#8 Cougars Host Arizona State Sun Devils
Nov. 10, 2003
WHO: #8/8 WSU Cougars (8-2 overall, 5-1 Pac-10) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (4-6 overall, 1-5 Pac-10)
WHAT: 2003 Pacific-10 Conference Football
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 15; Kickoff 12:30 p.m. PST
WHERE: Martin Stadium (35,117, FieldTurf), Pullman, Wash.
TV: Live ABC Sports, WSU replay by FOX Sports Northwest Sunday, Nov. 16, 10:00 a.m.
THE COACHES: WSU - Bill Doba (Ball State '62) is in his first season as WSU's head coach (8-2) and in his first season as a college head coach (8-2). ARIZONA STATE - The Sun Devils are coached by Dirk Koetter, who is 16-19 in his three seasons at ASU and 42-29 in his six-year career.
WSU VS. ARIZONA STATE: The Cougars and Sun Devils have played 29 times, with ASU holding a 16-11-2 advantage...the Cougs have won the last two games, while the Sun Devils won four straight before WSU's victory in Tempe in 2001 28-16...last year it was 44-22 Cougars in Pullman...Bill Doba is 0-0 against ASU, while Dirk Koetter is 0-4 against WSU.
COUGARS CLIMB IN THE POLLS: Washington State used a 31-13 win over UCLA to climb back into the Top 10 this week...WSU is eighth in both the Associated Press media poll and the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll...WSU climbed to 10th in this week's BSC ranking. (see page 2)
DUNNING, DAVID MAKE SEMI-FINAL LISTS: Two WSU Cougar players have been selected among the best in the country at their respective positions...cornerback Jason David has been named one of 12 semi-finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's premier defensive back, while Drew Dunning is one of 20 semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Award, given each year to the top place kicker in the nation...Dunning also was a semi-finalist in 2001.
COLEMAN DOUBLE WINNER: Safety Erik Coleman was named by the Pac-10 Conference as the Defensive POW and the Special Teams POW for his play against UCLA...five Cougars have now won eight Pac-10 POW honors this year.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: WSU has won 10 of its last 12 Pac-10 road games...WSU closed out the end of the 2000 season with a win at USC...in 2001 the Cougars defeated Arizona, Stanford and ASU on the road before a loss at Washington, while in 2002 WSU defeated California, Stanford, Arizona and UCLA in Pac-10 action...this year WSU has won at Oregon and Stanford and lost at USC.
DARLING HAULS IN 16 TD PASSES: Junior Devard Darling has caught 16 touchdown passes in his career, 11 last year and five so far this season...he now ranks tied for fourth in career TD receptions...earlier this season he caught a career-high nine passes for 113 yards against New Mexico, just one reception short of making the WSU single-game list and only three short of the WSU record for one game...he has topped the 100-yard mark three times in his career, 133 against Oregon and 109 at California last year and 113 against New Mexico this season...Darling has caught at least two passes in 21 of his 23 games as a Cougar...the only times he has been shut out were against Washington last year and UCLA this season...
COUGS 28-7 IN LAST THREE SEASONS: Since the start of the 2001 season, WSU has won 28 of 35 games...WSU is currently tied for sixth among D-I teams the past three years: Miami 31-3, Oklahoma 33-4, Ohio State 30-6, Texas 30-6, Boise State 28-6, WSU 28-7, Georgia 28-7 and Marshall 28-7.
SMITH CARRIES THE LOAD: Senior running back Jonathan Smith notched the third 100-yard rushing game of his career when he ran for 130 yards against UCLA on 36 carries...in addition he caught a team-high four passes for 85 yards...in all he touched the ball 40 times out of WSU's 71 plays from scrimmage...his 36 carries tied him for fifth on the WSU single-season list...he also scored three touchdowns for the second time in his career, and accounted for 215 of WSU's 323 yards in total offense...his 215 all-purpose yards ranks 15th on WSU's single-game list...he had 226 all-purpose yards against Idaho to open the season, making him the first player to rack up more than 200 all-purpose yards twice in one season since Steve Broussard in 1989...the only other Cougar to have two 200-plus games in a year was Rueben Mayes in 1984.
SCORING STREAKS: WSU currently has three significant scoring streaks on the line:
COUGS IN THE POLLS: Washington State, during the course of the 2001 and 2002 seasons, was ranked for 28 straight weeks, the longest continuous stint in the polls for WSU...after finishing 10th in both polls at the close of the 2002 season, WSU was not ranked at the start of the 2003 campaign...WSU returned to the polls for the first time this year Sept. 14:
COUG DEFENSE HALTS RUSHING TDs: WSU opponents have not a great deal of success rushing for touchdowns against the Cougars this year...WSU has allowed 15 passing scores and five rushing touchdown...Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford and USC (twice) are the only teams to score rushing touchdowns against the Cougar defense.
