Cougars Open Season Saturday at No. 7 Wisconsin
Aug. 28, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Camp Randall Stadium (80,321) Madison, Wisc.
September 1, 2007 2:30 p.m. CT (12:30 p.m. PT)
WSU at WISCONSIN: The Cougars begin their 112th season of football Saturday against Wisconsin in what will be the 999th game in school history. WSU holds an all-time record of 487-466-45 (.511). Saturday's game marks the second straight season-opener in which WSU has faced a Top 10 team, opening the 2006 campaign at No. 4 Auburn, falling 40-14.
THE SERIES: In the only other meeting between the two teams, the Badgers came away with a 35-26 victory over the Cougars, Sept. 25, 1976 in Madison. The Cougars jumped out in the contest with a first quarter touchdown before the Badgers scored the next 21 points for a 21-7 lead. Just before halftime current WSU offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jack Thompson as WSU cut the lead to 21-14 at halftime. Levenseller added another touchdown reception in the fourth quarter but it was not enough as the Badgers came away with the victory. Levenseller finished the day with eight catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns, while current Cougar offensive line coach George Yarno recorded eight tackles and served as one of two Cougar captains for the game.
TELEVISION: Saturday's game will be shown on a regional basis by ABC with Brad Nessler handling play-by-play duties, Bob Griese and Paul Maguire serving as analysts, and Bonnie Bernstein reporting from the sidelines.
COUGARS IN SEASON-OPENERS: The Cougars will be looking for their first season-opening win against a Top 10 team Saturday when they travel to Wisconsin. WSU is 0-5-0 all-time when opening against top 10 opponents, though they are 68-38-5 overall in season-opening contests. When opening on the road, the Cougars are 19-25-2. Washington State is 5-2 when opening the season against a current Big Ten school. The wins came at Iowa (7-0) in 1965, at Illinois (19-18) in 1969, at Illinois (44-7) in 1988, vs. No. 21 Illinois (10-9) at Chicago in 1994 and at home vs. Illinois (20-13) in 1998. The losses were to Penn State (27-6) at Hershey, Pa., in 1947 and at No. 3 Michigan (41-14) in 1993. The Cougars went on to post winning records in 1965, 1988 and 1994.
WSU'S FIRST FIVE GAMES IN DIFFERENT STADIUMS: 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 begin play at Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium Sept. 1, then host San Diego State Sept. 8 at Qwest Field (home of the Seattle Seahawks) before returning home to face Idaho at Martin Stadium. The Cougars then play at USC (Sept. 22) and at Arizona (Sept. 29), before returning to Martin Stadium against Arizona State.
COUGARS ON TV: Washington State University's season-opening game at Wisconsin, Sept. 1, is the first of five live television appearances by Cougars this season. The game will be shown by ABC and the network will also televise the Cougar game at USC Sept. 22. Additionally, FSN will televise the UCLA game, Oct. 27, and the Cal game, Nov. 3, while FSN Nw will show the WSU-Idaho contest Sept. 15. Both ABC and FSN can select additional games during the course of the 2007 season, with selections made six or 12 days in advance of the games.
COUGS HAVE RECENTLY PLAYED THE BEST: Including No. 7 Wisconsin, WSU will have played seven of the teams ranked in the 2007 Associated Press preseason Top 15 over the last six seasons...the list includes Pac-10 opponents USC (No. 1), California (No. 12) and UCLA (No. 14), as well as Texas (No. 4) in the 2003 Holiday Bowl, Oklahoma (No. 8) in the 2003 Rose Bowl, and a 2002 game at Ohio State (No. 11).
WSU IN CENTRAL TIME ZONE: The Cougars are 17-30 in games played in the Central Time Zone...Cougars have won six of their last eight trips to the Central Time Zone dating back to a season-opening triumph at Illinois in 1988.
PAC-10 TOUGH ON THE ROAD: In the last six seasons, teams from the Pacific-10 Conference have made 45 trips that covered two or more time zones and won 19 times, more than the 14 combined wins from members of the other five BCS conferences...this year Washington faces Syracuse (Aug. 31) and Hawaii (Dec. 1) on the road, WSU takes on Wisconsin in Madison (Sept. 1), Oregon State is at Cincinnati (Sept. 6), Oregon travels to Michigan (Sept. 8), and USC plays at Nebraska (Sept. 15) and Notre Dame (Oct. 20).
BRINK DEAN OF PAC-10 QUARTERBACKS: Senior Alex Brink begins his final campaign as the dean of Pacific-10 Conference quarterbacks...Brink enters the 2007 season having started his last 28 games dating back to his freshman season...that mark is 10 ahead of Arizona State junior Rudy Carpenter's 18 and 14 more than California's Nate Longshore (14)...USC senior John David Booty is next of the list after starting all 13 games last season.
BUMPUS CLIMBING CAREER RECEPTIONS LIST: Senior wide receiver Michael Bumpus enters the 2007 season tied for seventh with Tim Stallworth (1986-89) on the Cougars' all-time receptions list with 125. Should he match his career-high of 60 which he reached last season, Bumpus would pass current leader Hugh Campbell (176, 1960-62) on the all-time list. Below are the top eight receivers in WSU history:
1. 176 Hugh Campbell, 1960-62 (2,452 yards)2. 148 Phillip Bobo, 1990-91 (2,182 yards) 148 Jason Hill, 2003-06 (2,704 yards)4. 140 Doug Flansburg, 1965-67 (1,652 yards) 140 Nian Taylor, 1996-99 (2,447 yards)6. 128 C.J. Davis, 1988-92 (2,168 yards)7. 125 Tim Stallworth, 1986-89 (2,250 yards) 125 Michael Bumpus, 2004-06 (1,233 yards)
COUGARS PICKED EIGHTH IN PAC-10 POLL: The Washington State Cougars were picked to finish eighth in the 2007 Pacific-10 Conference preseason poll of West Coast media members who regularly cover the league, the conference announced at its annual media day last month...four-time defending Pac-10 champion USC is a unanimous selection to repeat as conference champion for the fifth year in a row...following the Trojans were California, UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon State, Oregon, Arizona, Washington State, Washington and Stanford.
NEW ADDITIONS TO COACHING STAFF: For the first time in Bill Doba's head coaching tenure at WSU, the coaching staff has seen more than a little tinkering...new to the Cougars staff this season are defensive line coach Marty Long, running backs coach Steve Broussard and cornerbacks coach Dave Walkosky...the three join Mike Levenseller (offensive coordinator/wide receivers), Timm Rosenbach (quarterbacks), George Yarno (offensive line), Mike Walker (defensive tackles), Greg Peterson (tight ends/recruiting coordinator) and Leon Burtnett (safeties) on Doba's staff...as for the head coach, he also has added duties for 2007, taking over the role of defensive coordinator while working with the linebackers.