WSU Looks To Snap Skid At UCLA
Nov. 1, 2004
The Washington State Cougar football team, 3-5 overall and 1-4 in Pacific-10 Conference play, head to Pasadena this week to take on the UCLA Bruins in a 12:30 p.m. Pac-10 game at the Rose Bowl. UCLA brings a 5-3 mark and a 3-2 league record into the game, which will not be televised live.
Last week the Cougars got an up close and personal look at the nation's number one team, the USC Trojans, losing 42-12 in Pullman. Meanwhile, UCLA flexed its defensive muscles with a 21-0 shutout of Stanford. It was the Bruins' first shutout since 1996 when they blanked Northeast Louisiana 44-0.
Saturday's game will be the 51st in the series that started in 1928 with the first of three straight WSU wins. In fact, UCLA did not score against WSU in the first three games, then blanked WSU 7-0 in 1933 for its first win. The Bruins currently own a 34-15-1 series advantage, but the Cougars have won the last three meetings between the two teams, four of the last five games and six of the last eight.
Last year at home the Cougars prevailed 31-13. WSU's last trip to UCLA resulted in a 48-27 win in the Rose Bowl, a victory that clinched the Pac-10 title for WSU and a return to the Rose Bowl to face Oklahoma in the Jan. 1 BCS game.
Cougar linebacker Will Derting is coming off one of his best games, a 14-tackle performance against USC. He had 2.5 TFLs and 1.5 sacks to lead the WSU defense. Jeremy Bohannon also had a banner day with a career-high 13 tackles, while linebacker Pat Bennett picked off the third interception of his career and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. He now has two interceptions for touchdowns. The other came last year against Arizona State.
Following Saturday's game at UCLA, the Cougars will travel to Arizona State for their final road game of the season. WSU closes out the 2004 season at home against the Washington Huskies.
WSU AT UCLA 12:30 P.M.: Kickoff time for Washington State's Nov. 6 football game at UCLA will be 12:30 p.m. and there will be no live television...WSU television partner FSN Northwest will replay the game Sunday at 10 a.m..
FSN NORTHWEST DELAY SUNDAY, 10:00 A.M.: WSU's upcoming Pac-10 battle with UCLA will be shown Sunday by FSN Northwest. The replay telecast will begin at 10:00 a.m. on all FSN Nw affiliates in the Pacific Northwest.
WSU AT ASU: Pacific-10 Conference television partners ABC, FSN and TBS will not select the games they will televise Nov. 13 until next Monday, thus the game time for WSU's Pac-10 contest at Arizona State will not be set until next week.
APPLE CUP SOLD OUT: All available tickets for WSU's remaining game, the 2004 Apple Cup battle with Washington, have been sold, reports Dan Meyer, WSU's director of ticket operations. The only tickets that could become available will be from the Huskies, who have the option to turn back tickets they hold.
2004 CAPTAINS: WSU - QB Josh Swogger (9), OL Sam Lightbody (75), FS Hamza Abdullah (28), LB Will Derting (51), P Kyle Basler (8). UCLA: ILB Spencer Havner (41), TB Manuel White (29), plus selected game captains.
HILL NEARS RECORD: Sophomore Jason Hill has nine touchdown passes in the first eight Cougar games...he and five others are tied for sixth on WSU's Top 10 list...he is just two TD receptions short of the school record of 11 held by Kevin McKenzie (1997), Chris Jackson (1997) and Devard Darling (2002):
HILL RACKS UP THREE 100-YARD GAMES: Sophomore Jason Hill is having a banner season with 26 receptions for 699 yards and a 25.0 yard average...included are three games of 100 or more receiving yards:
BASLER PINS THEM DEEP: Kyle Basler, in his three seasons, has punted 182 times and in his career has averaged 42.8 yards, plus a net average of 38.4:
INJURIES HAVE COME IN PAIRS: The Cougars this year seem to suffer injuries in pairs...in the second game of the season against Colorado WSU lost both starting defensive tackles, Steve Cook (knee sprain) and Ropati Pitoutua (high ankle sprain)...while both have returned, neither is 100% healthy...then down went two tight ends, Troy Bienemann (lower leg bruise) and Cody Body (shoulder)...Bienemann has returned to handle the center snap on punts, but has seen limited tight end action, while Boyd still hasn't returned the field...then at OSU the Cougs played without two running backs, starter Chris Bruhn (knee) and Allen Thompson (shoulder)...Thompson saw some action against USC, but Bruhn has missed two games...and of course the Cougars have lost starter quarterback Josh Swogger for the year.
