Cougars Head to Rose Bowl for Matchup with UCLA

Sept. 29, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State Cougars (1-4, 0-2)
vs. UCLA Bruins (1-3, 0-1)
October 4 - Rose Bowl
FSN Northwest - 7:15 p.m. (PT)

SATURDAY'S MATCHUP: The Washington State Cougars (1-4, 0-2) travel south to face the UCLA Bruins (1-3, 0-1) at the Rose Bowl, Saturday at 7:15 p.m. The Cougars look for their first conference victory following last week's loss against Oregon in Pullman. Saturday's contest will be televised by FSN Northwest, with Bill MacDonald calling play-by-play, James Washington serving as analyst and Chris McGee and Dain Blanton serving as the sideline reporters.

WASHINGTON STATE vs. UCLA - THE SERIES: The Cougars and Bruins have squared off 54 times since the first meeting in 1928, with the Cougars trailing in the series 18-35-1. WSU is 9-20 in Pasadena, Calif., but has won each of the last three games played against UCLA at the Rose Bowl. WSU is 5-6 against UCLA at the Rose Bowl since the Bruins began playing home games there in 1982. WSU has won each of the last two meetings between the two schools, a 37-15 victory on the road in 2006, and a 27-7 win in Pullman in 2007. The Cougars have won six of the last seven meetings dating back to the 2001 season, and 10 of the last 14 dating back to the 1992 season.

MAYES HONORED AT HALFTIME: Former Cougar record-setting All-America running back Rueben Mayes, selected for induction into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame earlier this year, was honored by Washington State at halftime of the WSU-Oregon game last Saturday. Mayes is the first Cougar player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since tackle Glen 'Turk' Edwards (1929-31) was enshrined in 1975, and the third player overall. Center Mel Hein (1928-30) was the first Cougar to be inducted in 1954, while coaches Orin 'Babe' Hollingbery (1979) and Forest 'Evy' Evashevski (2000) complete the list of Cougars in the Hall of Fame. In 2004 longtime Cougar broadcaster Bob Robertson was presented the Chris Schenkel Award, given by the NFF and College Hall of Fame to a sports broadcaster who has had a long and distinguished career broadcasting college football.

LOBBESTAEL'S DEBUT: Last week redshirt freshman quarterback Marshall Lobbestael became the 23rd quarterback to make his debut as WSU's starting signal caller since Jack Thompson made his first start against Idaho in 1976...Lobbestael completed 22 of 41 passes for 192 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions...he is only the fourth quarterback since 1976 to complete 20-or-more passes in his debut...of quarterbacks attempting more than 30 passes in their first start, only Josh Swogger (.632; 24 of 38), Jason Gesser (.576; 19 of 33), Steve Birnbaum (.559; 19 of 34) and Ryan Leaf (.667; 22 of 33) had a higher completion percentage than Lobbestael (.537; 22 of 41) in their first start.

AND LOBBESTAEL MAKES THREE: When Marshall Lobbestael made his first career start against Oregon last weekend, he was the third WSU quarterback to make his debut as the starting signal caller in 2008. In no other season, dating as far back as 1976, have three different quarterbacks made their first start for the Cougars in the same season. Prior to this season, two quarterbacks have made their first start in the same season six times.

ROGERS RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL: Senior quarterback Gary Rogers was released from Pullman Regional Hospital two weeks ago, one day after suffering a 'stable cervical spine fracture that is non surgical.' Rogers was injured during the third quarter of the Portland State contest and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. During tests that evening the fracture was discovered. Rogers will wear a hard collar for six weeks followed by a three-to-fourth month rehabilitation.

INJURY BUG HITS COUGARS: Through the first five games of the 2008 season, the Cougars have not been able to avoid the injury bug on either side of the ball...15 of WSU's 40 players to start a game in 2008 have combined to miss 19 games this season due to injuries...that includes an injury-riddled offensive line, which has used four different lineups through the first five games.

FIRST STARTS: Through the first five weeks of the 2008 season, 22 WSU players have registered their first collegiate start, 14 on offense and eight on defense...WSU had six offensive players and three defensive players starting for the first time in the opener as quarterback Gary Rogers, wide receivers Jared Karstetter and Michael Willis, offensive linemen Steven Ayers and Brian Danaher, tight end Ben Woodard and defensive backs Romeo Pellum, Myron Beck and Tyrone Justin each made their first career starts...against California, three more Cougars made their first career starts: defensive tackle Adam Hineline and wide receivers Daniel Blackledge and Kevin Norrell...week three saw two more Cougars earn their first start as quarterback Kevin Lopina and running back Chantz Staden opened against Baylor...against Portland State offensive lineman Joe Eppele, linebacker Hallston Higgins and cornerback Markus Dawes joined the list of first-time starters...last week against Oregon quarterback Marshall Lobbestael and linebacker Louis Bland joined the list...the 22 players include punter Dan Wagner and kickers Wade Penner and Nico Grasu.

YOUTH IS SERVED: While the Cougars have had a number of first-time starters this season (22), they have also had an abundant number of underclassmen starting...through the first five games of the season, the Cougars have started 19 different underclassmen, 11 on offense and eight on defense when you include punters and kickers...additionally five true freshmen have seen action this season: WR's Jared Karstetter and Kevin Norrell, linebackers Mike Ledgerwood and Louis Bland and safety Tyree Toomer.

NOTABLES FROM OREGON: Reid Forrest's 60-yard punt was a career long and marked the third time in the last four games that he recorded a career-best punt...sophomore guard Andrew Roxas returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous three games with a knee injury...redshirt junior safety Xavier Hicks became the first Cougar to record double-digit tackles in 2008 with 14...freshman wide receiver Jared Karstetter's eight-yard first quarter reception was the first of his career...redshirt junior wide receiver Michael Willis' fourth-quarter touchdown reception was the first of his career.
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