Cougars Host No. 18 Arizona State on Homecoming Weekend
Oct. 2, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Martin Stadium (35,117) Pullman, Wash.
October 6, 2007 1 p.m. PT
WSU vs. ARIZONA STATE: The Cougars return to Pullman for only the second time this season when they host No. 18 Arizona State Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in a game televised by FSN.
WSU-ASU SERIES: Arizona State leads the all-time series by a 19-12-2 margin, though the teams have split the series when playing in Washington 7-7 (6-6 in Pullman, 1-1 in Spokane). The Cougars have dropped the last three meetings in the series after winning the previous three. The last time these two teams met in Pullman the Sun Devils came away with a 27-24 win, Nov. 5, 2005. In that game ASU held a 27-10 lead early in the third period, then held on for the three-point victory as both teams were held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Jerome Harrison rushed for 240 yards and two scores that game, while Alex Brink threw for 283 yards and a touchdown, a 49-yard strike to Jason Hill. WSU's last win in Pullman came Nov. 15, 2003, a 34-19 victory that capped a perfect 6-0 home mark for the Cougars that year.
LAST WEEK VS ARIZONA: Willie Tuitama threw for five touchdowns and freshman Nicolas Grigsby rushed for 186 yards in leading the Wildcats to a 48-20 victory over Washington State. Grigsby carried 30 times and caught nine passes for 76 yards, including a 22-yarder for a touchdown. Tuitama completed 22-of-31 for 346 yards with no interceptions. He also had a one-yard sneak for a score as Arizona (2-3, 1-1 Pac-10) scored 28 straight points after Washington State rallied to tie it at 20 early in the second half. WSU quarterback Alex Brink was 35-of-56 for 347 yards and three touchdowns for the Cougars. Brink became the school's all-time leader in career attempts (1,145) on his 30th attempt of the game, a 14-yard touchdown strike to Brandon Gibson. Gibson had 11 catches for 127 yards and a score, and Jed Collins added 10 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown, giving the Cougars two receivers with double-digit receptions for the first time in school history.
WSU-ARIZONA STATE GAME TO BE TELEVISED BY FSN: The Washington State-Arizona State game scheduled for Oct. 6 has been selected by FSN for a national broadcast. Game time for the contest has been set for 1 p.m. with the broadcast crew of Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis and Michael Eaves covering the contest. The game will mark the fourth straight appearance by the Cougars on live TV, the first time that has occurred since the 2004 season, when WSU had its first four games televised.
NO BREAK IN SCHEDULE: Starting with this Saturday's game against Arizona State, the Cougars return home for just the second time this season to face No. 18 Arizona State as part of Homecoming festivities on the WSU campus. Though they are home for two of their next four, the schedule maker did the Cougars no favors as WSU's next four opponents enter this weekend with a combined 18-2 record. WSU's home games come against No. 18 ASU (5-0) and UCLA (4-1), while they have road games at No. 14 Oregon (4-1) and No. 3 California (5-0).
NO TV FOR WSU-OREGON, GAMETIME SET FOR 12:30 P.M.: When the Pacific-10 Conference selected its television games for Oct. 13, the WSU at Oregon game was not on the list. Following the decision Oregon set the gametime for 12:30 p.m. The contest stops a streak of four straight WSU televised games.
WELCOME HOME COUGARS, IT'S BEEN A WHILE: When Washington State hosts the Arizona State Sun Devils (Oct. 6) in Pullman's Martin Stadium, the Cougars will have played five teams in five different stadiums. The Cougars began play at Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium Sept. 1, then hosted San Diego State at Qwest Field (home of the Seattle Seahawks). WSU played for the first time this season in Martin Stadium Sept. 15, when it faced Idaho before last week's game at USC (Sept. 22). This Saturday marks the fifth stadium in as many weeks when the Cougars visit Arizona before returning to Martin Stadium versus Arizona State Oct. 6.
BUMPUS CLIMBING CAREER RECEPTIONS LIST: Senior wide receiver Michael Bumpus entered the 2007 season tied for seventh with Tim Stallworth (1986-89) on the Cougars' all-time receptions list with 125. Following Saturday's five-catch effort against Arizona, Bumpus inched closer to the top of the list. He passed former Cougar greats Philip Bobo and Jason Hill two weeks ago against USC to move into second place and now needs 22 to pass Hugh Campbell for the all-time mark. Should he continue on his season average of just over six catches a game, Bumpus would pass Campbell in late October.