WSU WINS WHEN SCORING IN THE THIRD: WSU has won 25 straight games when scoring in the third quarter...the last time WSU scored in the third quarter and did not win was the 2000 Apple Cup...conversely, the Cougars are 3-7 since the Apple Cup game when they did not score in the third quarter...the string is 19 straight wins when WSU has scored a touchdown in the third quarter...WSU did not score in the third quarter of their most recent loss at USC, nor in the win over UCLA the following week.
BROWN, ACHOLONU AMONG TFL/SACK LEADERS: WSU's senior defensive ends, D.D. Acholono and Isaac Brown, both rank among the leaders at WSU in both tackles-for-losses and in sacks, and in yardage lost for both categories...while Brown started throughout the 2002 season, Acholonu started his first game against Idaho earlier this year...
SACKS AND INTERCEPTIONS: WSU and Texas have each recorded 154 sacks over the last four seasons, the most any team in the nation...WSU also has 88 interceptions since the start of the 1999 season, ranking third nationally behind Oklahoma, 95, and Kansas State, 92.
COUGS AMONG SACK LEADERS: The Cougars currently lead the Pac-10 with 36 sacks, one ahead of USC's 35...the Coug's seven sacks against Oregon State earlier in the season marked the fifth time in the past two years the Cougar defense has recorded six or more sacks in a game...WSU also had seven sacks at Notre Dame earlier this season...the Cougars recorded a sack in 22 straight games between 2001 and the Arizona game earlier this season...WSU sack totals this year are Idaho 3, Notre Dame 7, Colorado 2, New Mexico 4, Oregon 4, Arizona 0, Stanford 4, OSU 7, USC 1, UCLA 4.
PAC-10 HONORS COUGARS: Four Washington State football players have been honored six times by the Pacific-10 Conference this year with Player-of-the-Week honors:
WSU JUMPS TO EARLY LEADS: WSU has outscored opponents 103-18 in the first quarter and 174-77 in the first half...WSU holds a 71-59 second quarter scoring advantage and 80-50 in the fourth quarter...only in the third quarter has WSU been outscored, 61-59...the only first quarter points allowed by the Cougs have been touchdowns by Colorado and Oregon State (interception return), a safety by Oregon and a field goal by USC...half of the 18 points have been scored by the defense.
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...this year (after the 2002 Rose Bowl season) WSU is 8-2.
BLOCK THOSE KICKS: WSU has blocked four placement kicks this season and blocked two punts...in WSU's opener against Idaho, freshman Cody Boyd got his hand on two field goal attempts by the Vandals, helping preserve WSU's shutout...he also had a blocked PAT against New Mexico...at Colorado defensive tackle Steve Cook blocked the Buffs' first PAT attempt...against Oregon D.D. Acholonu and Jason Hill each blocked a Duck punt.
DUNNING SETS RECORD: Senior Drew Dunning set a WSU record with five field goals against New Mexico, hitting from 37-36-23-21-49 yards...in 2001 Dunning set a WSU record for kickers with 101 points and then broke his own record with 113 points in 2002...this year he is really on a tear...he currently is third nationally with 21 field goals in 24 attempts (87.5%):
DUNNING NEARS FG MARK: Drew Dunning's next field goal will put him in elite company...the senior has 62 career field goals, one less than WSU record holder Jason Hanson, who hit 63 field goals during his career, 1988-91.
BALANCED OFFENSE: The Cougars have a reputation of being a passing team, but over the past 10 years have actually run the ball more times than they have passes...in 10 years WSU has run 4,516 rushing plays (50.3%), 4,461 passing plays...this year WSU has rushed the ball 379 times and thrown 380 passes...the passing game has had the upper hand in six of the 10 seasons, but usually by a small margin.
TURNOVERS = 126 POINTS: WSU has turned 21 of the opponent's 38 turnovers into 126 points this year...the Cougars have taken the ball away from the opponents 21 times with interceptions and have recovered 17 of the opponents' 35 fumbles:
MOORE ON NEAR-RECORD PACE: Sammy Moore is averaging 126 all-purpose yards per game, which puts him on pace to finish the year with 1,524 yards...that would place him fifth on WSU's single season list...the top four are Bernard Jackson (2,118 in 1971), Steve Broussard (1,790 in 1989), Rueben Mayes (1,768 in 1984) and Broussard (1,533 in 1988)...Moore has 457 receiving yards, 312 punt return yards and 503 kickoff return yards for 1,272 yards.
