Cougars Host Ducks In Key Pac-10 Battle

Nov. 5, 2002

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WHO: #5/5 WSU Cougars (8-1 overall, 5-0 in Pac-10) vs. #15/15 Oregon Ducks (7-2, 3-2 in Pac-10)
WHAT: Pacific-10 Conference Football
WHEN: Saturday, November 9; Kickoff 12:30 p.m. PDT
WHERE: Martin Stadium (37,600, FieldTurf), Pullman, Wash.
TV: Live ABC Sports TV; FOX Sports Northwest will air the replay Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Nov. 10

THE COACHES: WSU - Mike Price (Puget Sound '69) has an 81-76-0 (.519) record at WSU in 14 years and a career mark of 127-120-0 (.514) in 22 seasons at Weber State (1981-88; 46-44-0) and WSU (1989-present). OREGON - The Ducks are coached by Mike Bellotti, who is 67-25 in eight years at Oregon and 90-50-2 in his 13-year head coaching career.

WSU VS. OREGON: Saturday's match-up between the WSU Cougars and Oregon Ducks is the 80th contest between the two long-time conference rivals...Oregon has won 37 times, WSU 35, with seven games ending in ties...the series is one of WSU's oldest, starting in 1901 with a 16-0 Cougar victory...Oregon has had the upper hand of late with four straight wins, including the last two years in Pullman...prior to Oregon's four-game win streak WSU took three of four games...Mike Price is 4-8 against Oregon and Mike Bellotti 5-2 against WSU.

Most WSU Points: 52, 1977 (56-20) Most Oregon Points: 52, 1999 (52-10)
Widest WSU Victory: 36, 1977 (56-20) Widest Oregon Victory: 42, 1999 (52-10)
Longest WSU Winning Streak: 4 four times Longest Oregon Winning Streak: 4 three times
Last WSU Win: 1997 (24-13) Last Oregon Win: 2001 (24-17)
Last WSU Win at Home: 1996 (55-44) Last Oregon Win at Pullman: 2001 (24-17)
Last WSU Win at Eugene: 1997 (24-13) Last Oregon Win at Home: 1999 (52-10)
WSU at Pullman: 18-19-1 (-3) Oregon at Home: 16-15-4 (+1)
WSU at Eugene: 15-15-4 (-1) Oregon at Pullman: 19-18-2 (+3)
WSU at Spokane: 1-0-0 Oregon at Spokane: 0-1-0
WSU at Portland: 1-2-1 Oregon at Portland: 2-1-1
Mike Price vs. Oregon: 4-8 Mike Bellotti vs. WSU: 5-2

GESSER SETS PASSING MARKS: Jason Gesser is the most prolific QB in WSU history...Gesser's 270 total offense yards Oct. 26 at Arizona gave him the school record, moving him ahead of Jack Thompson (1975-78)...then Gesser topped Thompson's school record for career passing yards when he threw for 250 yards in a win over ASU Nov. 2...he also broke the WSU record for career touchdown passes against ASU...Gesser has thrown for 7,841 career yards, thrown and run for 8,075 career yards, and hit 62 career TD passes. (For details see Gesser section below.)

WSU ACHIEVES HIGHEST RANKINGS EVER: WSU moved up to fifth in the Associated Press, USA Today/ESPN and BCS polls this week, the Cougars' highest ranking ever in each of the polls...WSU's highest previous AP ranking was eighth, twice in 1997 and once earlier this year...WSU's best ranking in the coaches' poll was seventh in 1997, while eighth last year was WSU's previous high in the BCS.

2002 CAPTAINS: WSU - QB Jason Gesser (17), CB Marcus Trufant (45), RS Curtis Nettles (18). OREGON - WR/PR Keenan Howry (15), DE, Darrell Wright (40), OLB Garret Graham (42), OL Corey Chambers (75).

NEWCOMERS SCORE FOR WSU: The Cougars have scored 38 touchdowns this season, 35 offensively and three defensively...25 of those touchdowns have been scored by first-year players...on offense Devard Darling has scored nine TD's, Jermaine Green eight and Jonathan Smith seven...redshirt freshman Will Derting has one of WSU's three defensive touchdowns.

HENDERSON THE BEST QB?: Collin Henderson has completed all 10 passes in his four-year career for an amazing five touchdowns and 433 yards...that's a QB rating of 628.72...he completed one as a freshman in 1999 for 24 yards and a 2000 he was 4-for-4 for 154 yards and two 2001 he threw three passes for 71(td)-62(td)-63 yards...this year he is 2-for-2 for 59 yards.

