Cougars Travel to Eugene to Face No. 9 Oregon
Oct. 9, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Washington State (2-4, 0-3) vs. No. 9 Oregon (4-1, 1-1)
Autzen Stadium (54,000) Eugene, Ore.
October 13, 2007 12:30 p.m. PT
WSU vs. OREGON: After playing at Martin Stadium for only the second time this season against Arizona State, WSU hits the road again to face Oregon at Autzen Stadium. The game will be the first for WSU in Eugene since the 2003 season, a 55-16 WSU win.
WSU-OREGON SERIES: WSU is 38-39-7 all-time against Oregon, though when the Ducks play at home the teams are an even 16-16-4. The Cougars won last year's matchup 34-23 at Martin Stadium in Pullman. Jed Collins scored two touchdowns and Alex Brink completed a school record 87-percent of his passes that day, upsetting the No. 16 Ducks. Dwight Tardy also rushed for 145 yards, still his career high, and added a touchdown. The Cougars left with a victory the last time they played at Autzen Stadium. In 2003, WSU (ranked No. 21 at the time) defeated the 10th-ranked Ducks 55-16.
LAST WEEK vs. ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State freshman kicker Thomas Weber connected on a 37-yard field goal with 50 seconds left that lifted undefeated Sun Devils to a 23-20 win at Washington State. Alex Brink then drove the Cougars 51 yards in 38 seconds to set up the potential tying field goal, but the kick went wide left. Washington State had its best defensive showing of the season as Andy Mattingly had four of the Cougars' seven sacks, second on WSU's all-time list, while sophomore Xavier Hicks, in his first start, recorded a career-best 17 tackles. Offensively, Brink completed 27-of-50 passes for 369 yards with two touchdowns, and set a Washington State record for career yards passing with 8,923. Jason Gesser previously held the record with 8,830 yards. Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter completed 19-of-27 passes for 217 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
GESSER ON HAND TO CONGRATULATE BRINK: Following the Cougars' late fourth-quarter drive that tied the game at 20-20 against the Sun Devils, Washington State University took a moment to congratulate senior quarterback Alex Brink, who on a 13-yard pass to Michael Bumpus during that drive became the Cougars' all-time passing yards leader. During the change of possession timeout, Brink was handed the game ball from former cougar great Jason Gesser, the man he passed for the top spot on the list.
NO BREAK IN SCHEDULE: Starting with last Saturday's game against Arizona State, the Cougars are in a stretch when they face four opponents with a combined record of 19-3 entering this week. The Sun Devils remain unbeaten at 6-0, while this week's opponent, Oregon, is 4-1. UCLA (Oct. 27) is next on the schedule and currently stands at 4-2 while WSU closes out the stretch at No. 2 California, which is 5-0.
THREE DOWN, ONE TO GO: By moving ahead of Jason Gesser for the top spot on the all-time passing yards list, quarterback Alex Brink now holds three of the four major passing records in WSU history. Earlier this season Brink moved to the top of the attempts and completions lists, and last Saturday added passing yards to the group. Next up for Brink is the career touchdown passes list, which he trails Gesser (71) by four. Brink has thrown 17 touchdowns in his first six games and if he keeps at his current pace, will pass Gesser at home against UCLA, Oct. 27.
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.
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 six-catch effort against Arizona State, Bumpus inched closer to the top of the list. He passed former Cougar greats Philip Bobo and Jason Hill three weeks ago against USC to move into second place and now needs 16 to pass Hugh Campbell for the all-time mark. Should he continue on his season average of six catches a game, Bumpus would pass Campbell in early November.
MATTINGLY MAKES IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: Sophomore linebacker Andy Mattingly took advantage of his first career start and responded with career-highs in tackles (13), sacks (4) and tackles-for-loss (5). Starting in place of the injured Kendrick Dunn, Mattingly tied a school record with his five TFLs while his four sacks rank second on the all-time list, trailing only Mkristo Bruce, who recorded five sacks last season at Stanford.
HICKS SHINES AGAINST SUN DEVILS: Sophomore safety Xavier Hicks, Jr., starting against Arizona State in place of the injured Alfonso Jackson, responded with a game- and career-high 17 tackles, 10 of the solo variety. In making his first career start, Hicks recorded the most tackles by a Cougar player since former All-American safety Lamont Thompson had 17 against Oregon, Oct. 27, 2001. Additionally, hicks blocked an extra-point attempt in the third quarter.
GIBSON CONTINUES TOUCHDOWN PACE: Dating back to last season, junior wide receiver Brandon Gibson has caught at least one touchdown in eight of his last 10 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 at Arizona and against Arizona State. Over the past 10 games, Gibson has caught a total of 65 balls totaling 959 yards with 10 touchdowns.
ABDULLAH MOVES UP INTERCEPTION LIST: With his second-quarter interception against Arizona State, senior free safety Husain Abdullah moved into a tie for 11th on WSU's all-time list with his ninth career theft. Abdullah's interception was his third of the season and sixth over the last year and a half.
LAST SECOND LOSSES LEAD TO VICTORIES: Though WSU fell to 18th-ranked Arizona State last week on a field goal with 0:50 left on the clock, history suggests a different outcome this week...each of the last five times the Cougars lost in the final minute of a game, they bounced back with a win the following week...on three of the five occasions, the Cougars lost at home in the final minute and posted a victory on the road the following week.
2005 - Lost to Oregon at home on 19-yard field goal with 0:01 remaining, then beat Washington on the road
2000 - Lost to Idaho at home on a 1-yard TD run with 0:40 remaining, then beat California on the road
1999 - Lost to Arizona at home on a 42-yard pass with 0:00 remaining, then beat California at home
1989 - Lost to USC at home on a 2-yard pass with 0:02 remaining, then beat Oregon on the road
1984 - Lost to UCLA on the road on a 47-yard field goal with 0:00 remaining, then beat Stanford on the road
WHEN OREGON IS RANKED: The Cougars are 4-4 against a ranked Oregon team since the formation of the Pacific-10 Conference in 1978...WSU has knocked off a ranked Ducks team in each of the last three times Oregon has been ranked...the Cougars are 2-1 against a ranked Oregon team on the road.
RANKED TEAMS BACK-TO-BACK: After playing Arizona State (No. 18) last week and Oregon this week (No. 9), the Cougars will have played back-to-back ranked teams in the same season in seven of the last eight years...WSU came away with at least one victory in the back-to-back games in five of the previous seven seasons...the Cougars are 3-2 when playing the higher-ranked team in the latter of the two contests.
2006 - Lost to No. 10 California / Defeated No. 16 Oregon
2005 - Lost to No. 12 UCLA / Lost to No. 25 California / Lost to No. 1 USC
2004 - Did not face ranked teams in back-to-back games
2003 - Lost to No. 19 Notre Dame / Defeated No. 17 Colorado
2002 - Defeated No. 16 Arizona State / Defeated No. 15 Oregon
2001 - Lost to No. 11 Oregon / Defeated No. 9 UCLA
2000 - Lost to No. 18 Oregon State / Lost to No. 7 Oregon