up a bobbled kickoff and raced 97 yards for a touchdown;
  • 2003 - At Colorado Moore hauled in a 74-yard touchdown pass from Matt Kegel to put WSU ahead 7-0;
  • In WSU's win over tenth ranked Oregon he had a 43 yard pass reception and a 41-yarder that went for a touchdown.
  • Returned a punt 64 yards to the three-yard line in the fourth quarter at Stanford; WSU then scored for a 21-7 lead;
  • Returned a kickoff 50 yards against OSU.

    MOORE ON NEAR-RECORD PACE: Sammy Moore is averaging 126 all-purpose yards per game, which puts him on pace to finish the year with 1,512 yards...that would place him fifth on WSU's single season list...the top four are Bernard Jackson (2,118 in 1971), Steve Broussard (1,790 in 1989), Rueben Mayes (1,768 in 1984) and Broussard (1,533 in 1988)...Moore has 428 receiving yards, 232 punt return yards and 348 kickoff return yards for 1008 total.

    WSU START AMONG BEST: WSU's 7-1 start in 2003 is the second best ever for the Cougars through eight games...the best start was an 8-0 beginning to the 1930 season (finished 9-1, losing to Alabama in the Rose Bowl)...six other Cougar teams have started the year 7-1...they are the 2002, 2001, 1997, 1929, 1928 and 1907 clubs.

    WSU STOPS OSU RUSH: OSU rushed for a net 15 yards, the fewest allowed by WSU since Arizona was -17 last year.

    DAVID SETS INTERCEPTION RECORDS: Jason David now stands second on the career interception list with 15 and now holds three career interception records:

  • David's career return yardage of 284 yards betters the previous mark of 231 yards by Rick Reed, 1966-68;
  • David has a school record two interceptions returns for touchdowns this year, a 41-yard return at Colorado and a 34-yard return against Arizona
  • David has a school record three career interception returns for touchdowns, two this year and a 45-yard return in the 2001 Sun Bowl;
  • David has 15 career interceptions, second to WSU record holder Lamont Thompson, who had 24, 1997-01;
  • David has 110 interception return yards this season, fourth on the WSU list; ahead of him are Lionel Thomas, 156 in 1969, Frank Miyaki, 143 in 1945, and Rick Reed, 137 in 1968.

    COUGAR SPECIAL TEAMS HOT: College Football News predicted WSU has the fifth best special team units in college football...they base their prediction on the basis of kicker Drew Dunning, punter Kyle Basler and return specialist Sammy Moore...so far this season WSU's special team units have lived up to the billing...Basler is averaging 43.9 yards per punt (17th nationally) and has dumped 16 of his 51 kicks inside the 20 yard line...his long this year is a career best 65 yards...Dunning has hit 19 of 21 field goals (2nd nationally) and has scored 80 points in eight games...Moore is also off to a great start, averaging 29.0 yards per kickoff return (sixth nationally) and 8.3 yards on punt returns...he also has a 97-yard kickoff return for a TD to his credit, along with four receiving touchdowns.

    COUGS LIMIT THIRD DOWNS: WSU rarely allows an opponent a third down conversion in the first and fourth quarters and only a 20% success rate for the game...opponent conversions are 2-for-25 in the first quarter, 8-for-37 in the second quarter, 12-for-33 in the third quarter and 3-for-29 in the fourth quarter, a total of 25-for-124 (20%) for the season...WSU has not allowed a first quarter third down conversion in the last five games and none in the fourth quarter in the last four games...

    KEGEL IMPROVES EACH GAME: Matt Kegel has shown steady improvement as a quarterback this year and currently has completed 55.1% of his passes...Kegel also is protecting the ball well, other than the OSU game when he was picked off five times...he's thrown just four interceptions in the other seven games...against New Mexico he had career highs in completions and yardage...against Colorado, Oregon, Stanford and Oregon State he threw three touchdown passes...in the past four games he has 11 touchdown passes.

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