Cougars Prepare for California Saturday at Berkeley

Oct. 29, 2007

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State (3-5, 1-4) vs. California (5-3, 2-3)
Memorial Stadium (72,516) • Berkeley, Calif.
November 3, 2007 • 7 p.m.
Television: FSN

WSU vs. CAL: Following its first conference win of the season, the Cougars head south for the final time this year when they face California in a game televised by FSN at 7 p.m. WSU is looking for its second-straight Pac-10 win while the Golden Bears are trying for their 11th win in its last 12 home games.

WSU-CAL SERIES: California leads the all-time series 38-25-5, including a 21-3 victory last season at Martin Stadium. That victory snapped a10-game home winning streak for WSU when playing in Pullman. Prior to that the Cougars had won four straight, including wins at Cal in 2000 and 2002. Since 1990 the teams are 3-3 when playing in Berkeley.

FSN NORTHWEST TO CARRY WSU-STANFORD GAME: Washington State University and FSN Northwest announced today an agreement has been reached to televise the Cougars' Nov. 10 football game against Stanford, WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced Monday. Game time for the Stanford contest has been set for 3:30 p.m., Pacific Time. The Cougars, coming off a 27-7 victory over UCLA last Saturday, will be making their eighth television appearance when they host the Cardinal, and third on FSN Northwest. The network also broadcast the Idaho and Arizona contests. The game will mark the eighth time the Cougars will have been of television this season.

BRINK AMONG ALL-TIME PAC-10 BEST: Alex Brink is not only moving up the WSU career passing lists, he is also ascending the all-time lists in the Pacific-10 Conference, cementing his place as one of the most prolific passers in conference history. With his 9,445 passing yards and 69 touchdown passes, Brink is on pace to become only the sixth quarterback in league history to throw for more than 10,000 yards and toss 70-or-more touchdown passes in a career. He is also on pace to become only the eighth quarterback in conference history to accumulate more than 10,000 yards of total offense. Currently his totals rank ninth in passing yards and eighth in TD passes.

Brink Named 2007 NFF National Scholar-Athlete: Senior quarterback Alex Brink has been named one of 15 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes. As a National Scholar-Athlete, Brink will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. He is also a finalist for the nation's top scholar-athlete award, the Draddy Trophy. Brink is the fourth Cougar to earn the prestigious honor, as Jason Hanson (1991), Ed Tingstad (1988) and Greg Porter (1982) were also named National Scholar-Athletes. Brink, one of 15 finalists from a group of 153 semifinalists, is being recognized for accomplishments in the classroom, on the field and in the community. He will be honored during the NFF's 60th Anniversary celebration at the Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

NO BREAK IN SCHEDULE: Starting with the Oct. 6 game against Arizona State, the Cougars are in a stretch when they face four opponents with a combined record of 25-7 entering this week. The Sun Devils remain unbeaten at 8-0, Oregon improved to 7-1 with its win over USC last Saturday, while the Cougars handed UCLA its first conference loss last Saturday, dropping the Bruins to 5-3. This week's opponent, California, currently stands at 5-3 overall and ends the stretch of opponents with a winning record.

FSN TO BROADCAST WSU-CALIFORNIA CONTEST: For the seventh time this season the Cougars will play before a live television audience when Saturday's game against the Golden Bears is televised by FSN. The broadcast team will include Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis and Jim Watson.

2007 WSU CAPTAINS: FS Husain Abdullah (23), QB Alex Brink (10), WR Michael Bumpus (5), LB Greg Trent (52).

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 his five-catch effort at Oregon, Bumpus inched closer to the top of the list. He passed former Cougar greats Philip Bobo and Jason Hill last month against USC to move into second place and now needs 11 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 WSU's upcoming game against California. In WSU's last game at Oregon, Bumpus moved into the Top 10 in career receiving yards with 1,711.