GIBSON BECOMING GO-TO GUY: Dating back to last season, junior wide receiver Brandon Gibson has caught at least one touchdown in seven of his last nine games. The streak began in a 37-15 win at UCLA where he caught two, his first two of the season. He then had one against Arizona before being shutout at Arizona State. Gibson added another in the finale against Washington before beginning the season with a touchdown grab at Wisconsin and two more against San Diego State. Against Idaho he hauled in a 21-yard score from Alex Brink, one of seven catches on the day, was blanked against USC then had a touchdown grab last week at Arizona. Over the past nine games, Gibson has caught a total of 60 balls totaling 879 yards with nine touchdowns.
TRENT A TACKLING MACHINE: Linebacker Greg Trent has picked up right where he left off last season, near the top of the Cougar tackling leaders. Over his past seven games dating back to last season, the junior co-captain has registered 65 total tackles, reaching double figures in three of those contests. Trent has led the Cougars in tackles in three of five game this season, recording 10 in the opener at Wisconsin,13 against San Diego State, with both being game-highs, a team-best eight against Idaho, seven at USC and nine last week.
GIBSON, COLLINS HAVE CAREER NIGHT: In last Saturday's contest at Arizona, junior receiver Brandon Gibson and senior tight end Jed Collins both recorded career nights. With 127 receiving yards, Gibson recorded the fifth 100-yard game of his career, moving him into a tie for seventh on the WSU all-time list. His 11 receptions were a career high and ranked tied for second on the all-time single-game receptions list. Collins, meanwhile, shattered his previous high in receptions (5) by grabbing 10 balls for 89 yards, both career highs. The game also marked the first time in school history a pair of WSU receivers had double-digit catches in the same game.
ABDULLAH MOVES UP INTERCEPTION LIST: With his second-quarter interception at USC, senior free safety Husain Abdullah moved into a tie for 13th on WSU's all-time list with his eighth career theft. Abdullah's interception was his second of the season and fifth over the last year and a half.
COUGARS ON FSN: Saturday's game against Arizona State will mark the first of three appearances by WSU on FSN this season, followed by UCLA (Oct. 27) and at California (Nov. 3). The Cougars are 8-14 on FSN dating back to the start of the 1996 season.
SECONDARY RACKING UP TACKLES: Through the first five games of the season, the Cougar secondary is getting in on a majority of the tackles. Three of the Cougars' top five tacklers this year reside in the secondary, led by junior safety Alfonso Jackson, who has collected 36 through the first five games, second on the team. Freshman cornerback Chima Nwachukwu is close behind with 34 tackles this year while senior safety Husain Abdullah's 28 tackles are fifth. Against USC, Nwachukwu tied a Cougar season-high with 13 tackles, 12 of the solo variety.
MISCELLANEOUS WSU-ASU NOTES:
In the last 10 seasons, WSU has advanced to four bowl games. The Cougars won their Pac-10 home opener in each of those seasons. In the six seasons WSU did not advance to a bowl game, the Cougars failed to capture their conference home opener;
The Cougars have not been swept by the Arizona schools in back-to-back seasons since 1999-2000. WSU was swept last year and lost at Arizona last week;
Arizona State has not won in consecutive trips to Pullman since 1998 and 2000. Arizona State defeated the Cougars at Martin Stadium in 2005;
This week marks the fourth time WSU has played Arizona in Tucson and Arizona State in Pullman during consecutive weeks. In 2002, the Cougars defeated Arizona 21-13 and Arizona State 44-22. In 2000, WSU lost 53-47 at Arizona and 23-20 to Arizona State in a pair of overtime games. In 1988, WSU lost 45-28 at Arizona and 31-28 at home to Arizona State;
Washington State is 2-0 against Arizona State in Pullman when the Sun Devils are ranked. The No. 8 Cougars defeated No. 16 Arizona State 44-22 in 2002 and unranked WSU knocked off the No. 18 Sun Devils 24-21 in 1981;
Overall, the Cougars are 4-4-1 against a ranked Sun Devils squad, including 4-2-1 in Pac-10 games.