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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Gesser, Washington State Hope To Rebound Against Montana State
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 09/18/2002
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Sept. 18, 2002

Washington State looks to bounce back after its first loss as it plays host to Montana State on Saturday.

The 16th-ranked Cougars (2-1) were run over by Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett who rushed for 230 yards and two touchdowns in a 25-7 loss last Saturday.

Washington State gave up 292 yards on the ground, its most since Oregon had 446 last season.

Quarterback Jason Gesser's 5-yard touchdown pass to Devard Darling put Washington State up 7-6 at halftime but the Cougars failed to get their offense back on track in the second half.

Gesser finished 25-of-44 passing for 247 yards but was intercepted twice in the second half.

"I didn't hit my hot reads," Gesser said. "I'll take the full blame for not putting points on the board. We have to score to help our defense, and we didn't do that today."

Gesser has completed 60.7 percent of his passes, thrown for 709 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. The 23-year-old senior threw for 2,729 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.

The Cougars will be without two of its lineman who were suspended by head coach Mike Price for unspecified team violations. Defensive tackle Rien Long and offensive tackle Billy Knotts were suspended Sunday, one day after Washington State's loss to Ohio State.

In addition to losing Long and Knotts for Saturday's game against Division I-AA Montana State, the Cougars will be without starting left tackle Josh Parrish, who is expected miss at least six weeks because of a broken leg.

Washington State has won all six games in its series against the Bobcats (2-1) dating back to 1905.

The Cougars routed Montana State, 53-28, last September. Gesser threw for 374 yards to lead the way. The Bobcats have not had allowed anyone else throw for more than 250 yards since.

Montana State's defense has allowed just 261 yards and 15 first downs in the first three games. The Bobcats held Adams State to 11 first downs and 114 yards of total offense in last Saturday's 31-6 victory.

The Bobcats have not fared well on the road against non-league opponents, losing nine straight dating back to a 13-10 win at Cal Poly in 1995.

Washington State Cougars Athletics