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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougar Football Travels To Utah On Saturday
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 09/06/2000
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Sept. 6, 2000

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WHO: WSU Cougars (0-1 overall, 0-1 in Pac-10) vs. Utah Utes (0-1, 0-0)
WHAT: Non-Conference Football, WSU from the Pacific-10, Utah from the Mountain West
WHEN: Saturday, September 16, Kickoff 5:00 p.m. PDT
WHERE: Rice-Eccles Stadium (45,634, grass), Salt Lake City, Utah
TV: KJZZ-TV Live in Utah only, FOX Sports Net replay Sunday, Sept. 17, 10:30 a.m. PDT

THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 59-67-0 (.468) record at WSU in 11 years and a career mark of 105-111-0 (.486) in 20 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). UTAH ? The Utes are coached by 11-year veteran Ron McBride, who has a 71-46-0 career record, all at Utah.

WSU VS. UTAH: The WSU-Utah series began in 1966 with an Utah win 26-15 in Salt Lake City-the two teams have split the eight games since then, giving Utah a 5-4 lead in the series, including a 27-7 win last year in Pullman-WSU's last win over Utah came in the 1992 Copper Bowl, where the Cougars held off Utah for a 31-28 win-Mike Price is 1-1 against Utah, while Ron McBride is 1-1 in his two games against WSU.

WSU-UTAH SERIES: .WSU at home is 1-3 against Utah, while in Salt Lake City the Cougars are 2-2-the only neutral site game was the 1992 Copper Bowl contest in Tucson, won by WSU-WSU's last win at Salt Lake City was a 30-14 victory in 1975-Utah's last win at home was 44-37 in 1985.

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 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.

2000 CAPTAINS: WSU - QB Jason Gesser (17), RB Adam Hawkins (37), DE Austin Matson (61), WR Farwan Zubedi (41). UTAH ? LB Kautai Olevao (43), DE Andy Bowers (47), DB Andre Dyson (21), OG Sam White (50), OT Doug Kaufusi, (59), RB Thomas Fortune (6).

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 the two-deep, WSU lists 25 freshmen and sophomores and 23 juniors and seniors.

MOST STARTS: Senior Lamont Thompson, who has yet to practice and did not play against Stanford, has the most career starts as WSU heads into the 2000 on the list are Reed Raymond and Austin Matson, who each have made 21 starts.

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.

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.

BURNETT SCORES 12 TDs AS ROOKIE: Only three other WSU players have scored as many touchdowns in one year as freshman Deon Burnett scored in 1999 and only two scored more rushing touchdowns

INJURIES: WSU's injury report for Monday, Sept. 4, from the training staff: Marcus Trufant (hip pointer, probable), James Price (left shoulder sprain, probable), Melvin Simmons (wrist sprain, probable), Deon Burnett (wrist sprain, probable), Josh Moen (shoulder sprain, probable) Serign Marong (back, possible). 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).

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 four 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.

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.

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 154, followed by ASU's Bruce Snyder with 121 and then Price...Price, in his 12th season at WSU, is second in consecutive years at the same school...Tomey has is in his 13th year at Arizona.

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 59-67-0 (.468), while his career mark is now 105-111-0...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.

COUG LINE AVERAGES 292: WSU's offensive line, which includes just one senior, 312-pound Reed Raymond, averages 292 pounds-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.

WSU SECOND IN PAC-10 DEFENSE: Since 1992 WSU has been in the top half of the conference in defense all but once (1992)...the Cougs won the defensive title in 1994, allowing 229 yards a game, the best average in the league since 1982 and the second best since 1993 and 1997 WSU's defense was ranked second in the Pac-10...

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