WSU Ready for High Flying #7 Oregon Ducks

Oct. 30, 2000

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WHO: WSU Cougars (3-5 overall, 1-4 in Pac-10) vs. Oregon Ducks (7-1 overall, 5-0 Pac-10)
WHAT: Pacific-10 Conference Cougar Football
WHEN: Saturday, November 4, Kickoff 2:00 p.m. PST
WHERE: Martin Stadium (37,600, FieldTurf), Pullman, Wash.
TV: No Live TV, Fox Sports Nw shows WSU-Oregon delayed at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5

THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has a 62-71-0 (.466) record at WSU in 11 years and a career mark of 108-115-0 (.484) in 20 seasons at Weber State (1981-88, 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). OREGON - The Ducks are coached by Mike Bellotti, now in his sixth year at Oregon...Bellotti is 46-21-0 at Oregon and in his 11-year career he is 69-45-2.

COUGS PLAY CLOSE GAMES: The outcome of five straight WSU starting with Idaho and ending with ASU was determined by seven points or less, with WSU winning two and losing three...the streak started with a 38-34 loss to Idaho...then came wins over California by four points and over Boise State by seven come the six-point loss to Arizona in triple overtime and the three-point overtime loss against ASU...the last time WSU played five consecutive games decided by seven points or less was in 1957 when the Cougars beat California 13-7, lost to Iowa 13-20, beat Stanford 21-18, lost to Oregon 14-13, and beat USC 13-12...the home field has not been much of an advantage in the close 1957 WSU was 1-1 at home and 2-1 on the road...this year WSU is 1-2 at home and 1-1 on the road in the close games.

2000 CAPTAINS: WSU - QB Jason Gesser (17), RB Adam Hawkins (37), DE Austin Matson (61), WR Farwan Zubedi (41). OREGON: The Ducks select game captains each week.

BREAKING DOWN TOP 22-44: Against Arizona, WSU's starting lineup of 22 players included 3 freshmen, 9 sophomores, 6 juniors and 4 seniors, while the Top 44 (two-deep) consisted of 11 freshmen, 12 sophomores, 14 juniors and 7 the two-deep, WSU lists 24 freshmen and sophomores and 20 juniors and seniors.

INJURIES: WSU's injury report for Monday, Oct. 30 from the training staff: Eric Coleman (bruised kidney, possible), Russell Mizin (shoulder, questionable), Dave Minnich (concussion, probable), Raonall Smith (quad bruise, questionable), Austin Matson (ankle/knee sprain, doubtful), Serign Marong (back, elbow, probable) Jason White (ankle, doubtful), Phil Locker (back, possible). Out indefinitely are: Lamont Thompson (neck), Wendell Smith (shoulder), Sam Lightbody (ruptured thumb ligament), Reed Raymond (left knee, torn MCL), Ryan Raymond (neck), Adam Davis (back), Nick Lambert (quad strain), Derrick Dillon (broken collar bone).

OFFENSE OFF TO GOOD START: WSU has generated 3,069 yards in total offense through eight games, averaging 383.6 yards...on the ground WSU averages 124.2 yards, plus 259.4 in the air...WSU has averaged 402.4 yards in the last seven games.

BURNETT TOPS 1300 RUSHING YARDS: Sophomore Deon Burnett has now run for 1,313 career yards, leaving him 426 yards short of a spot in WSU's top 10 list...tenth on WSU's all-time list is Dan Doornink, who gained 1,739 yards during career, 1974-77...ninth place is held by Bernard Jackson, who gained 1,779 during his two Cougar seasons, 1970 and 1971.

BURNETT SCORES FIRST TD OF YEAR: Deon Burnett's eight yard touchdown run against ASU two weeks ago was his first TD of the year...last year he scored 12 rushing touchdowns, the second most in a season by a WSU player.