SUCCESS ON THE ROAD: Washington State has won seven of its last eight road games in Pac-10 action...WSU closed out the end of the 2000 season with a win at USC...last year the Cougars defeated Arizona, Stanford and ASU on the road before a loss at Washington, while this year WSU has defeated California, Stanford and Arizona in Pac-10 action.

TRUFANT GRABS 10TH INTERCEPTION: Marcus Trufant intercepted one pass against ASU to give him 10 career thefts...he is now eighth on WSU's career more pick moved him into a tie for sixth with Don Paul and Torey Hunter...Trufant grabbed two interceptions his freshman year (1999), made three more picks as a sophomore, then had three last season...he has two this season...he has returned his 10 interceptions 139 yards.

TRUFANT MOVES UP PUNT RETURN LISTS: Marcus Trufant returned four punts 110 yards against Montana State earlier this season, including returns of 52 and 47 yards...only two players have returned punts for more yards in a game than Trufant...Shawn Tims, in 1997 against USL, and Kitrick Taylor against Oregon in 1983...Trufant has also moved into fifth on the single season list with 286 punt return yards this addition, he is now tenth on the career list with 333 return yards.

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

  • The Cougars have scored in 209 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 210 consecutive games since a 44-0 shutout at Ohio State in 1984...the streak is the fifth longest among D-I schools.

  • The Cougars have scored in 172 consecutive Martin Stadium home games since a 21-0 loss to Oregon State in Pullman in 1956.

    FOUR COUGS AMONG SACK LEADERS: Four Cougar linemen, including three juniors, are ranked among WSU's career sack leaders...Isaac Brown currently ranks 5th (17.0), Rien Long 7th (14.5), D.D. Acholonu 9th (-99), while senior Fred Shavies is tied for 12th (11.0) addition they are among the sack yardage leaders: Brown 6th (-111), Long 8th (-101), Acholonu 9th (-99) and Shavies 13th (-78).

    WSU WIN STREAKS: Washington State's six-game win streak since losing at Ohio State, is the longest among Pacific-10 addition, WSU has won five straight conference games, the longest streak among Pac-10 schools.

    JASON DAVID'S RECORD STREAK: WSU's junior cornerback Jason David picked off opponent passes in five straight games before being sidelined with a broken cheekbone...he started the streak against Montana State with one interception...then, in order, he had interceptions against California (1), USC (1), Stanford (2) and Arizona (1) other WSU player has ever had interceptions in five straight games, including school career record holder Lamont Thompson...David is now tied with Greg Burns for ninth on the Cougar career list with nine career interceptions.

    COUGS OVERCOME OPPONENTS FAST START: WSU has had to come from behind in all but the Idaho (WSU led 21-0), Stanford (23-0) and ASU (17-0) games...Nevada led 7-0, Ohio State 3-0, Montana State 7-0, California 14-0, USC 7-0 and Arizona 10-5...the Cougars came back to take the lead in all cases, including the Ohio State contest when WSU led 7-6 at halftime, then lost in the second half.

    WSU SWEEP ARIZONA SCHOOLS: WSU has swept the Arizona schools in back-to-back seasons twice, 1991-92 and now 2001-02...this year WSU held the two schools to 20 total yards rushing (Arizona -17, ASU 37) while winning 21-13 at Arizona and 44-22 over ASU in Pullman...since 1976, no WSU team has held consecutive opponents to 20 yards or less rushing.

    DEFENSE CAN SCORE: In the past three seasons covering the last 32 games, WSU's defense has scored in 12 addition, special team units have scored in four games, each time with a blocked punt...those blocked punts have resulted in three touchdowns and a 2001 the Cougars scored eight defensive touchdowns and this year the defense has three touchdowns.

    DEFENSIVE SCORES LEAD TO WINS: The last time WSU scored defensively and lost was in a triple overtime setback at Arizona in 2000...since then WSU has won 10 straight games when the defense scored a safety or touchdown.

    JEROME RILEY WSU'S HOT RECEIVER: Jerome Riley leads WSU in receiving yardage, 678 yards, and average, 18.3 yards per catch, and is two receptions short of team-leading Devard Darling's 39 his last five games since returning from a pulled hamstring, Riley has made 32 catches for 562 yads and four touchdowns...he has over 100 receiving yards in four games, 117 against Nevada, 139 against California, 173 against Stanford and 131 against ASU, when he also caught two TD passes and was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week winner.