SWOGGER'S SEASON ENDS: Sophomore Josh Swogger's 2004 season ended this week due to a broken navicular bone in his right foot...among his accomplishments were a four-touchdown performance against Idaho and three scoring passes against both New Mexico and Oregon...Swogger threw 93 passes without an interception between the fourth quarter of the New Mexico season opener and the Oregon game last week...the bookends around that string of 93 passes are two interceptions at New Mexico and two against Oregon......he threw for over 200 yards four times, including 282 yards at Arizona...he hit 12 of 19 passes against Idaho before Alex Brink took over in the second half...he suffered several injuries during the season, including his right knee (posterior cruciate ligament), left shoulder (strain) and left ankle (contusion)...here's Swogger's six-game summary:
BRAIDWOOD SHINES: Junior Adam Braidwood has been one of WSU's best defenders the past two games, with 12 tackles and six TFLs...at Oregon State the defensive end made six tackles, two short of his highest total, but included in the six stops were three sacks and four TFL's...his three sacks ties him for sixth on the WSU single-game list...in addition, his four TFL's ties him for fourth with 13 other performances by nine Cougars...against USC he also had six stops, including two TFLs.
DERTING EVERYWHERE: Junior linebacker Will Derting, a pre-season All-America candidate, was everywhere against the top ranked USC Trojans, making a career-high 14 tackles, including 2.5 TFL's and 1.5 sacks...Derting has had TFLs in four of WSU's eight games...his previous high tackle mark was 13 against Oregon two years ago...last year he had 12 tackles at Notre Dame and 10 against ASU...in his three-year career Derting has made 202 tackles, recorded 26 TFL's (four short of WSU's Top 10 career list), resulting in losses of 120 yards (10th on WSU's career list), 13.5 sacks (10th on the career list) for losses of 97 yards (10th on the career list)...also during his career he has grabbed three interceptions, forced four fumbles and recovered four fumbles.
BOHANNON MAKES 13 STOPS: Senior safety Jeremy Bohannon made a career-high 13 tackles against USC, including 11 solo stops...Bohannon's previous best was eight tackles against Oregon...while not a starter until this year, Bohannon has 110 career tackles, including eight TFL's...he has made two interceptions, blocked a punt, recovered two fumbles and returned one 72 yards.
WSU ADDS HOLLYWOOD DRAMA TO FOOTBALL: Early in the season WSU was involved in several late-game wins and losses...the outcome in three of WSU's first four games was determined in the final 15 minutes of play...two of those contests, Arizona and New Mexico, were won by the Cougars, while Oregon rallied with 27 fourth-quarter points to edge WSU in the late stages of the game...also, Stanford held off WSU after the Cougars scored 14 fourth-quarter points in the first three minutes of the final quarter...since 1969, WSU has won 28 games by coming from behind in the final quarter...opponents have won 38 times by overcoming WSU leads in the fourth quarter.
WSU SCORES QUICKLY: Quick scoring drives are nothing new to WSU...this year WSU has 12 scoring drives that lasted less than one minute, including three against Idaho and two against both Arizona, Oregon and Oregon State...against the Ducks WSU took six seconds to score its first touchdown and 56 seconds to score on the second drive...in each case, the end result was a TD pass to Jason Hill...here's a look at quick scoring drives the past three years, all taking less than one minute:
PENALTIES DOWN: Through eight games, WSU has 56 (7.0) penalties for 487 (60.9) yards, including just one against Idaho and four against Oregon...the last time WSU had one penalty was 1986 against Arizona...opponents have 68 (8.5) penalties for 576 (72.0) yards this year...last year WSU averaged 11.5 penalties per game and 94.6 yards per game...WSU penalties this year:
TAYLOR GRABS FIRST PASS: Sophomore tight end Jesse Taylor, who has seen his playing time increase with the injuries sustained by Troy Bienemann and Cody Boyd, caught his first career pass against USC...he played in one game in 2002, suffered a broken hand, redshirted, then played in 11 games last season, but had no receptions.