BURNETT & MINNICH GIVE WSU 1-2 PUNCH: Last year's leading rusher Deon Burnett has some help this year in Dave Minnich, the ex-Marine who transferred this fall from Mt. San Jacinto JC...Minnich has played in all eight games, rushing for 445 yards and two scores, while Burnett has gained 339 despite missing the Cal game with a bone bruise...Burnett is averaging 4.2 yards per carry and Minnich 4.4.

SECONDARY PICKS 11 PASSES: Each starter has made at least two interceptions this season...Mory Banks, Billy Newman and Marcus Trufant each have three picks, while Chris Martin has two...for their careers, Martin and Trufant each have five interceptions, Newman four and Banks three.

LONG DRIVES: WSU has had 12 scoring drives of 70 yards or longer in the first eight games, including seven drives of 80 yards or more.

SCORING STREAKS: WSU currently has three significant scoring streaks on the line:

  • The Cougars have scored in 194 consecutive Pacific-10 games, the longest active streak for any league team...the last time WSU was shut out in Pac-10 play was at Oregon State in 1975,
  • WSU has scored in 186 consecutive games since a 44-0 shutout at Ohio State in 1984,
  • The Cougars have scored in 161 consecutive home games since a 21-0 loss to Oregon State in Pullman in 1956.

    GESSER THROWS FOR TD RECORD: In the second overtime period at Arizona Oct. 14, Jason Gesser drilled a 19-yard scoring pass to Nakoa McElrath, Gesser's sixth TD pass of the game and a WSU previous quarterback at WSU had thrown as many TD passes in a game as Gesser, including the Fab Four who shared the previous record of five - Jack Thompson (vs. Washington, 1976), Timm Rosenbach (Tennessee, 1988), Drew Bledsoe (Oregon State, 1991), or Ryan Leaf (California, 1977).

    ROCHE A ROCKY FAN: Derrick Roche, a sophomore starter on WSU's offensive line is a big fan of the Rocky movies...he is such a big fan, in fact, that he has watched Rocky IV before every football game since he was a junior in high school.

    LAST TOUCH WINS: In three losses to Idaho, Arizona and Arizona State, WSU opponents pulled out the win on their last possession...Idaho drove 57 yards to score the deciding points with 40 seconds to play...Arizona scored in the third overtime and then picked off a WSU pass to preserve their win, while ASU stopped WSU with an interception in the first overtime and then kicked the winning field goal...Stanford and OSU are the only victors over WSU not to decide the game late.

    RECEIVERS SET STANDARD: Nakoa McElrath, Deon Burnett, Marcus Williams and Milton Wynn have done something never done by a group of WSU receivers...McElrath racked up 106 receiving yards against Arizona and Burnett had 101 yards in the same game to become the tenth WSU receiving duo to each account for over 100 receiving yards in a game...the next week against ASU Williams and Wynn duplicated the effort, with Wynn catching five passes for 143 yards and Williams making six catches for 138 yards...that marked only the second time two pairs of receivers had each gone over 100 yards in a season...the last was in 1992 against Temple early in the season and against Utah in the Copper also marked the first time a pair of receivers had topped the 100 yard total in back-to-back games.

    OFFENSIVE AVERAGE OK: Three times this year WSU has averaged 6.9 yards per play or better and lost each game...against Idaho the Cougars averaged 7.0 yards, while at Arizona the average was 6.9 a loss to ASU the average was a season-best 7.1 yards...WSU topped the 7.0 average just once in each of the previous two years.

    GESSER NEARS TOP 10 LISTS: Sophomore Jason Gesser is closing in on a spot on WSU's Top 10 lists for total offense and passing yards...his 1,932 passing yards this year is 359 yards short of tenth on the list, 2,291 by Chad Davis in 1994...his 1,984 yards in total offense is 280 short of equaling tenth on the TO list, 2,264 yards by Jack Thompson in 1978.

    FUMBLES NOT GOING WSU'S WAY: The Cougars are having a little problem with fumbles bouncing the wrong eight games, the Cougs have lost 11 of 21 fumbles...the opponents, meanwhile, have fumbled 15 times, with WSU recovering just seven...the Cougars have fumbled the ball four times in games against Utah (a win), California (a win) and Arizona (a loss)...WSU had just one fumble against Stanford, two against Idaho and OSU and three against ASU...WSU was +5 in turnovers after five games this season, but has been -3, -3 and -1 against Arizona, ASU and OSU, respectively.

