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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
WSU set to faces Mountain West foe Utah this Saturday.
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 09/11/2000
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Sept. 11, 2000

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WHO: WSU Cougars (0-1 overall, 0-1 in Pac-10) vs. Utah Utes (0-2, 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 71-48-0 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 the Utes 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: 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.

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 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 season...next 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 roster, there are four other pairs of brothers...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 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.

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 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.

    BURNETT OPENS WITH 50 RUSHING: Sophomore Deon Burnett opened the 2000 season with 50 rushing yards in 16 carries against Stanford and caught two passes for 21 yards.

    INJURIES: WSU's injury report for Monday, Sept. 11 from the training staff: Serign Marong (back, doubtful), Ira Davis (knee bruise, 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).

    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 and he missed the opener...he is not expected to play at Utah.

    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 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 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, Hunt and 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 1971...in 1993 and 1997 WSU's defense was ranked second in the Pac-10.

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

  • The Cougars have scored in 190 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 179 consecutive games since a 44-0 shutout at Ohio State in 1984,
  • The Cougars have scored in 158 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 81 games (4.42/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, 71 in 1999 and 0 in 2000.

    NOTHING LIKE HOME: The Washington State Cougars perform much better at home than on the road during Mike Price's 12 year tenure...at home the Cougars are 34-26 (56.6%) 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 have yet to meet a ranked team in 2000...WSU 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.

    TURNOVERS: After turning the ball over nine times in the first two games of 1999, WSU had just 12 in the last 10 games...WSU finished -4 in turnover margin...WSU's turnover margin was -17 in 1998, -1 in 1997, -9 in 1996, 0 in 1995, +9 in 1994.

    RUSHING TOTALS UNDER 100: In the last eight years WSU has held 32 of 81 opponents to less than 100 yards rushing...the lows include Montana State's -35 and Pacific's -6 in 1993 and Montana's -6 in 1995...in those 81 games, WSU has held opponents to 50 or less yards 12 times.

    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...Gesser threw just one interception in those three scrimmages.

    100-YARD RUSHERS FEW: Only 27 running backs have been able to crack the 100-yard mark in the last eight years and 81 games against WSU's defense...UCLA's Skip Hicks and Reuben Droughns from Oregon are the only backs to have done so in back-to-back seasons.

    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...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...seven different offensive line combinations started and four different sets of wide receivers were used.

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

  • Pac-10 Offense: None
  • Pac-10 Defense: Billy Newman (Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
  • Pac-10 Special Teams: Curtis Nettles (Venice, Calif.)
  • Offensive Lineman: Russell Mizin (Aberdeen, Wash.)
  • Offensive Back: None
  • Offensive Scout Team: Mike Shelford (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Defensive Back: Marcus Trufant (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Defensive Lineman: Fred Shavies (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Defensive Scout Team: Lacy McDonald (Denver, Colo.)
  • Defensive Pursuit Player: Tomasi Kongaika (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Cougar Claw: None
  • Big Hit: Raonall Smith (Gig Harbor, Wash.), Marcus Williams (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Cougar Tackler: Bill Newman (Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
  • Specialist of the Week: Nick Lambert (Bothel, Wash.)
  • Most Disciplined Offense: Tyler Hunt (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Most Disciplined Defense: Austin Matson (Everett, Wash.)
  • Most Disciplined Special Teams: Erik Larson (Olympia, Wash.)
  • Special Teams Big Play: Josh Moen (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Assassin: Josh Moen (Tacoma, Wash.) Iron Man: Curtis Nettles (Venice, Calif.), Adam Hawkins (Pendleton, Ore.), Brad Philley (Puyallup, Wash.), Josh Moen (Tacoma, Wash.) Gamebreaker: Josh Moen (Tacoma, Wash.)

    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 begins Saturday, Sept. 19, with the California at Illinois game being shown by ESPN at 9:00 a.m. PT...ABC will follow with a pair of games, first Washington at Colorado at 12:30 p.m. MT, then Michigan at UCLA at 12:30 p.m. PT...the two ABC games are both regional telecasts...the final game of the day, Texas at Stanford, will be shown by FOX Sports Net at 7:15 p.m. PT.

    FSNW-TV: FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will replay Washington State's game vs. Utah Sept. 17 at 10:30 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: http://www.wsucougars.com.

    WSU RADIO: Bob Robertson, Scott Pelluer, Jeff Aaron, and Bud Nameck will 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 shows regular host...all broadcasts are available via the internet. To listen, and for complete broadcast schedules, connect to wsucougars.com.

    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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