Cougars Return Home to Host Portland State
Sept. 15, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Portland State Vikings (1-1)
September 20 - Martin Stadium
FSN Northwest - 4 p.m. (PT)
SATURDAY'S MATCHUP: The Washington State Cougars (0-3, 0-1) will host the Portland State Vikings (1-1) at Martin Stadium, Saturday at 4 p.m. in a game televised by FSN Northwest. The Cougars are playing their final nonconference home game of 2008 and searching for their first victory under head coach Paul Wulff.
Saturday's contest will be televised by FSN Northwest, with Kevin Calabro calling play-by-play, Cougar great Jason Gesser serving as analyst and Jen Mueller serving as the sideline reporter. Dating back to the start of the 1999 season, the Cougars are 8-0 in nonconference games televised live by FSN Northwest.
LAST WEEK: The Cougars are coming off a 45-17 defeat at the hands of the Baylor Bears last Friday, Sept., 12. The game was moved up one day in an effort to avoid Hurricane Ike, which tore through east Texas last weekend. The last time a WSU contest had been moved for a reason other than television was due to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The Cougars were scheduled to play Colorado Sept. 15, and the game was cancelled. Later that season, the Cougars added Montana State to make up for the game against the Buffaloes. Prior to the Baylor game, the last WSU football game to be moved to another date at the last minute was the 1963 Apple Cup, which was delayed one week due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
WSU AGAINST THE BIG SKY: While Saturday's contest against Portland State is the first meeting between the two teams, the Cougars are familiar with Big Sky opponents, having collected a 40-2 record all-time against current members of the conference. WSU is 6-0 against Montana State, 32-2 against Montana and 2-0 against Eastern Washington, though the last time those teams met was in 1908. The most recent game against a Big Sky opponent came during the 2002, when WSU posted a 45-28 win over Montana State in Pullman.
WASHINGTON STATE vs. PORTLAND STATE - THE SERIES: Saturday's matchup marks the first time the Cougars and Vikings have met on the football field. Though the teams have never met, this marks the second-straight year the two head coaches have gone against one another, with Jerry Glanville's Viking squad upsetting Paul Wulff's Eastern Washington team, 28-21, last season in Cheney.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior middle linebacker Greg Trent led the Cougars with seven tackles against Baylor and has a team-best 21 total tackles for the 2008 season. With his first tackle against Baylor, Trent became the 17th player in WSU history to record 250 tackles in a career. A four-year starter with 27 consecutive starts, Trent currently has 256 career tackles, which places his 16th on the all-time list. He needs 26 tackles to move into a tie for 10th place on the career list with former Cougar great Steve Gleason.
GAMES FOLLOWING FRIDAY CONTESTS: For the first time since the 2005 season, the Cougars played a Friday night game last week when the Baylor contest was pushed up a day. Since the 1966 season, the Cougars have played six regular-season games in which they are 2-4. Following those same six contests, WSU is 4-2 in its next game, with victories over Grambling State (2005), California (1977), Oklahoma (1967) and Baylor (1966). Not included in this Friday night record was a 38-36 loss to BYU at the 1981 Holiday Bowl, which ended WSU's 1981 campaign.
WSU SHINES AGAINST NONCONFERENCE FOES: Washington State is 18-3 over the last seven seasons when playing an unranked nonconference opponent. WSU has wins over Idaho (seven times), Nevada (twice), Boise State, Montana State, Purdue, New Mexico, Colorado, Grambling State, Baylor and most recently, San Diego State. The losses have come against Colorado (2002) and the Oklahoma State and Baylor contests this season.
COUGARS VS. FCS: Washington State is a perfect 13-0 when facing members of the current Football Championship Subdivision, which was established in 1978 as Divison I-AA...since then WSU has faced four difference FCS opponents, including Grambling State (1-0), Idaho (3-0), Montana (3-0), Montana State (6-0)...this week's contest against Portland State marks the fifth FCS school WSU has faced.
BUMPUS MAKES NFL DEBUT: Two days after being signed from the practice squad, Seattle Seahawk rookie Michael Bumpus made his NFL debut last Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers...Bumpus, WSU's all-time receptions leader with 195, finished his day with two receptions for nine yards, along with three punt returns for 45 yards.
FORREST RETURNING TO FORM: Following an off-season injury that kept him out of fall camp, including the first game this seaosn, sophomore punter Reid Forrest is retunring to form...last week against Baylor, he averaged 49.2 yards on four punts, inlcuidng a career-best of 59 yards...in fact he had two over 50 yards and one downed inside the 20...he has connected for a 50-yard punt in each of his last four games dating back to last season, something not accomplished as WSU since Kyle Basler had four straight games with a 5-yarder during the 2005 season...for the season Forrest is averaging 43.9 yards on 12 punts.