    MINNICH TOPS 100 YARDS FOR A SECOND TIME: Junior Dave Minnich rushed for 101 yards at Arizona, the second time this season the transfer from Mt. San Jacinto College has topped 100 yards...his first triple-digit rushing game was 118 yards at Utah.

    McELRATH TIES RECORD: Junior (transfer) Nakoa McElrath tied a WSU single game record with his three touchdown receptions from Jason Gesser Oct. 14 at Arizona in a triple overtime loss to the Wildcats...the transfer from Palomar College and graduate of Scripps Ranch High in LaJolla, Calif., hauled in a 54-yarder from Gesser in the second quarter, a 19-yarder in the fourth quarter that earned WSU a 26-26 tie, and then another 19-yarder in the second overtime that put WSU ahead 47-40...six other Cougar receivers have also caught three scoring passes in a game...the first was Doug Flansburg against Houston in 1966 and the last was Nian Taylor against Idaho in 1998.

    GESSER'S 348 A CAREER HIGH: Jason Gesser's 348 passing yards against Arizona was a career high for the sophomore...his previous high was the prior week, 290 yards against Boise State...against ASU a week after playing the Wildcats Gesser threw for 321...last week, however, Gesser had his lowest output of the season, 104 yards at Oregon State.

    GESSER STREAK HALTED AT 130 PASSES: Sophomore Jason Gesser threw 130 straight passes without an interception over nearly five games before Michael Jolivette of Arizona picked off one in the fourth quarter two weeks the season opener against Stanford Gesser threw two picks, the last one on WSU's last possession...he was 20-of-36 for 161 yards, two interceptions and no TDs against Stanford, a QB rating of the next five games, he hit 81 of 139 passes (two interceptions) for 1,346 yards and 15 those five games Gesser's QB rating was 172.34, which elevated his season rating to 153.76, a mark that ranked first in the Pac-10 and sixth in the nation...since throwing that first interception at Arizona, Gesser has completed 29 of 70 passes (41.4%) with seven interceptions and three touchdowns...his QB rating is now 136.90 and he still ranks first in the Pac-10, but 23rd nationally.

    DUCKS RANKED SEVENTH: Oregon, ranked seventh by Associated Press and eighth by USA Today/ESPN, is the highest ranked team WSU has played since the 1998 season when the Cougs lost to then fourth ranked UCLA...WSU did not play a ranked team in 1999.

    LAMONT THOMPSON TO REDSHIRT: Senior Lamont Thompson, who shares the WSU record with 14 career interceptions, will redshirt during the 2000 season and rehab his sore neck that has kept him out of all workouts since spring...the senior is currently undergoing physical therapy and neck strengthening exercises...several visits to specialists revealed no structural damage to Thompson's neck area.

    COUGS STINGY IN FIRST QUARTER: WSU's defense has allowed 430 first quarter points in the last 88 games (4.83/quarter) over the past eight years...WSU allowed 41 first-quarter points in 1993, 29 in 1994, 45 in 1995, 43 in 1996, 48 in 1997, 87 in 1998, 71 in 1999 and 59 in 2000...BSU and ASU both scored 14 first-quarter points against WSU...neither Stanford nor Utah scored in the opening quarter against the Cougs.

    COUGS AGAINST RANKED TEAMS SINCE 1995: WSU did not meet a ranked team in 1998 WSU lost to No. 4 UCLA, No. 15 Oregon and No. 10 1997 WSU defeated No. 22 USC and lost to 21st ranked ASU...unranked at the start of the season when WSU won, UCLA finished the year ranked the final game of the year, WSU lost to co-national champion 1996 WSU lost at No. 5 Colorado, defeated No. 25 Oregon and No. 19 California and lost to No. 12 Washington...WSU, in 1995, suffered losses to three nationally ranked teams: No. 2 Nebraska, at No. 5 USC and at No. 12 Oregon.

