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Cougs Get Quick Test Against Defending Pac-10 Champs
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 08/29/2000
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Aug. 29, 2000

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FOOTBALL: WSU Opens 2000 Season Hosting Stanford Sept. 2

WHO: WSU Cougars (0-0 overall, 0-0 in Pac-10) vs. Stanford Cardinal (0-0, 0-0)
WHAT: Pacific-10 Conference Football
WHEN: Saturday, September 2, Kickoff 7:23 p.m. PDT
WHERE: Martin Stadium (37,600, FieldTurf), Pullman,Wash.
TV: FOX Sports Net live, FOX Sports Net replay Sunday, Sept. 3, 10:30 a.m. PDT

THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound ?69) has a 59-66-0 (.472) record at WSU in 11 years and a career mark of 105-110-0 (.488) in 19 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). STANFORD - The Cardinal are coached by Tyrone Willingham, who has a five-year record of 30-27-1 at Stanford...the Michigan State (1977) graduate made his head coaching debut at Stanford in 1995.

STANFORD ASSISTANTS: A pair of Stanford assistant coaches have ties to Washington State...offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick spent two years on Mike Price's staff, 1989-90...Buzz Preston was the Cougar running back coach for three seasons, 1994-97, including WSU's Rose Bowl team.

WSU VS. STANFORD: Stanford now holds a 29-20-1 advantage in the series with WSU, having won 11 of the last 15 games, including a 54-17 victory last year...Mike Price is 2-7 against the Cardinal and Tyrone Willingham is 4-1 against WSU...Mike Price wins came in his first season, 1989 (31-13), and in 1997 on the way to the Rose Bowl, 38-28...since Price became WSU's head coach the Cougars have scored 17 or more points in every game against Stanford, with the exception of a 40-3 loss in 1992...during the last nine games, WSU has averaged 20.6 points per game and Stanford 35.8 points.

WSU-STANFORD SERIES: WSU's last win over Stanford in Pullman was during the 1997 run to the Rose Bowl when the Cougs prevailed 38-28...the last time Stanford won in Pullman was 36-24 in 1995, Tyrone Willingham's first year on the Farm...WSU is 6-10-0 at home against Stanford...the Cardinal have won the last two games with WSU in 1998 and 1999.

WSU-STANFORD ON LIVE TV: FOX Sports Net will be on hand to telecast live the season opener between the WSU Cougars and Stanford Cardinal from WSU's Martin Stadium...Steve Physioc will call the action with Tom Ramsey and Lisa Malosky joining the broadcast team...kickoff is set for 7:23 p.m., with airtime at 7:15 p.m...FOX Sports Net will also telecast the Cougar's Nov. 11 game at USC (3:30 p.m.)

NEW FIELD TURF FOR MARTIN: When the WSU and Stanford players take the field Saturday, both will be experiencing the new FieldTurf installed during the summer for the first time...Nebraska is the only other NCAA Div. I football school to use FieldTurf, the latest entry into the artificial surface market...WSU was the second Div. I school to commit to FieldTurf, a surface that looks and feels very much like grass...the Cougars' practice facility, Rogers Field, also sports the new turf.

WSU RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Underclassmen dominate WSU's 2-Deep
  • Deon Burnett Working For Even Better Season
  • WSU QBs Shine In Scrimmages
  • Cougar Scoring Streaks On The Line
  • WSU's Success Improves At Home
  • WSU's Red Zone Production Very Good Last Year

    2000 CAPTAINS: WSU - QB Jason Gesser (17), RB Adam Hawkins (37), DE Austin Matson (61), WR Farwan Zubedi (41). STANFORD - Game Captains.

    BREAKING DOWN TOP 24-48: Against Stanford WSU's starting lineup of 24 players includes 2 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 6 juniors and 6 seniors, while the Top 48 (two-deep) consists of 11 freshmen, 14 sophomores, 11 juniors and 12 seniors...in the two-deep, WSU lists 25 freshmen and sophomores and 23 juniors and seniors...the breakdown:

    WSU GAMES ON FOX SPORTS: All 11 WSU football games this fall will be telecast on a delayed basis by the Seattle affiliate of FOX Sports Net...Cougar games will be aired each Sunday at 10:30 a.m...Clete Casper and Bud Nameck call the action on WSU replays.

