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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
WSU Ends Home Season Hosting UCLA Bruins
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 10/30/2001
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Oct. 30, 2001

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WHO: #16/19 WSU Cougars (7-1 overall, 4-1 in Pac-10) vs. #9/11 UCLA Bruins (7-1, 3-1 in Pac-10)

WHAT: Pac-10 Conference Football - DADS' WEEKEND AT WSU

WHEN: Saturday, November 3, Kickoff 3:30 p.m. PST

WHERE: Martin Stadium (35,200, FieldTurf), Pullman, Wash.

TV: FOX Sports Net Live, FOX Sports Northwest will air the replay Sunday, 10:00 a.m., Nov. 4.

THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 70-74-0 (.486) record at WSU in 13 years and a career mark of 116-118-0 (.496) in 22 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). UCLA - The UCLA Bruins are coached by Bob Toledo (SF State '68), who has a 42-24-0 record in six years at UCLA and a 56-54-0 career record in nine seasons.

WSU VS. UCLA: Since the first game between WSU and UCLA, the Bruins have won 34 times, WSU 12, with one tie...the two teams have not played since UCLA's 1998 win in Pasadena 49-17...the year before that WSU won 37-34 in Pullman to open the 1997 season.

COUGS MOVE UP IN RANKINGS: WSU, picked to finish last at the August Pac-10 Media Day gathering, surprised the college football world with a 7-0 start and national ranking status...the Cougs first appeared in this year's polls following a victory at Stanford Oct. 13...prior to this season, the last time WSU was nationally ranked was in 1997, when the Cougars finished ninth in both season-ending polls.

WSU GAME TIMES CHANGED: WSU's next two football games, this week at home against UCLA and Nov. 10 at Arizona State will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and both will be televised by FOX Sports Net as part of their syndicated network package...the ASU game was originally scheduled to kick off at 7:00 p.m.

2001 CAPTAINS: WSU - QB Jason Gesser (17), RB Jeremy Thielbahr (33), RB Dave Minnich (34), SS Billy Newman (10). UCLA: The Bruin season captains are RB DeShaun Foster(26), LB Robert Thomas (8), and FS Marques Anderson (7).

SCORING ROLL: WSU has scored 36, 41, 51, 48, 34, 45, 53 and 17 points in eight games...WSU has never before scored 30+ points in seven consecutive games and never before had five games of 40+ points in one season...WSU's 325 points in the first eight games is the most ever for the first eight games of any season and 26 short of the record for any eight consecutive games in one year (351 in 1997).

McELRATH AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Nakoa McElrath, WSU's senior receiver is now ranked 16th nationally in receptions, 6.75 per game, and seventh in reception yards, 109.25 per game.

McELRATH COULD CHALLENGE WSU RECORDS: Nakoa McElrath, averaging 6.75 receptions per game and 109.25 yards per game, is on pace to set two Cougar single-season records...at his current pace he could finish with 74 receptions for 1,201 yards...both marks are better than WSU records, 67 receptions by current WSU receiver coach and offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller, and 1,151 receiving yards by Tim Stallworth.

COUGAR RECEIVERS STEP UP: Nakoa McElrath and Mike Bush have turned into an Awesome Twosome for the Cougars, pulling in 88 passes between them for 1,576 yards through the first eight games...together they are averaging 197 receiving yards and 11.0 receptions per game.

McELRATH/BUSH AMONG NATION'S LEADERS: Senior Nakoa McElrath and junior Mike Bush have turned into one of the most productive receiving tandems in the nation...together they rank third in touchdowns, 2.00 per game, third in receiving yards, 197.0 per game, and ninth in receptions per game, 11.0 per game.

MIKE BUSH SHOWS FOOTBALL SKILLS: Junior Mike Bush, WSU's top basketball player who averaged 15.9 points and 5.2 rebounds last winter, has now made a name for himself on the football field...Bush joined the Cougar receiver corps last spring and has started all eight games...he currently ranks 22nd nationally and is third in the Pac-10, averaging 87.75 receiving yards per game.

NCAA RATES WSU SCHEDULE THE TOUGHEST: As of Oct. 22, the NCAA rates WSU's four-game slate to close out the year as the toughest in the nation.

COUGS'S RUN DEFENSE: WSU allowed just 299 rushing yards in the opening five games, but in the last three they have allowed 799 yards...for the first time in the modern era, WSU held each of the first five opponents to less than 100 yards...injuries to linebackers Raonall Smith, Serign Marong and Alex Nguae, corner Marcus Trufant and tackle Nate Mallory have contributed greatly to WSU's defensive woes the last three weeks.

