Cougars Return to Action Saturday at Stanford

Oct. 27, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State Cougars (1-7, 0-5)
at Stanford Cardinal (4-4, 3-2)
November 1 - Stanford Stadium
2 p.m. (PT)

SATURDAY'S MATCHUP: Following their only bye week of the season, the Washington State Cougars (1-7, 0-5) look to post their first conference win as they visit the Stanford Cardinal (4-4, 3-2) at Stanford Stadium, Saturday at 2 p.m. . For the first time this season a Cougar football game will not be televised live after the first eight contests were shown live either locally or regionally.

WSU-STANFORD SERIES: Stanford leads the all-time series between the teams, 32-25-1, though the Cougars captured last year's meeting 33-17 in Pullman. WSU has won each of the last two meetings and five of the last seven. The Cougars also have captured the last four meetings played at Stanford, beginning with a 45-39 win during the 2001 season. The Cougars trail in the series 17-15 when playing at Stanford. The last Stanford win at home came during the 1999 campaign, a 54-17 victory.

FIRST STARTS: Through the first eight weeks of the 2008 season, 24 WSU players have registered their first collegiate start, 16 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...against Oregon quarterback Marshall Lobbestael and linebacker Louis Bland joined the Oregon State freshman BJ Guerra started at right guard while tight end Tony Thompson earned his first start against USC...the 24 players include punter Dan Wagner and kickers Wade Penner and Nico Grasu.

LOBBESTAEL LOST FOR SEASON: Cougar redshirt freshman quarterback Marshall Lobbestael suffered a torn ACL and torn MCL in his left knee during the Cougars' game at Oregon State last month, and will miss the remainder of the season. Lobbestael was injured during the fourth quarter at Oregon State and did not return. Initially diagnosed as an MCL tear, further tests revealed both the ACL and MCL were torn. Lobbestael's recovery is expected to take approximately nine months. Lobbestael is the second starting quarterback this season to suffer a season-ending injury, as Gary Rogers suffered a stable cervical spine fracture that was non surgical against Portland State.

YOUTH IS SERVED: While the Cougars have had a number of first-time starters this season (24), they have also had an abundant number of underclassmen starting. Through the first eight games of the season, the Cougars have started 20 different underclassmen, 12 on offense and eight on defense, including punters and kickers. Five true freshmen have seen action this season: wide receivers Jared Karstetter and Kevin Norrell, linebackers Mike Ledgerwood and Louis Bland and safety Tyree Toomer.

SCORING STREAK ENDS: Following their loss to USC, the Cougars saw their 280-game scoring streak also come to an end. WSU held the nation's second-longest active scoring streak, dating back to early in the 1984 season, before being held scorless against the Trojans Oct. 18. WSU's streak marks the fourth-longest in NCAA Division I history, trailing only BYU (361), Michigan (296, active) and Texas (282). WSU also saw its conference-leading scoring streak end at 258 games as well as its 203-game Martin Stadium scoring streak.

COUGS FOLLOWING BYE WEEK: Since the start of the 1990 season, Washington State is 11-9 in games played following a bye week. The last time the Cougars had a bye week came last season and WSU put the extra rest to good use, defeating UCLA 27-7 in Pullman.

NO TV FOR ARIZONA: Next week's WSU-Arizona game was not selected for television and has been set for a 2 p.m. start time.

INJURY BUG HITS COUGARS: Through the first eight games of the 2008 season, the Cougars have not been able to avoid the injury bug on either side of the ball...16 of WSU's 43 players to start a game in 2008 have combined to miss 39 games this season due to injuries...that includes an injury-riddled offensive line, which has used six different lineups through the first eight games...two weeks ago against USC the Cougars were without their top two running backs in Dwight Tardy and Chris Ivory, tight end Devin Frischknecht and starting left tackle Vaughn Lesuma...during the Oregon State game Lesuma was lost to a shoulder injury, Frischknecht suffered a high ankle sprain and quarterback Marshall Lobbestael left in the third quarter with what turned out to be a season-ending injury.

WHO'S YOUR DRADDY: Senior offensive lineman Vaughn Lesuma was named a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy, the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame recently announced...the Draddy Trophy recognizes the best and brightest in college football, as nominees must have at least a 3.2 GPA, must be a first team player or significant contributor and must demonstrate strong leadership and citizenship...former WSU quarterback Alex Brink was a finalist for the award in 2007.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior linebacker Greg Trent had five tackles against USC and has a team-best 51 total tackles for the 2008 season. With his first tackle against Baylor five weeks ago, Trent became the 17th player in WSU history to record 250 tackles in a career. A four-year starter with 32 consecutive starts, Trent currently has 286 career tackles, which places him tied for 10th on the all-time list.
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