COUGS 33-13 THE LAST FOUR SEASONS: Since 2001, WSU has won 33 of 46 games and is tied for 16th among D-I teams the past four years: Miami 41-4, Oklahoma 43-6, Boise State 41-6, Texas 39-8, Georgia 39-9, USC 37-9, Ohio State 37-10, LSU 37-11, Michigan 36-11, Tennessee 36-11, Marshall 35-11, Bowling Green 34-11, Maryland 35-12, Iowa 34-12, Iowa 31-12 WSU 33-13, Toledo 33-13.
COUGS SECOND IN PAC-10 SINCE 2001: The WSU Cougars boast the second best record among Pacific-10 Conference schools over the past four years...WSU trails only USC in overall record and Pac-10 records...here's a breakdown of Pac-10 teams over the last four football seasons:
COUG DEFENDERS DOING WELL IN NFL: Washington State University defensive alumni are performing well in the National Football League...six Cougar defenders have made 12 interceptions this season...during the weekend of Oct. 10-11 Lamont Thompson picked off two interceptions during the Monday Night Football game, while Jason David returned his first interception for a touchdown and Marcus Trufant had his second pick a day earlier...here are the six defenders with interceptions:
COUGS GO CRIMSON AND GRAY: For the first time since WSU's new uniforms were introduced in 2000, the Cougars wore a crimson top and gray pants at home against Stanford earlier this year.
SCORING STREAKS: WSU currently has three significant scoring streaks on the line:
WSU SCORING STREAK SECOND: Here are the two longest current scoring streaks among NCAA Div. I teams: Michigan 245, WSU 235.
NOTHING LIKE HOME: WSU performs better at home than on the road, as do most schools:
DOBA'S TEAMS SHUT DOWN FOES: Bill Doba has been WSU's head coach for 21 games and he has won 13 times...in those 21 games, his Cougar teams have held the opponents without a TD in the first half nine times...in 2003 WSU blanked Idaho, Arizona and Stanford in the first half and held Notre Dame to a field goal, Oregon to a safety and UCLA to a pair of field goals...this year New Mexico didn't score until the third quarter, Colorado had one first half field goal, Idaho was shutout until the fourth quarter, while Arizona and Stanford each had one first half touchdown.
HARRISON, THOMPSON AVERAGE 4.4 YARDS: This season junior transfer Jerome Harrison is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and junior Allen Thompson averages 5.2 yards per attempt, while senior Chris Bruhn is sporting a 3.8 yard average...the Cougar three running backs have gained 836 yards and are averaging 4.42 yards per rushing attempt.
BALANCED OFFENSE: The Cougars have a reputation of being a passing team, but over the past 11 years have actually run the ball more times than they have thrown...in 11 years WSU has run 4,891 rushing plays (50.2%), 4,860 passing plays...in 2003 WSU rushed the ball 484 times (50.3%) and threw 478 passes...so far this year in eight games WSU has run 270 times and passed 301 times.
MULTIPLE RECEIVERS: The Cougars like to use numerous receivers...nine players caught passes at Oregon State, while eight caught passes against Arizona, seven had receptions against New Mexico, Idaho and USC and six caught passes against Colorado, Oregon and Stanford...last year at least seven WSU players caught passes in each of the Cougars' first nine games and in 10 of the 13 games.
COUGS AVERAGE 54 PLAYERS/GAME: WSU's participation summary shows an average of 54 Cougar players see action in each game...against Idaho, 69 players saw action, while only 51 played against Oregon...here's the game-by-game summary: New Mexico 55, Colorado 56, Idaho 69, Arizona 53, Oregon 51, Stanford 53, Oregon State 55, USC 53.
BENNETT RETURNS INTERCEPTION FOR TD: Senior linebacker and former All-State running back Pat Bennett has scored two touchdowns during his career, both on interception returns...in 2003 Bennett grabbed a pass at home against Arizona State and ran 39 yards for a TD...he scored his second touchdown this year, picking off a tipped USC pass and running 28 yards to the end zone.
