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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Football Squad Set For Desert Battle With #22 Arizona, 4-1
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 10/09/2000
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    WHO: WSU Cougars (3-2 overall, 1-1 in Pac-10) vs. Arizona Wildcats (4-1 overall, 2-0 Pac-10)

    WHAT: Pacific-10 Conference Cougar Football

    WHEN: Saturday, October 14, Kickoff 7:00 p.m. MST

    WHERE: Arizona Stadium (56,500, grass), Tucson, Ariz.

    TV: Fox Sports Net will show WSU-Arizona delayed until 10:00 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 15

    THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 62-68-0 (.477) record at WSU in 11 years and a career mark of 108-112-0 (.491) in 20 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). ARIZONA - The Wildcats are coached by Dick Tomey, who has a 94-59-4 record at Arizona and a 157-105-7 career record.

    WSU VS. ARIZONA: The Arizona Wildcats have won 19 of the previous 28 games, with the WSU Cougars capturing nine the past decade Arizona won seven of 10 games, including wins in each of the last two games, in Tucson two years ago and in Pullman last year...WSU is 4-10-0 in Tucson and last won there in 1992.

    GESSER STREAK NOW 103 PASSES WITH NO INTERCEPTIONS: Sophomore Jason Gesser has thrown 103 straight passes without an interception over the last four the season opener Gesser threw two picks, the last one on WSU's last possession...he was 20-of-36 for 161 yards, two interceptions and no TDs against Stanford, a QB rating of 82.02...since then, in four games, he has hit 62 of 103 passes for 998 yards and nine WSU's last four games Gesser's QB rating is 170.41...his solid performance in the last four outings has raised his season rating to 147.52, which ranks first in the Pac-10 and tenth in the nation.

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

    BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: Against Boise State WSU's starting lineup of 22 players included 2 freshmen, 9 sophomores, 5 juniors and 6 seniors, while the Top 44 (two-deep) consisted of 11 freshmen, 13 sophomores, 12 juniors and 8 the two-deep, WSU lists 24 freshmen and sophomores and 20 juniors and seniors.

    INJURIES: WSU's injury report for Monday, Oct. 9 from the training staff: Jason Gesser (concussion, probable), Curtis Nettles (concussion, probable), Rien Long (ankle, probable), Serign Marong (back, doubtful) Jason White (ankle, possible), Ing Aleaga (broken foot, doubtful),. Out indefinitely are: Lamont Thompson (neck), Wendell Smith (shoulder), Sam Lightbody (ruptured thumb ligament), Reed Raymond (left knee, torn MCL), Adam Davis (back), Nick Lambert (quad strain).

    OFFENSE OFF TO GOOD START: WSU has generated 1,851 yards in total offense through five games, averaging 370 yards...on the ground WSU averages 131.8 yards, plus 238.4 in the air.

    BURNETT NEARS 1200 RUSHING YARDS: Sophomore Deon Burnett has now run for 1,192 career yards, leaving him 547 yards short of a spot in WSU's top 10 list...Burnett would need to average 91 yards per game for the rest of the season to earn a spot on WSU's career list by season's end...tenth on WSU's all-time list is Dan Doornink, who gained 1,739 yards during career, 1974-77...ninth place is held by Bernard Jackson, who gained 1,779 during his two Cougar seasons, 1970 and 1971.

    BURNETT & MINNICH GIVE WSU 1-2 PUNCH: Last year's leading rusher Deon Burnett has some help this year in Dave Minnich, the ex-Marine who transferred this fall from Mt. San Jacinto JC...Minnich, who has played in all five games, has rushed for 265 yards and two scores, while Burnett has gained 218 despite missing the Cal game with a bone bruise...Burnett is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and Minnich 3.6...WSU has rushed for 659 yards this year, or 131.8 per game...last year WSU averaged 113.9 per game.

    COUGARS DO WELL ON THE ROAD: WSU's 21-17 win at California two weeks ago was the Cougars' third straight road win, dating back to the final game of the 1999 season at Hawaii...the Cougs have defeated in order Hawaii, Utah and California, all on the the first four games this year the visiting team won all four WSU games, the Cougars going 0-2 at home and 2-0 on the 1988, the home team lost each time in WSU's first four games, with the Cougars winning at Illinois, Minnesota and Tennessee and losing at home to the fifth game WSU downed California in Pullman to snap the string of home losses, just as they did this year against Boise State, winning 42-35 last week.