    MOST STARTS: Senior Lamont Thompson, who has yet to practice and will not play against Stanford, has the most career starts as WSU heads into the 2000 season...next on the list are Reed Raymond and Austin Matson, who each have made 20 starts...here are the players with the most starts at the beginning of the 2000 season:

    COUG FOOTBALL HAS TWO SETS OF TWINS: WSU's football roster in 2000 includes two sets of identical twins...they are offensive linemen Reed and Ryan Raymond (Moses Lake, Wash., born 10/23/77) and linebackers Brandon and Ryan Pickering (Monroe, Wash., born 3/31/77).

    MORE BROTHERS: In addition to two sets of twins on the Cougar football roster, there are four other sets of brothers in 2000...they are Fred and Josh Shavies, Adam and Blair Hawkins, Pat and Collin Henderson, and Raonall and Kealan Smith.

    WSU-WASHINGTON CONNECTION: Two members of WSU's 2000 football roster boast brothers who have played at Washington...Cougar Ing Aleaga's brother Ink was a standout 1994-95-96, while Russell Mizin's brother was a senior in 1999.

    WSU ON THE ROAD AT HOME: In years to come it may be a trivia question - When did the Cougars play on the road at home?...Sept. 18, 1999 Idaho was officially the home team and the Cougars were the visiting team, complete with white uniforms...Idaho last year and this year uses WSU's Martin Stadium as their home field in an effort to qualify for NCAA D-I status...the Vandal's Kibbie Dome is not large enough to allow Idaho to meet the average needed for D-I status, so they moved three home games to WSU's stadium for the 2000 season.

    BURNETT TOPS IN RUSHING: Freshman Deon Burnett paced the Cougars in 1999 with 974 yards rushing and 23 receptions for 220 yards...he scored 12 rushing touchdowns...Burnett, a true freshman, started the final 10 games of the year and had four consecutive 100 yard games at mid-season...here are his game-by-game totals:

    BURNETT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Deon Burnett, a true freshman, notched the best season ever for a Cougar freshman running back...among his accomplishments:

  • Burnett was the first true freshman at WSU to start at RB since Derek Sparks, 1991 (Sparks had one start),
  • Burnett broke the Cougar record for rushing yards in a game by a freshman three times, the last with 136 yards at ASU...the only other Cougar freshman to go over 100 yards was Will Haskell with 100 at Oregon State, 1993,
  • Burnett's 974 rushing yards was a WSU freshman record, topping the previous mark of 425, Rueben Mayes, 1982,
  • Burnett's 12 rushing touchdowns and 12 total touchdowns were the most ever by a Cougar freshman, he was one TD short of the WSU record of 13 by Steve Broussard, 1989, and Shaumbe Wright-Fair, 1992,
  • Burnett scored four rushing touchdowns against ULL, one short of the school record, and a freshman record.
  • Burnett made a run at the Pac-10 freshman record of 1,069 yards held by Stanford's Darrin Nelson, 1977...the WSU back finished 95 yards short of Nelson's record.

    COUG LINE AVERAGES 292: WSU's offensive line, which includes just one senior, 312-pound Reed Raymond, averages 292 points...the "lightweights" include 275 pound Billy Knotts and both Tyler Hunt and Derrick Roche, a pair of sophomores each listed at 280...the line includes one redshirt freshman, Billy Knotts, three redshirt sophomores, Phil Locker, Tyler Hunt and Derrick Roche, plus Raymond...this year's five starters weigh in at a collective 1,458 pounds, just off the WSU record of 1,508 in 1998 and slightly down from last year's 1,489 pounds.