    PRICE THIRD IN WINS: WSU coach Mike Price is third among the current Pacific-10 coaches with 108 wins... Arizona's Dick Tomey leads Pac-10 coaches with 158, followed by ASU's Bruce Snyder with 125 and Price...Price, in his 12th season at WSU, is second in consecutive years at the same school...Tomey is in his 13th year at Arizona.

    MIKE PRICE AMONG WSU'S BEST: Only one Washington State football coach with tenure of five years or longer at WSU put together a better record than Mike Price...Price, in his 11 seasons at WSU, is 62-71-0 (.466), while his career mark is now 108-115-0...Babe Hollingbery was 93-53-14 (.625) during his 1926-42 (17 years) tenure...Price's record is the best at WSU in the last 50 years for coaches with a tenure of three or more years...Price's 62 wins at WSU ranks second to Hollingbery's 93...Jim Walden is third on the victory list at 44.

    WSU SECOND IN PAC-10 DEFENSE: Since 1992 WSU has been in the top half of the conference in defense all but once (1992)...the Cougs won the defensive title in 1994, allowing 229 yards a game, the best average in the league since 1982 and the second best since 1993 and 1997 WSU's defense was ranked second in the Pac-10.

    NOTHING LIKE HOME: The Washington State Cougars perform much better at home than on the road during Mike Price's 12 year home the Cougars are 35-28 (55.6%) and on the road the team is 27-43 (38.6%)...WSU's 6-0 home record in 1997 is the best ever for the Cougars.

    WSU'S OVERTIME EXPERIENCE: WSU played and lost back-to-back overtime games at Arizona (3 OT) and at home against ASU earlier this year...they were the third and fourth OT games for WSU 1996, Washington beat WSU 31-24 in overtime in Pullman...WSU's second OT game also involved Arizona and came in 1997 when WSU prevailed 35-34 in Pullman.

    GESSER/WILAIKUL PAC-10 HONOREES: Quarterback Jason Gesser and kicker Anousith Wilaikul have each received Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season...Gesser, for his play at Utah when he completed 11 of 18 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 37 yards, won offensive honors, while Wilaikul [pronounced A-new-sit Vee-lie-khoun] was the special teams winner after his three field goals of 38, 22 and 34 yards against Boise State...Gesser was the first Cougar to earn conference player of the week honors since Nian Taylor in 1998.

    100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES: Only two WSU receivers have ever had more than four 100-yard receiving games in a single season, current assistant coach Mike Levenseller, who had seven in 1976, and Tim Stallworth, who had five in 1988...current Cougar receiver Milton Wynn has four games this year with over 100 receiving yards...the others with four in a season are Hugh Campbell in 1962, C.J. Davis in 1992 and Chris Jackson in 1997...Levenseller also holds the WSU record with 11 100-yard games in his career...Stallworth had nine and Campbell seven.

    COUGS GO MARINES: While looking for a few good men the past two years, the WSU coaching staff discovered the Marines...a pair of WSU players are former Marines, Wendell Smith and Dave Minnich...Smith, from Spokane's Gonzaga Prep, joined the Cougars last fall as a freshman after four years in the service...this season WSU brought in running back Dave Minnich from Mt. San Jacinto College...originally from Stonington, Conn., Minnich spent four years in the Marines before going the jaycee route...Smith is currently sidelined following shoulder surgery in the spring.

    ZUBEDI'S SLIPPERY PET: Receiver Farwan Zubedi, one of WSU's four co-captains, has a unique pet that draws some folks to him while others will take the long way around him - a pet snake...not just your common garden snake hidden in the folds of his cloths or in a's a 4-foot boa named Unique...hard to hide and not everyone's favorite pet...Unique has yet to make an appearance on the field.