    WSU STARTS PAC-10 5-0: WSU has started league play 5-0 just three times, 1930, 1997 and now 1930 WSU finished conference play 6-0 and went to the Rose 1997, after a 5-0 start, WSU lost to ASU, then finished 7-1 and played in the Rose Bowl.

    GESSER ON WSU SINGLE-SEASON LISTS: Jason Gesser's 2001 and 2002 passing and total offense marks rank among WSU's best ever...his junior year totals in 2001 rank fourth in both categories, while with three regular season games and a bowl game yet to be played, Gesser's 2002 totals already rank ninth in passing and 10th in total offense.

    JASONGESSER.COM: Washington State and the Official College Sports Network maintain, a website that promotes and tracks the senior quarterback's bid for the prestigious Heisman Trophy. The site can be accessed through the WSU Athletics main page, or browsers can type in for the most direct route...Gesser's weekly teleconferences will be included, as will highlights from his first three seasons.

    GESSER TELECONFERENCES: Senior Jason Gesser will participate in weekly teleconferences each Tuesday at 11:40 a.m. Each teleconference will last 20 access the teleconference, contact the WSU sports information office...his weekly teleconference will also be available on the Cougar web site at

    GESSER ON FOX: Jason Gesser does a weekly 10 minute radio interview with FOX Sports Radio each Tuesday at 11:05 p.m. PT.

    COUGS HALT PAC-10 RUSHERS: Oregon will present the stiffest challenge of the Pac-10 season to WSU's defensive front...the Ducks are first in Pac-10 rushing offense, 159.8 yards per game...against league teams, WSU has allowed just 68.6 yards per game (five games)...WSU's 1994 defense allowed just 78.0 rushing yards per league game, the best ever for a Cougar defense.

    GESSER CLIMBS PAC-10 LISTS: Jason Gesser's career totals in touchdown passes, passing yards and total offense rank among the all-time best for players from the Pacific-10 Conference...he is tied for fifth in career TD passes, needing five to move into third total offense, Gesser ranks 12th and needs 65 yards to move into 10th...Gesser is currently 13th in career passing and needs 384 to move into 10th.

    GESSER WINNINGEST COUG QB: Jason Gesser is 22-9 as a starting quarterback for WSU, the most wins ever by a starting signal caller...during his 1999-2002 career, WSU is 25-19...Mark Rypien was 11-13 as a starter, Ryan Leaf 15-9, Jack Thompson 14-15-1, Drew Bledsoe 14-14 and Timm Rosenbach 12-11-1...Rypien was a member of four WSU teams with a combined record of 25-19-1.

    GESSER FIRST THREE-TIME CAPTAIN: Senior quarterback Jason Gesser was named one of three team captains for the 2002 season, along with cornerback Marcus Trufant and wide receiver Curtis Nettles. Gesser was also selected captain as a junior and sophomore, making him the first three-time captain in the 108-year history of Cougar football.

    GESSER SETS TWO MORE PASSING RECORDS: Jason Gesser is WSU's career passing leader...this year he has passed previous record holder Jack Thompson on both the passing and total offense lists and holds several TD passing records, including career TD passes with 62.

    GESSER CRANKS IT UP: Jason Gesser's 431 passing yards against California ranks as the fourth best in Cougar history, while his 417 yards in total offense against the Bears ranks second to Drew Bledsoe's 468 yards against Utah in the 1992 Copper three career games against California, Gesser completed 62 of 109 passes for 1,101 yards, nine touchdowns and just one interception...he threw for 432 yards in 2001, the third best passing total in WSU history.

    GESSER SETS TD PASS RECORDS: Jason Gesser owns or shares four WSU records involving TD passes...he has thrown 62 career TD passes (breaking Ryan Leaf's record of 59) addition he has thrown at least one TD pass in 21 consecutive games and his 18 games with two or more TD passes is also a WSU record...he needs to throw TD passes in two of WSU's next three games to break Jack Thompson's record of 28 career games with at least one TD pass.

    GESSER TOSSES TD PASSES: In 36 career games, Jason Gesser has thrown 62 touchdown passes, breaking Ryan Leaf's WSU record of 59...Jack Thompson had 53 in his 2001 Gesser had 26 TD passes, second only to Ryan Leaf's 34 in 1997...all of Gesser's 62 TD passes have come in his last 29 games.

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