WSU START AMONG BEST: WSU's 8-2 start in 2003 is the fourth best ever for the Cougars through 10 games...the best start was an 9-0 beginning to the 1930 season (finished 9-1, losing to Alabama in the Rose Bowl)...three other Cougar teams have started 9-1...they are the 2002 (9-1), 2001 (9-1) and 1997 (10-1) clubs.
DAVID SETS INTERCEPTION RECORDS: Jason David now stands second on the career interception list with 16 and now holds three career interception records:
COUGAR SPECIAL TEAMS HOT: College Football News predicted WSU has the fifth best special team units in college football...they base their prediction on the basis of kicker Drew Dunning, punter Kyle Basler and return specialist Sammy Moore...so far this season WSU's special team units have lived up to the billing...Basler is averaging 43.6 yards per punt (21st nationally) and has dumped 22 of his 62 kicks inside the 20 yard line...his long this year is a career best 65 yards...Dunning has hit 21 of 24 field goals (3rd nationally) and has scored 91 points in 10 games...Moore is also having a great year, averaging 25.2 yards per kickoff return (31st nationally) and 9.2 yards on punt returns...he also has a 97-yard kickoff return for a TD to his credit, along with four receiving touchdowns.
COUGS LIMIT THIRD DOWNS: WSU rarely allows an opponent a third down conversion in the first and fourth quarters and only a 22% success rate for the game...opponent conversions are 4-for-30 in the first quarter, 9-for-41 in the second quarter, 13-for-34 in the third quarter and 4-for-31 in the fourth quarter, a total of 30-for-136 (22%) for the season...WSU did not allowed a first quarter third down conversion in five straight games and none in the fourth quarter in four straight games...
KEGEL IMPROVES EACH GAME: Matt Kegel has shown steady improvement as a quarterback this year and currently has completed 55.8% of his passes...Kegel also is protecting the ball well, other than the OSU game when he was picked off five times...he's thrown just five interceptions in the other nine games...against Colorado, Oregon, Stanford and Oregon State he threw three touchdown passes...in the past six games he has 13 touchdown passes...in his last outing against UCLA, Kegel suffered a right shoulder AC sprain after throwing five passes...Josh Swogger finished the game for Kegel, whose status this week will not be determined until late in the week:
KEGEL NEARING LISTS: Matt Kegel has moved into WSU's single season and career Top 10 lists 10 games into the season and 35 games into his career:
TURNOVERS: WSU is +8 in turnovers for 2003...in the last 15 years, WSU is -29 in turnovers...twice WSU has had fewer turnovers than the opponents, +12 in 2001 and +9 in 1994, while the turnovers were even in 1995.
NOTHING LIKE HOME: WSU performs better at home than on the road, as do most schools...since 1989, at home, the Cougars are 50-32 (61.0%) and on the road the team is 41-48 (46.2%)...WSU's 6-0 Pullman record in 1997 is the best ever for the Cougars, while the 2001 record of 6-1 is the best on the road since the 1988 team also went 6-1.
WSU DEFENSE HALTS LONG RUSHES: In the last 15 years WSU has allowed just 173 runs of 20 yards or longer in 171 games...this year the Cougars have allowed 9 runs of 20 or more yards and 17 runs of 10-19 yards.
COUGS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pac-10 in pass efficiency defense, scoring defense, sacks, opponent third down conversions and field goals and are second in seven other categories...Jason David leads the Pac-10 in passes defensed, while Sammy Moore is the leader in kickoff returns and Drew Dunning leads in field goals and field goal percentage...ranked second in the Pac-120 are Eric Coleman and David in interceptions, Dunning in kick scoring and Sammy Moore in all-purpose running.
COUGS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: WSU is fourth nationally in pass efficiency defense, 10th in rushing defense, 13th in net punting, 17th in passing offense and 21st in turnover margin...Drew dunning ranks third nationally in field goals, while Erik Coleman and Jason David are tied for eighth...Dunning is also 18th in scoring, while Kyle Basler is 21st in punting and Sammy Moore is 28th in all-purpose running.
COUGS SCORE OFTEN: Since 1980 WSU has averaged 26.3 points per game...this year WSU is averaging 31.3 points per outing and last year the average was 33.2 points.
RUSHING TOTALS UNDER 100: In the last 15 years WSU has held 68 of 171 opponents to less than 100 yards rushing...the lows include Montana State -35 (1993), Arizona -17 (2002), Pacific -6 (1993) and Montana's -6 (1995)...in those 171 games, WSU held opponents to 50 or less yards 20 times...Notre Dame, USC and UCLA are the only teams this year to go over 100 yards.