    QBs SHINE IN SCRIMMAGES: In WSU's first three live scrimmages this fall, Jason Gesser completed 29 of 53 passes (54.7%) for 343 yards and four scores, while Matt Kegel hit 17 of 28 (60.7%) for 156 yards and one TD...freshman Tali Ena in those three scrimmages hit 19 of 35 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns...in three scrimmages those three quarterbacks threw just two interceptions, one each by Gesser and Ena.

    INJURIES: WSU's injury report for Monday, Aug. 28, from the training staff: Adam Hawkins (quad, probable), Dave Minnich (ribs, probable), Ryan Pickering (ribs, probable), Adam Davis (ankle, probable), Joey Hollenbeck (shoulder sprain, probable), DeAndre Douglas (leg, probable), Serign Marong (back, probable). Out indefinitely are: Jason White (ankle), Ing Aleaga (broken foot), Lamont Thompson (neck), Mark Baldwin (shoulder), Wendell Smith (shoulder), Sam Lightbody (ruptured thumb ligament), Farwan Zubedi (knee).

    SCHEDULING: Coaches often talk about whom an upcoming opponent faces the week before or the week after the two teams collide...here's a look at WSU opponents and whom they play before and after meeting the Cougars:

    COUGS GO MARINES: While looking for a few good men the past two years, the WSU coaching staff discovered the Marines...a pair of WSU players are former Marines, Wendell Smith and Dave Minnich...Smith, from Spokane's Gonzaga Prep, joined the Cougars last fall as a freshman after two years in the service...this season WSU brought in running back Dave Minnich from Mt. San Jacinto College...originally from Stonington, Conn., Minnich spent four years in the Marines before going the jaycee route...Smith is currently sidelined following shoulder surgery in the spring, but Minnich will see action Saturday.

    LAMONT THOMPSON SIDELINES: Senior Lamont Thompson, who shares the WSU record with 14 career interceptions and is a candidate for the Thorpe Award, has not seen a day of action this fall and that comes on the heels of missing all but a couple of spring practices...Thompson's problem is a sore neck, a condition that dates back to last season...after lining up at free safety his first two years, Thompson was asked to play corner last fall...during the course of the season he suffered a couple of injuries that hampered his play, including a sore neck after the ASU game...Thompson has visited several specialists and no structural damage has been detected, but to date he has been unable to practice...the senior, now back at free safety, is currently undergoing physical therapy and neck strengthening exercises, but no date has been set for his return...if Thompson cannot play this season, he can redshirt and return for the 2001 season.

    BIRNBAUM ON CAREER LIST: Senior Steve Birnbaum wrapped up his career eighth on WSU's passing list with 3,934 yards and eighth on the total offense list with 3,648 yards...he went into the last game of his career at Hawaii needing 202 yards to catch (7th) Ty Paine, 4,136, and 233 to equal (6th) Chad Davis, 4,167, but a neck strain suffered in practice kept him on the sideline for his final game.

    GLEASON FINISHED WITH 282 TACKLES: Senior linebacker Steve Gleason finished ninth on WSU's career tackle list with 282 stops...Gleason finished the 1999 season with 98 stops in 11 games.

    HACKETT FINISHES WITH 98 CAREER CATCHES: In just 19 games as a Cougar, Leaford Hackett caught 98 career passes for 1,205 yards, leaving him nine catches short of WSU's career Top 10...Hackett led WSU receivers in 1998 with 54 catches and was second in 1999 with 44, despite missing most of five games with injuries.

    LINDELL FOURTH IN CAREER SCORING: Rian Lindell, with 206 points, finished his career ranked fourth in scoring at WSU...he made 110-of-113 extra point kicks and 32-of-50 (64.0%) of his field goals, including 12-of-16 (75.0%) in 1999.

    TAYLOR 5 YARDS SHORT OF RECORD: Senior receiver Nian Taylor finished his career with 140 career catches for 2,447 yards, leaving him five yards short of Hugh Campbell's WSU record of 2,452 yards...Taylor also concluded his career tied for third in receptions with 140, eight behind #2 Phillip Bobo, 148...Doug Flansburg also had 140 catches in his three-year career.