    COUG LINE AVERAGES 286: WSU's offensive line currently weighs in at a collective 1,430 pounds, or an average of 286 pounds...the heavyweight of the group is Phil Locker at 311...Josh Parrish weighed in at 284 this fall, while Tyler Hunt and Derrick Roche checked in at 280 and Billy Knotts at the start of the season, with both Reed (312) and Ryan (304) Raymond in the lineup, WSU's line averaged 294...the averaged dipped to 291 after the loss of Reed Raymond and now to 286 with both on the sidelines.

    OFFENSE ROLLS AGAINST ARIZONA SCHOOLS: WSU's offense generated 490 yards at Arizona and 488 yards against ASU in back to back games...50 of the yards against Arizona came in overtime and five yards against ASU were in the two games overall WSU generated 978 yards of total offense and in regulation time 923 yards...only once last year did WSU generate over 400 yards against a Pac-10 foe - 420 against 1998 WSU had 551 yards against Stanford and 482 against ASU...against the Sun Devils the last three years WSU has generated 1,261 yards, or 420 per game.

    WYNN SEVENTH WITH 804 YARDS: Junior Milton Wynn ranks seventh on WSU's single-season receiving list with 804 yards...Wynn's 44 catches leaves him 10 short of a spot on WSU's Top 10 list, where Doug Flansburg, Phillip Bobo and Leaford Hackett all had 54...with 804 yards so far and three games to play, Wynn should become just the fourth Cougar to go over 1,000 yards...others are Timm Stallworth with 1,151 in 1988, Mike Levenseller at 1,124 in 1976 and C. J. Davis with 1,024 in 1992...this week he could pass Hugh Campbell, 848 in 1962 and 882 in 1960, and Kevin McKenzie, 911 in 1997.

    WSU ON THE ROAD AT HOME: In years to come it may be a trivia question - When did the Cougars play on the road at home?...Sept. 18, 1999 Idaho was officially the home team and the Cougars were the visiting team, complete with white uniforms...Idaho currently uses WSU's Martin Stadium as their home field in an effort to qualify for NCAA D-I status...the Vandal's Kibbie Dome is not large enough to allow Idaho to meet the average needed for D-I status.

    COUG FOOTBALL HAS TWO SETS OF TWINS: WSU's football roster in 2000 includes two sets of identical twins...they are offensive linemen Reed and Ryan Raymond (Moses Lake, Wash., born 10/23/77) and linebackers Brandon and Ryan Pickering (Monroe, Wash., born 3/31/77).

    MORE BROTHERS: In addition to two sets of twins on the Cougar roster, there are five other pairs of brothers...they are Fred and Josh Shavies, Adam and Blair Hawkins, Pat and Collin Henderson, Raonall and Kealan Smith, and Deon and Anthony Burnett.

    BURNETT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Deon Burnett, a true freshman in 1999, notched the best season ever for a Cougar freshman running back...among his accomplishments:

  • Burnett was the first true freshman at WSU to start at RB since Derek Sparks, 1991 (Sparks had one start),
  • Burnett broke the Cougar record for rushing yards in a game by a freshman with 136 yards at ASU,
  • Burnett's 974 rushing yards was a WSU freshman record, topping the previous mark of 425, Rueben Mayes, 1982,
  • Burnett's 12 rushing touchdowns and 12 total touchdowns were the most ever by a Cougar freshman,
  • Burnett scored four rushing touchdowns against ULL, a freshman record and one short of the school record,

    WSU-WASHINGTON CONNECTION: Two members of WSU's 2000 football roster boast brothers who have played at Washington...Cougar Ing Aleaga's brother Ink was a standout 1994-95-96, while Russell Mizin's brother was a senior in 1999.

    NEW FIELD TURF FOR MARTIN: WSU opened the season with a new look when it hosted Stanford Sept. 2...the Cougars sported new uniforms and helmets, played on a new artificial turf, FieldTurf and were finally back at home in Bohler Gym with new offices and a new lockerroom...Nebraska was the first NCAA Div. I football school to use FieldTurf, followed by WSU...FieldTurf is a surface that looks and feels very much like grass...the Cougars' practice facility, Rogers Field, also sports the new turf.

