Sept. 14, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. -
SMU Mustangs (2-0)
September 19 Martin Stadium 2 p.m. (PT)
Radio: Cougar Sports Radio Network
SATURDAY'S GAME: Washington State looks for its first win of the 2009 season when it hosts Southern Methodist University (2-0) Saturday at Martin Stadium. The game is the third of a three-game home stand to open the 2009 campaign and can be heard across the Cougar Sports Radio Network. For the first time this season there will be no live television.
WSU-SMU SERIES: Saturday's contest marks the first meeting between Washington State and SMU.
WSU-USC GAME PICKED UP BY FSN: The Sept. 26 Washington State-USC game, to be played in Los Angeles, has been selected by FSN for national television with a start time of 7:15 p.m.
PUNT FORREST, PUNT: Junior Reid Forrest continues to be a bright spot for the Cougars' special teams. So far this season he has attempted 10 punts, averaging 47.0 yards per kick, with a career-best 64-yarder in the opener against Stanford. Last week against Hawaii he averaged 46 yards per punt with a long of 62, his fifth punt this season over 50 yards. Forrest has moved into WSU's all-time list for both career punts and career punting yards. His 5,507 career punting yards rank 9th on the Cougars' all-time list while his 129 career punts are 10th all-time at WSU.
MONTGOMERY HITS THE CENTURY MARK: Redshirt junior running back James Montgomery became the first Cougar back to rush for 100 yards in the last 15 games when he pounded out 118 yards against Hawaii. The total marked the highest ground output by a Cougar since Dwight Tardy rushed for 214 yards against UCLA, Oct. 27, 2007.
WSU AGAINST THE C-USA: The Cougars are 2-2 against current Conference USA opponents, including a 2-1 mark against Houston and 0-1 and Tulane.
THE 107-YEAR STREAK: This week's game with SMU is the first meeting between the two schools. The Cougars have not lost to a first-time opponent in Pullman since Oct. 18, 1902, a span of 22 games over 107 years. WSU is 19-0-3 since a loss to Pacific (Ore.) at the newly-named Rogers Field in 1902, when the team was referred to as the "Farmers" and the school was called Washington Agricultural College and School of Science. The loss to Pacific is the only blemish in 25 first-time meetings with a school in Pullman.
2011 HAWAII GAME REMOVED FROM SCHEDULE: The 2011 meeting between Washington State and Hawaii has been removed from the Cougars schedule to allow for flexibility in the Pac-10 Conference schedule that year, said WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. "The conference is looking at ways to create an off week during a 12-game schedule and this allows us the opportunity to adjust accordingly," said Sterk. The two teams entered into a three-game agreement which began in 2008 and will continue Saturday at Qwest Field. The third game was scheduled to be played at the end of the 2011 campaign; instead WSU will pay the $300,000 buyout stipulated in the contract.
WSU AGAINST NONCONFERENCE FOES: Since the opening of the 2001 season, WSU is 19-5 against unranked nonconference opponents. WSU has wins over Idaho (seven times), Nevada (twice), Montana State (twice), Boise State, Purdue, New Mexico, Colorado, Grambling State, Baylor and Portland State.
TARDY RUSHING FOR A FIRST: Redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy is looking to become the first known running back in school history to lead WSU in the statistical category in four consecutive seasons. Dating as far back as 1942, only three backs have led WSU in rushing in three consecutive seasons: Tardy (2006-08), Shaumbe Wright-Fair (1990-92) and Tim Harris (1980-82). So far this season Tardy has rushed for 84 yards, an average of 42.0 ypg, second on the team to James Montgomery's 78.5 average.
NOTABLES FROM HAWAII: Junior wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon had team-highs of six receptions and 71 yards against the Warriors...in addition to his 118 yards on the ground, James Montgomery added a 10-yard reception and 78 yards in kickoff returns for 206 yards of all-purpose yards...in the first start of his career, linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis had a game-high-tying nine tackles, including five solo and two TFLs...junior punter Reid Forrest continued his strong start, averaging 46 ypp on four kicks, with a long of 62.
FIRST STARTS: Continuing a trend from last season, the Cougars had eight players make their first-career against the Cardinal. On offense, Gino Simone and Zack Williams made their first-career starts for the Cougars, and on defense, Travis Long, Bernard Wolfgramm, Josh Luapo, Jason Stripling, Brandon Jones and LeAndre Daniels made their first starts as Cougars. Last week against Hawaii two more joined the fray as Alex Hoffman-Ellis and Casey Hamlett, both defensive players, opened the first series. In 2008 26 players registered their first start for WSU, 17 on offense and nine on defense.
TARDY MOVING UP THE RUSHING LISTS: Redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy entered the 2009 season ranked 10th in both career rushes and career rushing yards. With 13 carries against Stanford, Tardy moved into eighth place on the list with 434 rushes (up to 441 attempts following the Hawaii game), passing Dan Doornink (424; 1974-77) and Michael Black (424; 1996-97). Tardy also now has 1,907 rushing yards, moving past Tali Ena (1,888; 1976-79) and into ninth place on WSU's all-time list.
LONG ROADTRIP AHEAD: Following Saturday's home contest against SMU, the Cougars embark on a part of their schedule that sees them play five of their next six games on the road. Following contests at USC and Oregon, WSU returns home to host Arizona State. After a bye the next week, the Cougars play their following three games on the road at Cal, Notre Dame (San Antonio) and Arizona. All added up, WSU will be away from Martin Stadium for 35 days.