    ZUBEDI AND HIS UNIQUE PET: Wide receiver Farwan Zubedi, one of WSU's four co-captains, has a unique pet that draws some folks to him while others will take the long way around him...Zubedi has a pet snake...not just your common garden snake hidden in the folds of his cloths or in a pocket...it's a 4-foot boa named Unique...hard to hide and not everyone's favorite pet...unfortunately neither Zubedi or Unique, will see action against Stanford Saturday...Zubedi missed the first week of fall camp after spilling his motorcycle the week before camp opened...he suffered a bruised and lacerated knee...he returned to practice the second week and was working his way to the top of the depth chart when an infection set in last week...team officials do not know how long Zubedi will be out of action.

    COUGS SCORE OFTEN: Since 1980 WSU has averaged more than three touchdowns a game, currently boasting an average of 25.2 points per outing.

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

  • The Cougars have scored in 189 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 178 consecutive games since a 44-0 shutout at Ohio State in 1984,
  • The Cougars have scored in 157 consecutive home games since a 21-0 loss to Oregon State in Pullman in 1956.

    COUGS STINGY IN FIRST QUARTER: WSU's defense has allowed 358 first quarter points in the last 80 games (4.48/quarter) over the past seven years...WSU allowed 41 first-quarter points in 1993, 29 in 1994, 45 in 1995, 43 in 1996, 48 in 1997, 87 in 1998 and 71 in 1999.

    THOMPSON TIES WSU CAREER PICK RECORD: Junior Lamont Thompson pushed his career total to a school record equaling 14 interceptions in three seasons when he grabbed an errant throw against Hawaii in the final game of the 1999 season...the pick tied him with Richard Reed, who had 14 in three seasons, 1966-68:

    PRICE THIRD IN WINS: WSU coach Mike Price is third among the current Pacific-10 coaches with 105 wins...Arizona's Dick Tomey leads Pac-10 coaches with 153, followed by ASU's Bruce Snyder with 120 and then Price...Price, after 11 years at WSU, is second in consecutive years at the same school...Tomey has completed 13 years at Arizona.

    NOTHING LIKE HOME: The Washington State Cougars perform much better at home than on the road during Mike Price's 11 year tenure...at home the Cougars are 34-25 (57.6%) and on the road the team is 25-41 (37.9%)...WSU's 6-0 home record in 1997 is the best ever for the Cougars:

    COUGARS VS. RANKED TEAMS: The Cougars did not meet a ranked team in 1999...in 1998 WSU lost to No. 4 UCLA, No. 15 Oregon and No. 10 Arizona...in 1997 WSU defeated No. 22 USC and lost to 21st ranked ASU...unranked at the start of the season when WSU won, UCLA finished the year ranked seventh...in the final game of the year, WSU lost to co-national champion Michigan...in 1996 WSU lost at No. 5 Colorado, defeated No. 25 Oregon and No. 19 California and lost to No. 12 Washington...WSU, in 1995, suffered losses to three nationally ranked teams: No. 2 Nebraska, at No. 5 USC and at No. 12 Oregon.

    MIKE PRICE AMONG WSU'S BEST: Only one Washington State football coach with tenure of five years or longer at WSU put together a better record than Mike Price...Price, in his 11 seasons at WSU, is 59-66-0 (.472), while his career mark is now 105-110-0...Babe Hollingbery was 93-53-14 (.625) during his 1926-42 (17 years) tenure...Price's record is the best at WSU in the last 50 years for coaches with a tenure of three or more years...Price's 59 wins at WSU ranks second to Hollingbery's 93...Jim Walden is third on the victory list at 44.

    LINEUP ADJUSTMENTS: The Cougar lineup was rarely the same two straight weeks during the 1999 season...on defense, WSU started the same lineup for the first three games, but only once in the final eight games did WSU start the same unit...in all the Coug defense had nine different lineups...there were five linebacker lineups, five secondary lineups and five different lineups for the line...on offense WSU used 11 different lineups in 12 games...seven different offensive line combinations started and four different sets of wide receivers were used...there also was a change of starting quarterbacks at the end of the year and a running back change after two games.

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