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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Washington State Faces Montana State
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 10/15/2001
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Oct. 15, 2001

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WSU WINS BY 20-POINT MARGIN:
One of the goals this year for the WSU football team has been to turn the close losses of last season into wins in 2001...so far it is working...last year WSU won close games over Boise State and Cal and this year neither were close...WSU was beaten by Arizona, Oregon State and Stanford and this year WSU turned all three into wins...last year seven games were determined by seven points or less, with the Cougars going 3-4 in those seven games, including three overtime losses.

McELRATH AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS:
Nakoa McElrath, WSU's senior receiver is now ranked 19th nationally in receptions, 6.50 per game, and ninth in reception yards, 105.50 per game.

McELRATH COULD CHALLENGE WSU RECORDS:
Nakoa McElrath, averaging 6.50 receptions per game and 105.50 yards per game, is on pace to set two Cougar single-season records...at his current pace he could finish with 72 receptions for 1,161 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 Timm 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...here's a look at game-by-game totals for McElrath and Bush this season:

SCORING ROLL:
WSU has scored 36, 41, 51, 48, 34 and 45 points in six games...the last time WSU scored 30+ in six straight games was 1997...the only other seasons WSU has had four games of 40+ points were 1988, 1989 and 1997...this is the first time WSU has scored 40+ points against three Pac-10 foes in one season.

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 20th nationally and is second in the Pac-10, averaging 89.67 receiving yards per game...the last significant football-basketball player for the Cougars was Kitrick Taylor, who started with the football team (1982-83-85-86) and then joined the basketball team (1985-87)...Paul Mencke also played both sports in 2000-01, although he never started a basketball game.

COUGS'S RUN DEFENSE AMONG BEST:
WSU has allowed just 518 net rushing yards in the first six games, 74 yards by Idaho, 54 yards by Boise State, 71 by California, 76 by Arizona, 24 by Oregon State and then 219 by Stanford...WSU currently ranks 13th nationally allowing 86.30 yards per game...in 1994 WSU had a string of five mid-season games when the opponents each had less than 100 yards rushing, but WSU has not, in modern times, held the first five opponents of the season to less than 100 yards.

RECORDS FALL IN CAL GAME:
Two one-game records and one career mark fell during WSU's 51-20 win over California Sept. 22...they were:

  • Lamont Thompson picks off one Cal pass, the 15th interception of his career and a WSU record,
  • A school record three receivers each tally over 100 yards receiving, Nakoa McElrath 163, Mike Bush 144 and Jerome Riley 124,
  • WSU quarterbacks throw for a school record 513 yards - Jason Gesser 432, Matt Kegel 53 and Tali Ena 28.

    WSU EXPLODES IN FIRST SIX GAMES:
    WSU has scored 255 points in the first six games of the 2001 season, equaling the 1907 team's 255 points in six games...in 1988 WSU scored 237 points in the first six games, while in 1996 the Cougars scored 214 points and in 1997 it was 245 points...WSU's point margin through six games is 121 points, or 20 points per game...the Cougars are also averaging 465.7 yards per game with a total of 2,794 yards, the third most ever by WSU in the first six games...WSU's 1988 team holds the record with 3,225, while the 1997 team had 2,962 yards in the first six games.

    JOSH MOEN EARNS PAC-10 AWARD:
    Senior Josh Moen, who nearly missed his final year at WSU, was named the Pac-10 Special Team Player of the Week for his play against Stanford...he blocked a punt that resulted in a WSU TD and also had two tackles...a walk-on, Moen received some financial help during the summer from family members that allowed him to return to WSU for his senior year.

    DUNNING HOT:
    Sophomore Drew Dunning has hit 11 of his 13 field goal attempts, with a long of 49...he has tried 32 PATs and the only two not successful were long range boots after WSU penalties...he has scored 63 points.

    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...last week the score at Stanford was 21-14 after one quarter...here's a breakdown of WSU offense in the first and second quarters:

    MINNICH RUNS, THROWS & CATCHES TD PASSES:
    Dave Minnich had quite a day against OSU, rushing 34 times for 295 yards, both career highs...he also threw a 22-yard TD pass to Nakoa McElrath and caught a seven yard TD pass from Jason Gesser, plus he made two tackles and forced a fumble after Jason Gesser threw an interception.

    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.

    JASON GESSER NOTES:
    2001 season: Jason Gesser's 432 yards passing against California was the third best performance ever by a Cougar QB...Drew Bledsoe's 476 yards against Utah in the 1992 Copper Bowl is the WSU record, while Ryan Leaf threw for 447 yards against ASU in 1997...Gesser 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'S NATIONAL RANKING:
    Jason Gesser, through six games, ranks 26th nationally in total offense at 252.50 yards per game, 15th in pass efficiency at 150.55 and 12th in points-responsible-for at 16.00.

    GESSER PUSHES CAREER TOTALS:
    Jason Gesser now ranks ninth on WSU's career lists for passing, 3,896 yards, and eighth in total offense, 4,119 yards...Gesser needs 39 passing yards to pass Steve Birnbaum and 241 to pass Ty Paine...he needs 49 total offense yards to pass Chad Davis.

    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. 20, will include ABC's telecast of the Stanford at Oregon game at 12:30 p.m. and two FOX games, Arizona at Washington at 3:30 p.m. and California at UCLA at 7:15 p.m. In addition, the USC at Notre Dame game will be telecast by NBC at 11:30 a.m. PDT.

    FSNW-TV:
    FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will televise WSU's Oct. 18 game with Montana State live and then air a full-game replay of the WSU-MSU game Sunday, Oct. 21, 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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