WSU, 4-3, Set To Host No. 16 Oregon
Oct. 16, 2006
Washington State University, 4-3, 2-2 in Pacific-10 conference play, will look for its fifth win of the season when it hosts the No. 16 Oregon Ducks, 5-1, 3-1, in a radio-only game, 2 p.m. Saturday at Martin Stadium.
Saturday's game marks the only time this season the Cougars play back-to-back games in Martin Stadium and the second straight contest where WSU hosts a nationally-ranked team, having faced No. 10 California last week and the No. 16 Ducks Saturday.
WSU enters the contest coming off a 21-3 loss against California last Saturday. The Cougar defense held the potent Cal offense, which had averaged over 41 points per game in its previous five contests, scoreless in the second half.
It marked the first time since a 51-3 loss to Washington, Nov. 18, 2000, WSU has been held without a touchdown. Including the Oregon State game when the Cougars scored only one touchdown, a 13-6 win Oct. 7, it has been 13 years since WSU has been held to one touchdown over a two-game span, dating back to the 1993 season when WSU scored one touchdown in a 34-3 loss at USC and a 12-0 win at Pacific.
Oregon brings its 5-1 record into Martin Stadium following a 30-20 victory over UCLA, the fifth time this season Oregon has scored 30 ore more points. Jonathan Stewart rushed for 121 yards while Dennis Dixon threw for a pair of touchdowns in the victory.Saturday's meeting marks the third straight at Martin Stadium in the series, with Oregon having won the previous two by a combined six points.
BRUCE MID-SEASON ALL-AMERICAN: WSU senior defensive end Mkristo Bruce has been included on mid-season All-American teams by several outlets over the past week... Bruce was named to first teams by CNNSI.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and cbssportsline.com...in addition, cbssportsline.com named Bruce as the top defensive player in the nation at the midway point of the year.
NO TV VS. OREGON, UCLA GAME TELEVISED ON ABC: Saturday's game against Oregon will not be televised and will kickoff at 2 p.m. Next Saturday's game at UCLA will be shown on ABC-TV with a 4 p.m. kick from Pasadena.
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 has 10 for the season, an average of 1.43 per game. Bruce's teammate, Lance Broadus, is also ranked among the Top 50 nationally as his 4.5 sacks for the season has him 48th nationally.
WSU-OREGON SERIES: Oregon holds a 39-37-7 advantage in the all-time series between the two teams, including a 21-19-2 mark when playing at Pullman. Saturday's game marks the third straight that the teams have met in Pullman, with Oregon winning the previous two, including a 34-31 victory last season on a Paul Martinez 19-yard field goal with one second on the clock. The visiting team has won the last three contests in the series dating back to the 2003 season. WSU captured a 32-21 win Nov. 9, 2002, snapping a four-game skid against the Ducks and marking the last home win in the series for WSU.
PACIFIC-10 NOMINATIONS: WSU's Pacific-10 Conference POW nominations following the California game were: Brandon Gibson (offense) and Husain Abdullah (defense). There was no nomination for special teams. Gibson recorded career-highs against Cal with eight catches for 130 yards while Abdullah had a career-high 10 tackles, one tackle-for-loss and his first interception of the season.
2006 OREGON GAME CAPTAINS: QB Brady Leaf (16), PK Matt Evensen (85), SS Jon Pope (48), TE Dante Rosario (44).