    BANKS PICKS THIRD PASS: Senior free safety Mory Banks, who lost his starting spot to freshman Eric Coleman in the second game (Utah) of the year and then regained it the next week, has recorded an interception in each of WSU's last three games, including last weekend against Boise State...Banks, from Crenshaw High in Los Angeles and Los Angeles Southwest JC, played in all 12 games last year but did not have an interception...Banks is currently tied for 13th in the nation with his three interceptions and ranks tied for second in the Pac-10.

    LONG DRIVES: WSU has had eight scoring drives of 70 yards or longer in the first five games, including six drives of 80 yards or more.

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

  • The Cougars have scored in 191 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 183 consecutive games since a 44-0 shutout at Ohio State in 1984,

  • The Cougars have scored in 160 consecutive home games since a 21-0 loss to Oregon State in Pullman in 1956.

    TURNOVERS: WSU is +5 in turnovers this year...after a -1 in the opener against Stanford, the Cougs have been even or on the plus side in each of the last four games...WSU's turnover margin was -4 in 1999, -17 in 1998, -1 in 1997, -9 in 1996, 0 in 1995, +9 in 1994.

    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 roster, there are five other pairs of brothers...they are Fred and Josh Shavies, Adam and Blair Hawkins, Pat and Collin Henderson, Raonall and Kealan Smith, and Deon and Anthony Burnett.

    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 currently 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...this year Idaho plays three home games in WSU's stadium.

    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.

    BURNETT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Deon Burnett, a true freshman in 1999, 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 with 136 yards at ASU,

  • 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,

  • Burnett scored four rushing touchdowns against ULL, a freshman record and one short of the school record,

    WELCOME BACK ZUBEDI: Wide receiver Farwan Zubedi, one of WSU's four co-captains, made his return to the field a memorable one against Boise State by catching two passes, one a TD toss...Zubedi missed the first week of fall camp after spilling his motorcycle the week before camp opened, suffering 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 and he missed the first four games...the Cougar senior has a unique pet that draws some folks to him while others will take the long way around him - a pet snake...not just your common garden snake hidden in the folds of his cloths or in a's a 4-foot boa named Unique...hard to hide and not everyone's favorite pet...while Zubedi saw his first action of the year against Boise State, Unique has yet to make an appearance on the field.

    COUG LINE AVERAGES 291: WSU's offensive line currently weighs in at a collective 1,459 pounds, or an average of 291.4 pounds...the heavyweights of the group include Phil Locker at 311 and Ryan Raymond at 304, while Josh Parrish weighed in at 284 this fall...the lightweights are Tyler Hunt and Derrick Roche, each at 280 pounds...prior to the loss of 312-pound Reed Raymond to a season-sending knee injury at California, the line averaged 294 pounds...last year's line weighed 1,489 and the 1998 line tipped the scales at a WSU record 1,508 pounds.

    GESSER PAC-10 HONOREE: Jason Gesser was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week for his play at Utah when he completed 11 of 18 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 37 yards...he was the first Cougar to be so honored since Nian Taylor was selected after the third game of the 1998 season.

    TRUFANT PICKS FOURTH PASS: Sophomore Marcus Trufant, who had two interceptions while starting seven games last year, picked off two passes in WSU's first three games this season, running his career total to four...this year he has had interceptions against Utah and Idaho, while last year his first game against Louisiana-Lafayette and his second at Hawaii.

    LUNDE IN SPOTLIGHT: Scott Lunde, a redshirt freshman and a walk-on, has been in the spotlight the past two weeks...against California he made two solo tackles on kickoffs and against BSU downed two punts inside the five.

    LAMONT THOMPSON TO REDSHIRT: Senior Lamont Thompson, who shares the WSU record with 14 career interceptions, will redshirt during the 2000 season and rehab his sore neck that has kept him out of all workouts since spring...the senior is currently undergoing physical therapy and neck strengthening exercises...several visits to specialists revealed no structural damage to Thompson's neck area.

    COUGS STINGY IN FIRST QUARTER: WSU's defense has allowed 392 first quarter points in the last 85 games (4.61/quarter) over the past eight years...WSU allowed 41 first-quarter points in 1993, 29 in 1994, 45 in 1995, 43 in 1996, 48 in 1997, 87 in 1998, 71 in 1999 and 21 in 2000...BSU scored 14 in the first quarter last week, the only team with more than seven points in the first quarter this year against WSU.

