Cougars Set to Open Season Saturday Against Oklahoma State

Aug. 25, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. - WSU vs. OKLAHOMA STATE - THE SERIES: The Cougars and Cowboys have met twice on the gridiron, though it has been more than 50 years since the two teams faced each other. WSU and Oklahoma State met in back-to-back seasons in 1951 and 1952, with the Cougars coming away with a win on both occasions. WSU won the first meeting 27-13 in Spokane, and won the second meeting 9-7 in Stillwater, Okla.

COUGARS AT QWEST FIELD: The annual Cougar Gridiron Classic is presented by Washington's Beef Producers. WSU will be making its seventh appearance at the home field of the Seattle Seahawks, a series that started in 2002 with WSU hosting Nevada in the first football game played in the new stadium. WSU beat the Wolfpack and have also defeated Idaho (2003), Grambling (2005), Baylor (2006) and San Diego State (2007) in Seattle, with its only setback a loss to Colorado in 2004. The match-up with the Cowboys marks the fifth time in seven years that WSU has opened the home portion of its schedule in Seattle, going 3-1 in those games.

AUGUST - A GOOD TIME TO START: The Cougars have opened the season in August six times prior to the 2008 match-up against Oklahoma State at Qwest Field, posting a record of 4-2. WSU has won four consecutive August season-openers: against Idaho in 2003, against Nevada in 2002, against Idaho in 2001 and against UCLA in 1997. WSU has also won both season-openers on Aug. 30, against Idaho in both 2001 and 2003.

COUGARS IN HOME-OPENERS: WSU is 75-32-3 all-time in home openers, including games in Pullman, Spokane and Seattle. Since 1990 WSU boasts a 13-5 record in its home debut and is 23-10 dating back to the start of the 1975 season.

LAST TIME AT QWEST: WSU knocked off San Diego State 45-17 in 2007, opening the home portion of its schedule in Seattle for the first time since 2004 (Colorado). Quarterback Alex Brink completed a school-record 38 passes for 469 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Cougars past the Aztecs. Brink's passing yards were the third-highest total in school history. Brink hit 10 different receivers, three of which had 100-or-more yards receiving.

COUGARS vs. BIG 12: WSU is 3-3 against the Big 12, including a 2-1 record against the Big 12 South, though the conference is entering only its 13th season in its current make-up. The Cougars' all-time record against schools currently in the Big 12 is 12-25, including a 5-12 record against the South. The Cougars have won three of their last four games against the Big 12, with wins over Colorado (47-26) and Texas (28-20) in 2003, and a win over Baylor (17-15) in Seattle in 2006. WSU is 1-1 against the Big 12 in the Cougar Gridiron Classic, falling to Colorado (20-12) in 2004 and defeating Baylor in 2006.

BIG 12 TRAVELS: The last seven times a team from the Big 12 has traveled two or more time zones for a regular season game, it has lost. Included in that streak is Baylor's 17-15 loss to Washington State in Seattle, Sept. 16, 2006. Over the past six seasons, the Big 12 is 1-10 when traveling two or more time zones for a regular season road game. The lone victory is Oklahoma State's 31-20 triumph at UCLA, Sept. 4, 2004.

WSU AGAINST NONCONFERENCE FOES: Since the opening of the 2001 season, WSU is 18-1 against unranked nonconference opponents. WSU has wins over Idaho (seven times), Nevada (twice), Montana State (twice), Boise State, Purdue, New Mexico, Colorado, Grambling State and Baylor. The lone loss was to Colorado (20-12) in 2002 at Qwest Field.

WAITING HIS TURN: Redshirt senior quarterback Gary Rogers backed up Alex Brink for three seasons before taking over the starters' role in 2008. Rogers' most consistent action came during the first three games of 2006 when he received at least one full series in each game. During that three-game span Rogers completed 15-of-23 passes for 175 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Against Auburn Rogers led the Cougars on a six-play, 90-yard drive culminating in a 50-yard touchdown to Cody Boyd. Rogers led WSU on a nine-play, 68-yard drive against Idaho, tossing a 10-yard touchdown to Chris Jordan. Against Baylor Rogers came in and led WSU on a four-play 34-yard drive capped off by a 13-yard touchdown to Jason Hill.
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