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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
WSU Hosts Oregon Ducks In Pac-10 Showdown
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 10/22/2001
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Oct. 22, 2001

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THE COACHES:
WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 70-73-0 (.490) record at WSU in 13 years and a career mark of 116-117-0 (.498) in 22 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). OREGON - The Ducks are coached by Mike Bellotti, 55-23 in his seven seasons at Oregon and 78-48-2 in his 12-year career as a head coach.

WSU VS. OREGON:
Oregon took a slim 36-35-7 lead in the WSU-Oregon series, thanks to a 27-24 overtime win last year...WSU's last win over Oregon was in 1997, a 24-13 victory in Eugene...the Ducks have won the last three games...WSU's last win in Pullman over Oregon was 55-44 in 1996.

COUGS MOVE UP IN RANKINGS:
WSU's win over Montana State 53-28 and a perfect 7-0 record boosted the Cougars higher in the national rankings this week...WSU advanced to #14 in the Associated Press poll of writers and broadcasters, while the USA Today/ESPN poll of college coaches boosted WSU to #15...the Cougars moved into the Top 25 rankings two weeks ago with a win over undefeated Stanford...they debuted at #18 by the USA Today/ESPN poll and #19 by the Associated Press...the last time WSU was nationally ranked was in 1997, when the Cougars finished ninth in both season-ending polls.

WSU GAME TIMES CHANGE:
WSU's Oct. 27 game with Oregon will kickoff at 4:00 p.m. (ABC regional television) and the Nov. 3 game with UCLA will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Net television)

SCORING ROLL:
WSU has scored 36, 41, 51, 48, 34, 45 and 53 points in seven 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 308 points in the first seven games is the most ever for the first seven games of any season and one short of the record for any consecutive games in one year (309 in 1997).

McELRATH AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS:
Nakoa McElrath, WSU's senior receiver is now ranked 18th nationally in receptions, 6.71 per game, and eighth in reception yards, 112.43 per game.

McELRATH COULD CHALLENGE WSU RECORDS:
Nakoa McElrath, averaging 6.71 receptions per game and 112.43 yards per game, is on pace to set two Cougar single-season records...at his current pace he could finish with 74 receptions for 1,237 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 64 passes between them for 1,171 yards through the first six games...together they are averaging 195 receiving yards and 10.5 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 second in touchdowns, 2.29 per game, third in receiving yards, 199.1 per game, and ninth in receptions per game, 11.1 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 six games...he currently ranks 22nd nationally and is second in the Pac-10, averaging 86.71 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...WSU's last four opponents are a combined 21-4 (.840).

COUGS'S RUN DEFENSE AMONG BEST:
WSU has allowed just 652 net rushing yards in the first seven games, to rank 13th nationally allowing 93.14 yards per game...for the first time in the modern era, WSU held each of the first five opponents to less than 100 yards...in 1994 WSU had a string of five mid-season games when the opponents each had less than 100 yards rushing.

OFFENSE AMONG WSU'S BEST:
The Cougars' offense has generated 3,447 yards (492.4 yard average), the third most ever by WSU in the first seven games...WSU's 1988 team holds the record with 3,654, while the 1997 team had 3,477 yards in the first seven games.

COUGS HOT IN FIRST HALF:
WSU's first-half exploits in recent weeks are becoming legendary...at Arizona the Cougs led 28-0 after eight minutes...a week later against OSU it was 31-0 in the first 20 minutes...then at Stanford the score was 21-14 after one quarter.

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.

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....his career highlights include:

    1997 - Made six interceptions, all in the last three games, to lead the Pac-10...equaled a school record three against Washington...played in 10 games, starting last four,
    1998 - Started all 11 games and had four interceptions all in the first four games...two against Idaho,
    1999 - Four interceptions in injury plagued season... played in 11 of 12 games,
    2000 - Redshirt season while recovering from neck injury,
    2001 - Has three picks this season...set career record with interception against Cal...had first TD return, 36 yards, at Arizona...his third was against MSU.

INJURY UPDATES:
Information as of Oct. 15 - QUESTIONABLE: DT Nate Mallory (left knee sprain). DOUBTFUL: LB Alex Nguae (left ankle sprain). OUT: RB Dave Minnich (right knee), RB Allen Thompson (ankle sprain), LB Serign Marong (groin), LB Will Derting (ACL, right knee), OL Gerald Cook (LEFT knee), CB Marcus Trufant (broken wrist).

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

  • The Cougars have scored in 201 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 196 consecutive games since a 44-0 shutout at Ohio State in 1984,
  • The Cougars have scored in 166 consecutive home games since a 21-0 loss to Oregon State in Pullman in 1956.

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 11 of his 14 field goal attempts, with a long of 49...he is 34 of 38 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 67 points, leaving him nine points short of WSU's single season Top 10 list.

TURNOVERS:
WSU is +8 in turnovers after seven games and ranks 12th 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 39 times this year, scoring 206 points with 26 touchdowns and nine field goals...opponents have scored 79 points in the red zone...here is WSU's red zone success since 1997:

WSU'S EXPERIENCED SECONDARY:
WSU's starting secondary for Oregon has a collective 68 starts and 29 interceptions - seniors Lamont Thompson (28 starts, 17 interceptions) and Billy Newman (30, 8), and sophomores Jason David (6, 1) and Eric Coleman (4, 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....WSU needs to average 4.4 sacks per outing to break the current record.

NEWMAN NINTH IN CAREER TACKLES:
Billy Newman, WSU's senior safety has 289 career tackles to rank ninth on WSU's single season list...Newman is 13 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 six career interceptions...if he records 100 tackles this season he will finish with 350 career tackles and rank fourth...the school record holder is Lee Blakeney with 524...Newman could have more tackles than any non-linebacker in WSU history.

BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44:
Against Oregon the Cougars' starting lineup of 22 players will include 1 freshman, 7 sophomores, 7 juniors and 7 seniors, while the top 44 (two-deep) consisted of 9 freshmen, 12 sophomores, 14 juniors and 9 seniors...in the two-deep, WSU lists 21 freshmen and sophomores and 23 juniors and 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%)...WSU's 6-0 home record in 1997 is the best ever for the Cougars.

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 seven passes in his three-year career for an amazing five touchdowns and 311 yards...that's a QB rating of 709.91...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 two passes which went for 71 and 62 yard TDs.

GESSER'S NATIONAL RANKING:
Jason Gesser, through seven games, ranks 15th nationally in total offense at 272.57 yards per game, 11th in pass efficiency at 154.65 and 8th in points-responsible-for at 17.14.

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 1,858 yards and accounted for 1,909 yards in total offense in seven games this season...his 2001 performance leaves him on the verge of moving into WSU's single season top 10 list...he needs 442 yards to move past Chad Davis (10th) on the passing list and 356 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 304 yards to pass Mark Rypien (5th)...in total offense he needs 535 yards to pass Ty Paine (6th) and 590 yards to pass Mark Rypien (5th).

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, Oct. 27, will include two ABC telecasts, WSU-Oregon at 4:00 p.m. and UCLA at Stanford at 12:30 p.m....FOX Sports Net will also show two Pac-10 games, USC at Arizona at 3:30 p.m. and Washington at Arizona State at 7:15 p.m.

FSNW-TV:
FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will replay WSU's Oct. 27 game with Oregon Sunday, Oct. 28, 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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