    COUGARS VS. RANKED TEAMS: The Cougars have yet to meet a ranked team in 2000...currently four Pac-10 teams on WSU's remaining schedule are ranked, including this week's Arizona Wildcats:
    Oregon State - 23 by AP, 20 by USA Today/ESPN
    Oregon - 9 by AP, 12 by USA Today/ESPN
    Washington - 11 by AP, 10 by USA-Today/ESPN
    Arizona - 22 by AP, 22 by USA Today/ESPN

    COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 1995: WSU did not meet a ranked team in 1998 WSU lost to No. 4 UCLA, No. 15 Oregon and No. 10 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 the final game of the year, WSU lost to co-national champion 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.

    PRICE THIRD IN WINS: WSU coach Mike Price is third among the current Pacific-10 coaches with 108 wins... Arizona's Dick Tomey leads Pac-10 coaches with 157, followed by ASU's Bruce Snyder with 124 and Price...Price, in his 12th season at WSU, is second in consecutive years at the same school...Tomey 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 62-68-0 (.477), while his career mark is now 108-112-0...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 62 wins at WSU ranks second to Hollingbery's 93...Jim Walden is third on the victory list at 44.

    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.

    WILAIKUL EARNS PAC-10 HONOR: Senior Ansouith Wilaikul [pronounced A-new-sit Vee-lie-khoun] was named the Pacific-10 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against Boise State...Wilaikul hit on all three field goals and all three PAT kicks...his field goals were from 38, 22 and 34 yards...since taking over for the injured Nick Lambert after the Idaho game, Wilaikul has hit all five field goals and four extra points while starting against California and BSU.


    BOISE STATE - Scott Lunde continued his outstanding special teams play, downing punts by Alan Cox on the BSU one yard line twice in the fourth quarter...WSU did not punt in the first half...the win boosted WSU's winning percentage to over .500 for the first time since the 1998 season...WSU scored on six straight possessions during the first, second and third quarters - TD, FG, FG, TD, TD and FG...Jason Gesser completed passes to 10 players, including six wide receivers, three running backs and one tight end...Brad Philley, the converted linebacker who is now a reserve running back and on all special team units, caught a crucial 37-yard pass in the third quarter that led to a WSU TD and a 26-17 lead...James Price, after missing the California game with a broken hand, came back against BSU to lead the Cougs with 10 tackles, including two TFL and one sack...freshman Jeremey Williams notched his first sack...freshman QB Matt Kegel saw his first action of the year, stepping in for Jason Gesser twice when the Cougar starter was roughed up...Kegel ran an 8-yard draw for a first down the first time he took a snap...he missed only his only pass attempt and was sacked once...freshman Eric Coleman returned two kickoffs, the first two of his young Cougar career, and came up big with returns of 40 and 35 yards...Jason Gesser was sacked a career-high seven times...Farwan Zubedi, in his first game of the year after missing the first four with an infected knee, caught two passes, one a TD reception of nine yards from Jason Gesser.

    NEW FIELD TURF FOR MARTIN: WSU opened the season with a new look when it hosted Stanford Sept. 2...the Cougars sported new uniforms and helmets, played on a new artificial turf, FieldTurf and were finally back at home in Bohler Gym with new offices and a new lockerroom...Nebraska was the first NCAA Div. I football school to use FieldTurf, followed by WSU...FieldTurf is a surface that looks and feels very much like grass...the Cougars' practice facility, Rogers Field, also sports the new turf.

    WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS: Washington State's weekly FOX Sports Net award winners from the Boise State game are:

  • Pac-10 Offense: Jason Gesser (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • Pac-10 Defense: James Price (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Pac-10 Special Teams: Anousith Wilaikul (Vista, Calif.)
  • Offensive Lineman: Derrick Roche (Kent, Wash.)
  • Offensive Back: Adam Hawkins (Pendleton, Ore.)
  • Offensive Scout Team: Steve Nelson (Colville, Wash.)
  • Defensive Back: None
  • Defensive Lineman: None
  • Defensive Scout Team: Curtis Holden (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • Defensive Pursuit Player: None
  • Cougar Claw: James Price (Anchorage, Alaska), Josh Parrish (Chewelah, Wash.), Deon Burnett (Upland, Calif.), D.D. Acholonu, (Seattle, Wash.), Marcus Trufant (Tacoma, Wash.), Isaac Brown (Upland, Calif.)
  • Big Hit: None
  • Cougar Tackler: James Price (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Specialist of the Week: Erik Coleman (Spokane, Wash.)
  • Most Disciplined Offense: None
  • Most Disciplined Defense: None
  • Most Disciplined Special Teams: Scott Lunde (Vancouver, Wash.)
  • Special Teams Big Play: Scott Lunde (Vancouver, Wash.), Alan Cox (Manti, Utah)
  • Assassin: Adam Hawkins (Pendleton, Ore.)
  • Iron Man: Adam Hawkins (Pendleton, Ore.)
  • Gamebreaker: Anousith Wilaikul (Vista, Calif.)

