WSU Cougars, 4-2, Host No. 10 California
Oct. 9, 2006
The WSU Cougars 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Pacific-10 Conference play, host the California Bears, 5-2, 3-1, Saturday in a 2 p.m. at Martin Stadium.
WSU is coming off a 13-6 victory at Oregon State last Saturday, snapping a two-game skid at Corvallis. The defense led the way with six sacks while holding the Beavers to a pair of field goals. It marked the lowest output by a conference opponent since the Cougars defeated Oregon State, 24-3, Oct. 12, 1996, at Corvallis.
Cal enters the contest riding a five-game winning streak following a 45-24 victory over Oregon last Saturday at Berkeley. After a season-opening loss at Tennessee, the Bears have scored 41 or more points in each of the last five games, including double-digit victories over No. 22 Arizona State (49-21) and No. 11 Oregon (45-24).
The Cougars will look to extend their 10-game winning streak over California when playing in Pullman, dating back to the 1979 season. The last time these teams met in Pullman, the Cougars came away with a 51-20 win, Sept. 22, 2001.
BRUCE CONTINUES TO LEAD NATION IN SACKS: WSU senior defensive end Mkristo Bruce continues to lead all Division I-A players in sacks following the latest release by the NCAA. Bruce garnered two sacks at Oregon State, giving him 10 for the season, an average of 1.67 per game. Bruce's teammates, Lance Broadus and Scott Davis, are also among the Top 50 nationally. Broadus has 4.5 for the season, tied for 27th nationally, while Davis had three sacks at Oregon State, giving him four for the season, which places him in a tie for 44th nationally.
DAVIS NAMED PAC-10 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior linebacker Scott Davis has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his performance last Saturday at Oregon State. Davis registered six tackles, all solo, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and two pass break-ups. In OSU's final drive Davis had two sacks and a quarterback hit, including a 10-yard sack on the Beavers' final play of the game. The award is the second bestowed on a WSU defensive player this season as Mkristo Bruce earned the honor following his five-sack performance during the Stanford game.
WSU-CAL SERIES: California leads the all-time series 37-25-5, including a 42-38 victory last season at Berkeley. When playing in Pullman, the Cougars own a 14-8-1 advantage, including a 10-game winning streak dating back to the 1979 season, a 45-13 Cal victory, Nov. 10, 1979. Since that time, WSU has outscored Cal 354-165 in Pullman, averaging over 35 points per game.
COUGAR RUN DEFENSE TO GET TEST: The WSU defense has not allowed a 100-yard runner since Auburn's Kenny Irons went for 157 in the opening game of the season. Since then, the Cougar defense has allowed an average of 60.0 yards per game, moving up to third in the Pac-10 and 24th nationally at 98.83 yards per game. Another tough test awaits this week as Cal running back Marshawn Lynch and his 100.83 average travel to Pullman. As a team the Golden Bears rush for 167.33 yards per game, third in the conference.
PACIFIC-10 NOMINATIONS: WSU's Pacific-10 Conference POW nominations following the Oregon State game were: Jason Hill (offense), Scott Davis (defense) and Darryl Blunt (special teams). Hill caught five passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, becoming WSU's all-time leader in career receiving yards with 2,504. Davis registered three sacks, six tackles, two fumble recoveries and two pass break-ups. Blunt averaged 43.2 yards on six punts, including a long of 55. He also ran 23 yards for a first down, setting up WSU's second field goal of the game.
2006 CALIFORNIA GAME CAPTAINS: LB Desmond Bishop (10), DL Abu Ma'afala (43), TE Craig Stevens (82), OL Erik Robertson (75).