COUGS LIMIT THIRD DOWNS: Through the first three games this year WSU allowed opponents 6-for-24 (25.0%) success on third down plays in the first two quarters...in the last five games opponents are 16-for-36 (44.4%) in the first half...last year WSU foes converted 25.1% of their third down opportunities, including just 16.3% in the first quarter and 20.7% in the first half
THIRD DOWN SUCCESS IN THIRD QUARTER: Four of WSU's eight opponents have not converted a third down play in the third quarter this year...Colorado and Idaho were both 0-for-4, while Stanford and Oregon State were each 0-for-3...for the season WSU is 43-for-131 (32.8%) and opponents are 46-for-137 (33.6%) in third down conversions.
WSU NATIONAL LEADER IN TAKEAWAYS: WSU led the nation in 2003 in forced turnovers with 48, just ahead of Nebraska's 47 and 42 by USC...the Cougars also led the nation with 24 fumble recoveries and the team's 24 interceptions ranked second nationally to Nebraska's 32...this year WSU has picked off seven passes and recovered 11 opponent fumbles.
WHEN DEFENSE SCORES, WSU WINS: WSU has won 16 of its last 20 regular season games when the defense or special team units score...the exception was in 2003 at Notre Dame (defense scored) and this year against Oregon (punt return for a TD), OSU (safety) and USC (interception).
COUGS AMONG SACK LEADERS: WSU has 24 sacks this year, including: New Mexico 3, Colorado 2, Idaho 3, Arizona 2, Oregon 5, Stanford 2, OSU 5, USC 2...last year WSU finished the regular season with 50 sacks, second behind USC's Pac-10-leading 55...WSU had seven sacks against both Oregon State and Texas last year marking the sixth time in the past two years the Cougar defense has recorded six or more sacks in a game...the Cougars recorded a sack in 22 straight games between 2001 and the Arizona game in 2003.
TURNOVERS = POINTS: In the first four games WSU scored 28 points off 13 opponent turnovers, but in the last four games the Cougars have only forced eight turnovers and have scored just 12 points off those turnovers...last year WSU turned 24 of the opponent's 48 turnovers into 142 points...WSU took the ball away from the opponents 24 times with interceptions and recovered 24 of the opponents' 47 fumbles:
BLOCK THOSE KICKS: WSU has nine blocked kicks in two years, five placement kicks and four punts:
COUG TD STREAK: WSU quarterbacks have thrown touchdown passes in 44 of its last 46 games, every game during the 2001 (12) and 2002 (13) seasons and in 11 of 13 games in 2003, plus all eight games this year:
STREAKING COUGARS: WSU streaks currently include:
COUGS BOASTED STARTING EXPERIENCE: This year, while many of the Cougars have been on the field, few have significant starting experience...there are 187 starts among the offensive players and combined they have played in 421 games
ARMSTRONG THE STARTING LEADER: Senior Calvin Armstrong has played in 45 games and made 41 starts in career...other double-digit starters on the 2004 offensive team are Troy Bienemann 29, Sam Lightbody 24, and Nick Mihlhauser 18...on defense, Will Derting's 26 starts are the most, followed by Karl Paymah with 24.
BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: WSU's starting lineup of 22 players against USC this week include 3 freshmen, 7 sophomores, 4 juniors and 8 seniors, while the top 44 (two-deep) consisted of 6 freshmen, 17 sophomores, 12 juniors and 9 seniors...in the two-deep, WSU listed a combined 23 freshmen-sophomores and 21 juniors-seniors...35 of the top 44 are underclassmen
RED ZONE: WSU has scored 15 touchdowns and four field goals in 24 Red Zone appearances this year, while opponents have scored 17 times in 20 trips inside the 20 yard line...WSU failures inside the 20 yard line include one missed field goal, three fumbles lost and once on downs, while opponents have missed three field goals, lost one fumble and had the half run out
WSU JUMPS TO EARLY LEADS: In the first four games this year WSU allowed just 10 first-half points, a Colorado field goal and an Arizona touchdown...in the last four games, all losses, the Cougars have allowed 86 points in the first half, 14 by Oregon, 13 by Stanford, 24 by Oregon State and 35 by USC...in 2003 WSU outscored opponents 123-25 in the first quarter and 218-104 in the first half...WSU held a 95-79 second quarter scoring advantage, a 84-67 lead in the third quarter and 92-83 in the fourth quarter...the only first quarter points allowed by the Cougs in 2003 were touchdowns by Colorado, Oregon State (interception return) and ASU, a safety by Oregon, and a field goal by USC.