    MIKE PRICE TV SHOWS: The "Mike Price TV Show" airs Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. PT on KHQ, KNDO (Yakima) and KNDU (Tri-Cities) television stations....KHQ's John Fritz hosts the shows...FOX Sports Net Northwest's nightly (7:00 p.m.) Northwest Tonight program also gives extensive coverage to Price and Cougar football.

    JIM STERK RADIO SHOW: "Cougar Conversation with (WSU AD) Jim Sterk" is aired each Sunday for 30 minutes at 10:30 a.m. on Spokane's KXLY Radio (920)...former Cougar player Paul Sorensen hosts the weekly show with the WSU athletic director.

    WEEKLY WSU PRESS CONFERENCES: WSU hosts a weekly press conference each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. in the Media Information Conference Room, Bohler Addition 195. All in-season head coaches and selected players (when available) will be available for the phone conference and in-person interviews. Contact the WSU Media Information Office for more information. Members of the media may attend in person or participate by use of the telephone.

    LISTEN TO COUGAR GAMES ANYWHERE: Cougar football fans can listen to the Voice of the Cougars Bob Robertson's broadcasts, even if a network station is not in your locale. TRZ Sports Service Inc.'s "Teamline" provides the hookup directly into the Cougar Sports Network. Call 1-800-846-4700 and punch in the Cougar access code 5938. The cost is charged to your VISA or Mastercard.

    LIVE TELEVISION: Pac-10 television action Saturday, Oct. 14, will include Oregon at USC on ABC regional at 12:30 p.m. PT and Washington at Arizona State on Fox Sports Net at 3:30 p.m. PT. Stanford at Oregon State will air on Fox Syndication at 3:30 p.m. PT.

    FSNW-TV: FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will replay Washington State's game against Arizona Oct. 15 at 10:00 a.m.

    TICKETS: Tickets for all Cougar home and away games are available through the WSU Ticket Office, North 225 Grand, Pullman, Wash. 99164-1910, or by calling 800-GO-COUGS (available toll free from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands).

    AUDIO ON INTERNET: WSU's football broadcasts are now available on the Internet through FansOnly, WSU's Web provider...the address is:

    WSU RADIO: Bob Robertson, Scott Pelluer, Jeff Aaron, and Bud Nameck combine talents on the 24-station Cougar Sports Network. Robertson is in his 34th year of broadcasting Cougar sports, while Pelluer, a former Cougar player, is in his second season as a Cougar broadcaster. Broadcast time is 60 minutes prior to kickoff. Additionally, the one-hour "Mike Price Show," produced and distributed by Learfield Communications, airs weekly on most network stations live at 7:00 p.m.. Robertson is the show's regular host...all broadcasts are available via the internet. To listen, and for complete broadcast schedules, connect to

    SATELLITE: WSU uplinks a 15-minute football video package each Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. (C-Band, Telstar 6, Transponder 19 V, 93 degree west, ) with coach and player interviews recorded at practice that afternoon...the service is provided by Northwest Public Television on the WSU campus (if trouble, call 509-335-5177). The Pacific-10 office transmits a weekly 30-minute highlight package each Wednesday at 12:00 noon PDT on Telstar 5, Transponder 16, C-Band (if trouble, call 310-543-1835 or the Pac-10 office).

    PRICE AND PLAYERS AVAILABLE: WSU head football coach Mike Price is available for individual media interviews 11:00-Noon Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (expect prior to road games). Arrangements for Price interviews must be made through his office, 509-335-0250. WSU players are available for interviews before and after practice each Tuesday and Wednesday and before practice each Thursday. Contact Rebecka McKinney at the WSU Media Information Office.

    PRICE PHONE CONFERENCES: Mike Price is available for media interviews three times weekly via a conference phone hookup, Sunday at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. For access information contact the WSU Media Information Office.

    COUGAR INFOCONNECTION: Members of the media may access WSU press releases, game statistics and other sports specific information through InfoConnection. For information on how to access information from all 10 Pac-10 schools and the Pac-10 office, contact the league office or any of the Pac-10 sports information offices.

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