MATTINGLY CONTINUES STRONG PLAY: Sophomore linebacker Andy Mattingly took advantage of his first career start against Arizona State 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. The sophomore followed up that performance with a 13-tackle, two-sack performance at Oregon. He added four tackles-for-loss and two forced fumbles to his stat line as he started his second straight game. In his three starts, including UCLA, he has averaged 10.3 tackles, 3.3 tackles for loss and 2.7 sacks. His nine tackles-for-loss in back-to-back games (first two starts) is the most recorded by a Cougar in school history.

ACCORDING TO POLLS, TOUGH PART OF SCHEDULE OVER: Just over half way through the 2007 campaign and if the polls are any indication, the difficult part of the schedule is behind the Cougars. Starting with the season-opener at then No. 7 Wisconsin, four of WSU's first eight games came against ranked teams, three on the road. In addition to the Badgers, the Cougars faced No. 1 USC and No. 9 Oregon on the road, along with No. 18 Arizona State at Martin Stadium. Two of WSU's final for games will be played at home and according to the most recent AP poll, nobody on the schedule is ranked.

COUGAR PUNTING ON THE RISE: In the last three games the Cougar punt team has found its groove. Over that span WSU freshman punter Reid Forrest has punted 15 times for an average of 40.9 yards per punt, which would rank sixth in the Pac-10 this season. More impressive has been the punt team defense, which has limited opponents to just 25 total yards in eight punt returns, an average of 3.1 yards per return. In those three games the Cougars have a net punting average of 39.3 yards. That is more than a 10-yard improvement over WSU's net punting average through the first five games of the season.

COUGAR DEFENSE GETTING MORE AGGRESSIVE: In two of the last three games the Cougar defense has displayed a knack for getting into the opponents' backfield. Against nationally-ranked teams Arizona State (No. 18) and Oregon (No. 9), the WSU defense collected 10 sacks and 23 tackles-for-loss, led by sophomore Andy Mattingly's six sacks and nine tackles-for-loss in that span. Last week against UCLA the Cougars registered two sacks, three tackles-for-loss and four quarterback hurries. Compared to the first five games, where WSU collected eight total sacks and 19 TFL's, the Cougar defense is spending far more time in the opponents' backfield.

COUGARS HOLDING ONTO THE FOOTBALL: Through eight games this season, Washington State has fumbled the ball only seven times, the fewest through eight games on record dating back 56 seasons to 1951. Of the seven fumbles, WSU has lost only three, the fewest since 1990 when the Cougars had also lost three fumbles through eight games. The WSU record for fewest fumbles in a season is 16, set in 1990.

SACK STREAKS: Since recording his first start against Arizona State, sophomore Andy Mattingly has put together three consecutive games with a sack. Including Mattingly's current streak, the feat has been accomplished 12 times by eight players since the beginning of the 2000 season. Mkristo Bruce (three times), D.D. Acholonu (twice) and Rien Long (once) are the only players in that time frame to have four consecutive games with a sack, the longest streak over the course of the last eight seasons.

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 added passing yards to the group during the Arizona State game (Oct. 6). Next up for Brink is the career touchdown passes list, which he trails Gesser (70) by one. Brink has thrown 19 touchdowns in his first eight games.

WSU-CAL - LAST MEETING: October 28, 2006, Pasadena, Calif. - Marshawn Lynch rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns to lead California to a 21-3 victory over Washington State at Martin Stadium. Lynch scored on runs of two and eight yards, both in the first half, to lead the No. 10 Golden Bears to victory. Quarterback Nate Longshore added the Bears other score, a one-yard run just before halftime. Loren Langley accounted for the only WSU points on the day, a 25-yard field goal early in the second quarter. The two teams played a scoreless second half as the WSU defense held Cal to 123 yards of total offense in the final two quarters. It marked the first time in the last six games Cal was held under 41 points. WSU was led by sophomore receiver Brandon Gibson, who recorded career-bests with eight catches for 130 yards.
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