WSU STARTS STRONG AFTER BOWL GAMES: The Cougars, in recent years, have started the season strong coming off a bowl game appearance...in 1989 (after the 1988 Aloha Bowl) the Cougars started 6-1...in 1993 (after the 1992 Copper Bowl) WSU started 5-2...in 1995 (after the 1994 Alamo Bowl) WSU started 3-2...in 1998 (after the 1997 Rose Bowl season) WSU started 3-0...in 2002 (after the 2001 Sun Bowl) WSU started 9-1...in 2003 (after the 2002 Rose Bowl season) WSU finished 10-3 with a Holiday Bowl win over Texas.
RECRUITING CLASS RANKED: WSU head coach Bill Doba's first recruiting class, the group who signed NLI's last February, was ranked nationally by two organizations...the WSU recruits were ranked 19th nationally by Collegefootballnews.com, while TheInsider.com rated WSU's class 21st nationally.
SWOGGER DEBUT AMONG BEST: Josh Swogger completed 24-of-38 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start...his 240 yards against New Mexico ranks well in comparison to some of WSU's recent quarterbacks in their first start:
PAC-10 PICKS WSU FIFTH: Despite the loss of 27 letter winners, including seven offensive starters and nine on the defensive side of the ball, WSU was picked fifth by the media covering the Pacific-10 Conference when they gathered in late July...the 2004 Pac-10 Media Poll: 1. USC 240 points, 2. California 210, 3. Oregon 192, 4. Oregon State 138, 5. WSU 133, 6. ASU 131, 7. Washington 100, 8. UCLA 98, 9. Stanford 40, 10. Arizona 38.
BRUCE ATTENDS CONFERENCE: Sophomore defensive end Mkristo Bruce was among 321 NCAA student-athletes selected to attend the 2004 NCAA Leadership Conference in late May...the conference was designed to enhance student-athletes' leadership and communication skills and to enable them to become more effective leaders and motivators.
FALL SCRIMMAGE NOTES: In four scrimmages this fall, starting quarterback Josh Swogger hit 40 of his 72 passes for 455 yards, five touchdowns, with three interceptions...Alex Brink was 23-of-49 for 239 yards, with one TD throw and one interception...Jerome Harrison was the top running back with 174 yards and one score on 27 carries...Chris Bruhn had 15 carries for 44 yards...Marty Martin was the top receiver with 12 catches for 126 yards, while freshman Michael Bumpus had 11 receptions for 115 yards...tight end Troy Bienemann caught seven passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns...newcomer Tyron Brackenridge picked off two passes, while eight other players had one interception each...Mkristo Bruce recoreded 4.0 sacks in those four scrimmages, while Adam Braidwood and Aaron Johnson each had 2.5 sacks.
WSU'S OVERTIME EXPERIENCE: The Cougars are 2-6 in overtime games
Brian Winter SCHOLARSHIPED: Early September was an up and then down time for senior Brian Winter, who walked on at WSU three years ago...Thursday, Sept. 9, Bill Doba announced he was putting Winter on scholarship...then three days later, playing against Colorado, Winter suffered a fracture of the left fibula...he is expected to miss several games before returning to action in October.
OLD FACE, NEW NUMBER: Several members of the 2004 football team opted for new uniform numbers when camp opened in August...among the prominent players wearing new numbers are running back Chris Bruhn, who now sports #3, dropping one three from last year's #33...backup quarterback Alex Brink wore #18 last year and now is wearing #10...Allen Thompson is another regular who switched, going from #38 for his first two seasons to #4 this fall.
BASLER AMONG BEST IN THE NATION: Kyle Basler stacked up well in the Ray Guy Award's primary categories (average, punts inside the 20, % of punts inside the 20, number of returns, % of non-returned punts) finishing second among the 10 semi-finalists...the sophomore's numbers vastly improved from his freshman season...his average improved from 41.1 yards to 43.5 and more importantly, his net average was up from 35.3 yards to 40.5...he had 15 punts inside the 20 as a freshman, 30 in 2003...he allowed 19 returns for 288 yards in 2002, while in 2003 the returns were up to 29 but the return yards were down from 288 to 232...in 2002 he had 10 punts 50 yards or longer, in 2003 20.