OFFENSE AMONG WSU'S BEST: The Cougars' offense has generated 3,841 yards (480.1 yard average), the third most ever by WSU in the first eight games...WSU's 1988 team holds the record with 4,081, while the 1997 team had 3,975 yards in the first eight games.

MINNICH TOPS 100 YARDS SIX TIMES: Senior Dave Minnich topped the 100-yard rushing total four times last season and three this season, including 34 carries for 195 yards, both career highs, against OSU...here is Minnich's career summary:

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

? The Cougars have scored in 202 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 197 consecutive games since a 44-0 shutout at Ohio State in 1984, ? The Cougars have scored in 167 consecutive home games since a 21-0 loss to Oregon State in Pullman in 1956.

LAMONT THOMPSON HOLDS RECORD: Senior Lamont Thompson holds the WSU career interception record with 17 after picking off the record-setter (15) against California Sept. 22.

MISC. NOTES: Pac-10 Player of the Week winners: Nakoa McElrath for his play against Boise State when he caught eight passes for 210 yards and three scores, walk-on Josh Moen after blocking a punt at Stanford that was returned for a TD...WSU set three school records against California: 513 passing yards by Jason Gesser (432), Matt Kegel (53) and Tali Ena (28), three receivers with over 100 receiving yards, Nakoa McElrath 163, Mike Bush 144 and Jerome Riley 124, for the first time in school history, Lamont Thompson's 15 career interception...against Oregon State Dave Minnich rushed for a career high 195 yards, threw a 22-yard TD pass to Nakoa McElrath, caught a seven-yard TD pass from Jason Gesser, made two tackles and forced one fumble after Gesser threw an interception.

DUNNING HOT: Sophomore Drew Dunning has hit 12 of his 15 field goal attempts, with a long of 49...he is 36 of 40 on PATs...two of his misses were blocked against MSU and the other two misses were long range boots after WSU penalties...he has scored 72 points, leaving him four points short of WSU's single season Top 10 list...Dunning is making a strong case for Pac-10 honors in his sophomore season...he is second in Pac-10 scoring and the top kicker in the group, second in field goal percentage (80.0%) and second in field goals per game (1.50).

TURNOVERS: WSU is +9 in turnovers after eight games and ranks 11th (tie) nationally...1994 is the only season in the last 13 when the Cougars finished on the plus side in turnovers.

RED ZONE: WSU has been inside the opponent 20 yard line 43 times this year, scoring 223 points with 28 touchdowns and 10 field goals...opponents have scored 96 points in the red zone.

WSU'S EXPERIENCED SECONDARY: WSU's starting secondary for UCLA has a collective 73 starts and 29 interceptions - seniors Lamont Thompson (29 starts, 17 interceptions) and Billy Newman (31, 8), and sophomores Jason David (8, 1) and Eric Coleman (5, 3)...the injured Marcus Trufant (21, 7) is currently sidelined.

WSU'S SACK ATTACK: WSU's defense has racked up 26 sacks this season, including seven sacks against BSU and Stanford, the most in one game since the 1994 club recorded 10 in a 21-7 win over Oregon in Pullman...the school record is 48 sacks in 1989.

NEWMAN NINTH IN CAREER TACKLES: Billy Newman, WSU's senior safety has 299 career tackles to rank ninth on WSU's single season list...Newman is three tackles away from Ron Childs, eighth on the list with his 302 tackles, 1991-94...Newman made 45 tackles as a freshman, led WSU in 1999 with 105, then tacked on 100 more last year to again lead the Cougars...he also has eight career interceptions...Newman could have more tackles than any non-linebacker in WSU history.

BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: Against UCLA, the Cougars' expected starting lineup of 22 players will include 1 freshman, 7 sophomores, 8 juniors and 6 seniors, while the top 44 (two-deep) consisted of 5 freshmen, 14 sophomores, 14 juniors and 11 seniors.

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 38-30 (55.9%) and on the road the team is 32-43 (42.7%).

LONG DRIVES: WSU has had 33 scoring drives of 50 yards or longer, including seven in a win over California...eight of those 33 drives have been 80 or longer, 19 were 70 or longer and 26 were 60 yards or longer...One drive at Arizona covered 87 yards in 18 plays and lasted 8:06, the longest time consuming drive in Mike Price's WSU tenure...at Stanford WSU had drives of 18 and 13 plays in the fourth quarter that consumed 12:16.