100-YARD RUSHERS FEW: Only 63 running backs have been able to crack the 100-yard mark in the last 15 years and 171 games against WSU's defense...USC's LenDale White and UCLA's Tyler Ebell are the only backs this year to top 100 yards rushing against WSU.
COUGS BOAST STARTING EXPERIENCE: WSU fields an experienced team in 2003, with 40 players having started at least one game...in all, the Cougars boast a collective 522 starts, 251 by defensive players, 212 by offensive players and 59 by kickers.
DEFENSE EXPERIENCED: Ten WSU defensive players have each played in 30 or more games and five others have seen action in at least 20 games...in all 15 defensive players who have made 240 starts have also played in a collective 491 games:
OFFENSE HAS 212 STARTS: WSU boasts 23 offensive players who have made a collective 212 starts during their career and have seen action in 473 games...one Cougar lineman, Josh Parrish, has played in 40 games, while three other linemen have seen action in 20 or more games:
TEN COUGS BOAST 20+ STARTS: Ten starters have made 20 or more starts in their career and 15 players have made 10 or more starts...Drew Dunning (36), Josh Parrish (34), Jason David (32), Calvin Armstrong (30), Tai Tupai (29), Erik Coleman (29), Al Genatone (25), Isaac Brown (24), Virgil Williams (23) and Devard Darling (23) all have 20 or more career starts.
BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: WSU's starting lineup against Arizona State of 22 players includes 1 freshmen, 3 sophomores, 4 juniors and 14 seniors, while the top 44 (two-deep) consists of 8 freshmen, 8 sophomores, 11 juniors and 17 seniors...in the two-deep, WSU lists a combined 16 freshmen-sophomores and 28 juniors-seniors.
RED ZONE: In 2003 WSU has scored 31 times in 42 trips into the Red Zone, 19 touchdowns and 12 field goals...the failures have been five interceptions, three fumbles, once on downs and two times at the end of the half...opponents have scored 13 touchdowns and 8 field goals in 28 Red Zone appearance...the failures were a blocked field goal, a missed field goal, three interception and twice on downs.
COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 1995: WSU is 11-20 against ranked teams since 1995...when WSU has also been ranked, the Cougars are 5-7.
WSU SCORING STREAK FIFTH: Here are the longest current scoring streaks among NCAA Div. I teams: BYU 361, Texas 275, Washington 263, Michigan 236, WSU 224.
MULTIPLE RECEIVERS: At least seven WSU players caught passes in each of the Cougars' first nine games this year...in all, six wide receivers, two tight ends and three running backs have catches...only three players had receptions in WSU's win over UCLA.
STREAKING COUGARS: WSU has won six of seven Pac-10 road games, seven of eight Pac-10 games in California, 11 of 12 games against California schools and six of the last seven league games.
TURNOVERS NOW HURTING WSU: Through the first seven games of the season WSU opponents scored 24 points off 12 Cougar turnovers...in the last three games opponents have scored 46 points off 18 WSU turnovers...Oregon State scored 16 points off Cougar turnovers, USC tallied 24 points off WSU turnovers and UCLA added six points off turnovers by the Cougars.
COUG TD STREAK: WSU quarterbacks threw touchdown passes in every game during the 2001 and 2002 seasons and in seven of nine games this year...the two games when WSU didn't throw a TD pass were against Idaho to open the 2003 season in Seattle, and at home against New Mexico...WSU won both games without going to the air for a score...the last time WSU didn't throw a TD pass at an opponents home field or in a bowl game was at Hawai'I to close out the 1999 season...since then WSU has thrown at least one TD pass in 22 straight games played at the opponent's field or in a bowl game.
DOBA LEADING ROOKIE COACHES: Washington State first-year head coach Bill Doba is having a great rookie season, guiding WSU to a 8-2 mark...only two other rookie head coaches have two losses - Bowling Green's Gregg Brandon and Louisville's Bobby Petrino are both 7-2...Michigan State's John L. Smith is 7-3, but he had head coaching experience prior to taking over at MSU this year.
COLEMAN SEVENTH WITH 11 INTERCEPTIONS: Safety Erik Coleman is having a banner senior year, pacing the Cougars in total tackles...he is also second in interceptions with six...Coleman has four interceptions in the last four games, giving him six for the season and 11 in his Cougar career...Coleman ranks tied for seventh in career interceptions, joining Don Paul (1946-49) and Torey Hunter (1991-94) with 11 each...ahead of Coleman is Eric Johnson, who finished his career with 12 (1971-73)...