COUGS TV DARLINGS: Seven of WSU's 11 football games this fall have already been selected for live telecasts...in May ABC selected WSU games against Colorado (12:30 p.m.), Arizona (12:30 p.m.), USC (4:00 p.m.) and Washington (5:00 p.m.), while FSN Northwest added the Idaho (7:30 p.m.) game and FSN the Stanford (7:15 p.m.) game to their lineups...ESPN was on hand for WSU's opener at New Mexico (6:00 p.m.)...FSN Northwest also replays the final 10 games of the 2004 season each Sunday morning...WSU's game with Arizona State could also be selected by Pacific-10 Conference television partners ABC, FOX Sports Net and TBS.
DOBA TURNS TO COUGARS FOR ASSISTANTS: When Bill Doba began assembling his staff in December, 2002, after taking over for Mike Price, he turned to three former Cougar players, a former head coach he worked for, and a Pac-10 offensive coordinator...four of the new coaches Doba brought to WSU have served as coordinators...his staff includes five former Cougar players, equaling the most graduates on any D-1 staff in 2003...here is a quick rundown:
1. Robb Akey, DC/line, joined WSU 1998, Weber State '88, came to WSU from N. Arizona, where he was DC;
WSU SENIORS: WSU will play its 2004 schedule with just 13 seniors, 10 of them on scholarship...the scholarship seniors include four on offense, OL Patrick Afif, OL Calvin Armstrong, OL Sam Lightbody and RB Chris Bruhn...there are six on defense, LB Pat Bennett, SS Jeremy Bohannon, FS Hamza Abdullah, DT Steve Cook, LB Brian Winter and CB Karl Paymah.
ROBERTSON HONORED: Veteran WSU radio broadcaster Bob Robertson, entering his 38th season with the Cougar football team, was honored in early August with the Chris Schenkel award, which was presented to him at the College Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, South Bend, Ind.
WSU AMONG ELITE WITH 10-WIN SEASONS: Washington State is one of just four NCAA Div. I teams to record 10 wins in each of the last three seasons (2001-02-03)...the others are Maryland, Miami (FL) and Oklahoma.
2003 SEASON AMONG BEST: WSU's 10-3 finish in 2003 equaled the fifth best record for the Cougars since the 1920's when teams began playing 10 or more games...WSU's best records include 9-1 (90.0%) in 1930, 10-2 (83.3%) in 1929, 1997 and 2002 and 10-3 (76.9%) in 2002 and 2003.
BACK-TO-BACK 10-WIN SEASONS RARE IN PAC-10: WSU is one of just five Pac-10 teams to post back-to-back 10-win seasons since the 10-team league was formed: WSU 2001-02-03, Oregon 2000-01, UCLA twice, 1997-98 and 1987-88, Washington twice, 1990-91 and 1981-82, and USC, 1978-79...WSU is the only team with three consecutive 10-win seasons in more than 50 years...USC achieved the feat in the early 1930's.
COUGS 10-WIN SEASONS AMONG BEST: WSU and USC are the only Pacific-10 school with four 10-win seasons in a seven-year stretch...USC has accomplished the feat three times...however, the Cougars are the only league school with four 10-win seasons in a seven-year stretch since the conference expanded to 10 teams in 1979...WSU was 10-2 in 1997, 10-2 in 2001, 10-3 in 2002 and 10-3 in 2003...in the last seven years WSU has made appearances in two Rose Bowls, 1998 and 2003...UCLA is the only other Pac-10 team with two Rose Bowl appearances in the last 10 years...dating back to the start of the PCC in 1916, WSU and USC are the only team to post 10 or more wins three straight years, USC doing so in 1931-32-33.
TWO QBS ON DEFENSIVE LINE: Two members of WSU's defensive line, Odell Howard and Mkristo Bruce, were high school quarterbacks...Howard prepped at Pomona High (Pomona, Calif.) and Bruce at Liberty High near Renton...Bruce passed for 718 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 602 as a senior, while Howard threw for 1,085 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year.
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