    MIKE PRICE TV SHOWS: The 'Mike Price TV Show' airs Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. PT on KHQ, KNDO (Yakima) and KNDU (Tri-Cities) television stations....KHQ's John Fritz hosts the shows...FOX Sports Net Northwest's nightly (7:00 p.m.) Northwest Tonight program also gives extensive coverage to Price and Cougar football.

    JIM STERK RADIO SHOW: 'Cougar Conversation with (WSU AD) Jim Sterk' is aired each Sunday for 30 minutes at 10:30 a.m. on Spokane's KXLY Radio (920)...former Cougar player Paul Sorensen hosts the weekly show with the WSU athletic director.

    WEEKLY WSU PRESS CONFERENCES: WSU hosts a weekly press conference each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. in the Media Information Conference Room, Bohler Addition 195. All in-season head coaches and selected players (when available) will be available for the phone conference and in-person interviews. Contact the WSU Media Information Office for more information. Members of the media may attend in person or participate by use of the telephone.

    LISTEN TO COUGAR GAMES ANYWHERE: Cougar football fans can listen to the Voice of the Cougars Bob Robertson's broadcasts, even if a network station is not in your locale. TRZ Sports Service Inc.'s 'Teamline' provides the hookup directly into the Cougar Sports Network. Call 1-800-846-4700 and punch in the Cougar access code 5938. The cost is charged to your VISA or Mastercard.

    LIVE TELEVISION: Pac-10 television action Saturday, Nov. 4, will include Arizona at Washington on ABC regional at 12:30 p.m. PT and Stanford at UCLA on Fox Sports Net Syndication at 3:30 p.m. PT.

    FSNW-TV: FOX Sports Net (Northwest) will replay Washington State's game against Oregon Nov. 5 at 10:00 a.m.

    TICKETS: Tickets for all Cougar home and away games are available through the WSU Ticket Office, North 225 Grand, Pullman, Wash. 99164-1910, or by calling 800-GO-COUGS (available toll free from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands).

    AUDIO ON INTERNET: WSU's football broadcasts are now available on the Internet through FansOnly, WSU's Web provider...the address is:

    WSU RADIO: Bob Robertson, Scott Pelluer, Jeff Aaron, and Bud Nameck combine talents on the 24-station Cougar Sports Network. Robertson is in his 34th year of broadcasting Cougar sports, while Pelluer, a former Cougar player, is in his second season as a Cougar broadcaster. Broadcast time is 60 minutes prior to kickoff. Additionally, the one-hour 'Mike Price Show,' produced and distributed by Learfield Communications, airs weekly on most network stations live at 7:00 p.m.. Robertson is the show's regular host...all broadcasts are available via the internet. To listen, and for complete broadcast schedules, connect to

    SATELLITE: WSU uplinks a 15-minute football video package each Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. (C-Band, Telstar 6, Transponder 19 V, 93 degree west, ) with coach and player interviews recorded at practice that afternoon...the service is provided by Northwest Public Television on the WSU campus (if trouble, call 509-335-5177). The Pacific-10 office transmits a weekly 30-minute highlight package each Wednesday at 12:00 noon PDT on Telstar 5, Transponder 16, C-Band (if trouble, call 310-543-1835 or the Pac-10 office).

    PRICE AND PLAYERS AVAILABLE: WSU head football coach Mike Price is available for individual media interviews 11:00-Noon Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (expect prior to road games). Arrangements for Price interviews must be made through his office, 509-335-0250. WSU players are available for interviews before and after practice each Tuesday and Wednesday and before practice each Thursday. Contact Rebecka McKinney at the WSU Media Information Office.

    PRICE PHONE CONFERENCES: Mike Price is available for media interviews three times weekly via a conference phone hookup, Sunday at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. For access information contact the WSU Media Information Office.

    COUGAR INFOCONNECTION: Members of the media may access WSU press releases, game statistics and other sports specific information through InfoConnection. For information on how to access information from all 10 Pac-10 schools and the Pac-10 office, contact the league office or any of the Pac-10 sports information offices.

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