HENDERSON THE BEST QB?: Receiver Nakoa McElrath recently joked, when asked if Jason Gesser or Matt Kegel threw the best pass, "Collin Henderson"...small wonder...Henderson has completed all eight passes in his three-year career for an amazing five touchdowns and 374 yards...that's a QB rating of 698.95...he completed one as a freshman in 1999 for 24 yards and a TD...last year he was 4-for-4 for 154 yards and two scores...this year he has thrown three passes for 71-62-63 yards and two TDs.

GESSER'S NATIONAL RANKING: Jason Gesser, through eight games, ranks 16th nationally in total offense at 268.25 yards per game, 13th in pass efficiency at 148.17 and 11th (tie) in points-responsible-for at 15.75.

JASON GESSER NOTES: 2001 season: Gesser's 432 yards passing against California was the third best performance ever by a Cougar QB...the top two are Drew Bledsoe's 476 yards against Utah in the 1992 Copper Bowl and Ryan Leaf's 447 yards against ASU in 1997...Gesser's 374 passing yards against Montana State is his second best outing...he had a streak of 64 passes without an interception before a pick against California when the receiver fell down...2000 season: Gesser threw six touchdown passes at Arizona, the most ever by a Cougar quarterback...his record setter was a 19-yard pass to Nakoa McElrath...Gesser threw 130 passes without an interception before Arizona picked off a pass in their 3-OT win...in that loss Gesser threw for 348 yards, his best outing of the season.

GESSER NEARS SINGLE SEASON LIST: Jason Gesser has thrown for 2,107 yards and accounted for 2,146 yards in total offense in eight games this season...his 2001 performance leaves him on the verge of moving into WSU's single season top 10 list...he needs 193 yards to move past Chad Davis (10th) on the passing list and 119 yards to pass Jack Thompson (10th) on the total offense list.

GESSER PUSHES CAREER TOTALS: Jason Gesser now ranks sixth on WSU's career lists for passing, 4,270 yards, and seventh in total offense, 4,512 yards...in passing Gesser needs 55 yards to pass Mark Rypien (5th)...in total offense he needs 297 yards to pass Ty Paine (6th) and 352 yards to pass Mark Rypien (5th).

GESSER PLAYS IN JUST 23 GAMES: WSU junior quarterback Jason Gesser has played in just 23 games, starting 18.

MIKE PRICE TV SHOWS: "KXLY Cougar Football Saturday" airs each Saturday during the football season at 12:00 p.m. PT, leading into ABC's Pac-10 Game of the Week...Rick Lukens, Dennis Patchin, Mike Boyle and Bud Nameck host the shows...FOX Sports Net Northwest's nightly (7:00 p.m.) Northwest Tonight program also gives extensive coverage to Price and Cougar football.

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, Nov. 3, will include ABC's regional coverage of Oregon State at USC at 12:30, and two FOX Sports Net games, UCLA at Washington State at 3:30 p.m. and Arizona State at Oregon at 7:15 p.m.

FSNW-TV: FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will replay WSU's Nov. 3 game with UCLA Sunday, Nov. 4, 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: http://www.wsucougars.com.

WSU RADIO: Bob Robertson, Jim Walden, Jeff Aaron, and Bud Nameck combine talents on the 24-station Cougar Sports Network. Robertson is in his 35th year of broadcasting Cougar sports, while Walden, a former Cougar head coach (1978-86), is in his first 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 Tuesdays 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 wsucougars.com.

SATELLITE: The Pacific-10 office transmits a weekly 30-minute highlight package each Wednesday at 11:30 - 12:00 PT on Telstar 6, Transponder 9, C-Band (if trouble, call 310-543-1835 or the Pac-10 office).

PAC-10 TELECONFERENCE: The Pacific-10 Conference hosts a weekly teleconference call each during the football season...the teleconference call begins at 10 a.m....Mike Price participates at 11:10 a.m....contact the Pac-10 media relations office for details, 925-932-4411.

PRICE AND PLAYERS AVAILABLE: WSU head football coach Mike Price is available for individual media interviews 11:00 a.m.-Noon Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (except 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 Jason Hickman 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.

INTERNET: WSU releases, statistics, notes and depth chart information are loaded weekly on the WSU Athletics Home Page. The address is: http://www.wsucougars.com.

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