Cougars Travel to Face UCLA Saturday
Sept. 27, 2010
PULLMAN, Wash. -
UCLA Bruins (2-2, 0-1)
October 2, 2010 The Rose Bowl 12:30 p.m.
TV: FSN NW
Radio: Washington State ISP Sports Network
SATURDAY'S GAME: The Washington State University football team (1-3, 0-1) looks for its first conference win of the season as it travels to Pasadena to face the UCLA Bruins (2-2, 0-1) at the Rose Bowl Saturday (Oct. 2). Kickoff between the Cougars and Bruins is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., and the game will be televised live by FSN Northwest.
FSN NW TO TELEVISE WSU-UCLA: FSN NW will televise Saturday's game between Washington State and UCLA with Tom Glasgow calling play-by-play, Jason Stiles serving as the analyst and Jen Mueller reporting from the sidelines.
WASHINGTON STATE vs. UCLA - THE SERIES: The Cougars and Bruins have squared off 56 times since the first meeting in 1928, with the Cougars trailing in the series 37-18-1. WSU is 9-21 when playing on the road, including a 28-3 loss the last times these teams met in Pasadena. Prior to that, the Cougars had won the previous three at the Rose Bowl. Since the start of the 2001 season, WSU has won six of nine overall.
NEWCOMERS SEEING TIME: Of the 60 players to see the field against Oklahoma State, 24 were making their debuts with the Cougars, or 40 percent. The Cougars played seven true freshmen - after playing just six in all of 2009 - and nine redshirt freshmen. WSU has added to the true freshman total as linebacker Eric Oertel made his collegiate debut at SMU and wide receiver Bennett Bontemps saw action against USC.
STARTING STALWART: Since WSU's 2007 season-opener against Wisconsin, Micah Hannam has started every game the Cougars have played. The redshirt senior has started 41-straight games, all of which have come at right tackle. The streak is the longest by a Cougar offensive lineman since Mike Utley started 42 in a row from 1985-88. Hannam is tied for the longest starting streak in the conference with Arizona center Colin Baxter.
FRESHMAN PHENOM: Wide receiver Marquess Wilson already has four receptions of 40-plus yards through the first four games of the season, more than any Cougar had in all of 2009. Wilson finished with a career-high 134 yards against SMU, his second-career 100-yard receiving game. He is just the second freshman wide receiver in school history to post multiple 100-yard games in a single season. Phillip Bobo did it three times in 1990.
COUGAR COMEBACKS: WSU's comeback from a 15-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter against Montana State two weeks ago is the largest comeback for a victory when trailing at the start of the final stanza since erasing a 21-point (42-21) deficit against Stanford, Oct. 20, 1984.
PASSING GAME SHOWING SIGNS: The Cougar passing attack has thrown for more than 200 yards in each of its first four games and currently ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in passing offense at 239.0 yards per game. Over the past two years the offense had thrown for more than 200 yards a combined seven times.
TOOMER CHANGES NUMBER: Sophomore free safety Tyree Toomer has switched his jersey number from 33 to 15 in honor of his good friend and teammate, LeAndre Daniels. Daniels, a sophomore who was expected to challenge for a starting role this season, suffered a neck fracture during fall camp that ended his playing career.
PUNTING HIS WAY TO THE TOP: Redshirt senior punter Reid Forrest has moved into second place on both WSU's career punts and career punt yards lists. He passed Gavin Hedrick (217; 1974-77) on the all-time list punts list against Oklahoma State. Forrest now has 233 career punts, and now trails only Kyle Basler (255; 2002-05) for the most in school history. Forrest also passed Hedrick (9,409) on the all-time punt yards list against SMU. Forrest now has 9,813 for his career, trailing just Basler (10,794). His career punting average of 42.12 ranks third all-time amongst punters with more than 150 career punts, behind Hedrick (43.4) and Basler (42.3).
ON THE LEG OF GRASU: Each of WSU's last three victories can largely be attributed to the clutch kicking of senior Nico Grasu. As a sophomore in 2008, Grasu kicked a 28-yard, game-tying field goal as time expired against Washington in the Apple Cup, and was perfect on his two overtime attempts, including the 37-yard game-winner in the second session (16-13). Last season against the Mustangs, Grasu nailed a 39-yard field goal in overtime to give the Cougars a 30-27 victory. And last week against Montana State, the senior nailed an 18-yard field goal with 2:13 left in the fourth quarter, putting the Cougars up 23-22, the game's final margin.
NWACHUKWU A LOWE'S CANDIDATE: Washington State University senior Chima Nwachukwu was one of 30 NCAA® football bowl subdivision student-athletes candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. A 2009 ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-American, Nwachukwu is a three-year starter for the Cougars, playing both the safety and cornerback positions. A native of Allen, Texas, the senior posted a 4.0 GPA during his sophomore and junior years and served as WSU's 2009-10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president. Additionally, Nwachukwu has assisted in several community outreach programs, including the Cougs Helping Haiti Fundraiser, Nike Shoe Drive and Reading Buddies, a program where student-athletes volunteer once a week to read to elementary school students. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
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