Cougars Prepare for Apple Cup

Nov. 23, 2009

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State Cougars (1-10, 0-9) at
Washington Huskies (3-7, 2-5)
Husky Stadium • Seattle, Wash. • November 28
3:30 p.m. • TV: FSN Northwest
Radio: Cougar Sports Radio Network

SATURDAY'S GAME: Washington State (1-10, 0-8) closes out its 2009 season when its travels cross-state to face the Washington Huskies (3-7, 2-5) in the annual Apple Cup, proudly sponsored by Boeing, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. WSU will be going for its first-three-game winning streak in series history and its third-straight win at Husky Stadium. The game will be televised by FSN Northwest, with Tom Glasgow (play-by-play), Mack Strong (analyst) and Jason Stiles (analyst). FSN NW will have a pregame show starting at 2:30 with Brad Adam, Jason Gesser, Damon Huard along with Angie Mentink and Jen Mueller. The game can be heard across the Cougar Sports Radio Network.

WSU-UW SERIES: Dating back to the first meeting between the Huskies and Cougars in 1900, a 5-5 tie in Seattle, Washington leads the 101-game series by a 64-31-6 margin. From 1934-61 the winner of the cross-state rivalry was awarded the Governor's Trophy. In 1962 the Apple Cup trophy was instituted, and Washington holds a 32-14 record in Apple Cup games since. WSU has won four of the last five Apple Cups, however, including last season's 16-13 double-overtime win in Pullman. Washington holds a 36-15-5 advantage when playing in Seattle, although the Cougars have won the last two meetings when playing in Husky Stadium.

COUGS LOOKING FOR FIFTH APPLE CUP IN SIX YEARS: The Cougars will be going for their fifth Apple Cup victory in the past six years. Should they succeed, this group of Cougar seniors will be just the fifth class to be a part of three victories over Washington. The first group to accomplish the feat dated back to the early 1950's, when the Cougars defeated Washington in 1951, 1953 and 1954. WSU also captured Apple Cup victories in 1982, 1983 and 1985, while each of the past two senior classes earned three Apple Cup victories (2004, 2005 2007 and 2008). A win Saturday will also give the Cougars their first three-game winning streak in the series.

ALFRED SELECTED FOR EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME: Washington State University senior center Kenny Alfred has been selected to compete in the 85th annual East-West Shrine Game. Alfred will join the West squad for the annual game that will be held Jan. 23, 2010 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Alfred is the 17th Cougar since 2000 to be selected to play in the Shrine Game, the most recent being former Cougar Jed Collins in 2007. It also marks the 28th straight season a Cougar senior has participated in a postseason all-star game since 1981.

BOB ROBERTSON HONORED WITH RADIO BOOTH DEDICATION: WSU Athletics honored hall of fame Cougar broadcaster Bob Robertson by renaming the radio booth at Martin Stadium the Bob Robertson Broadcast Suite. Robertson, in his 43rd season calling Cougar football, was honored in a pregame ceremony prior to the UCLA game.JOHNSON MAKES SWITCH: Prior to the Oregon State game, junior wide receiver Easton Johnson had played in six games without making a reception, primarily on special teams. Two days before the Oregon State game, injuries in the Cougar secondary prompted Johnson to move to safety. In his 2009 defensive debut, Johnson recorded 10 tackles, five solo, with a tackle-for-loss and two quarterback hurries. His efforts earned him WSU's defensive player of the game.

FRESHMAN STARTERS REACH 20-YEAR HIGH: Through 11 games of the 2009 season, the Cougars have started 13 different freshmen, more than any other full season in at least 20 years. The previous known high was 11 in 1999. Five have been true freshmen, also the highest known total since at least 1997.

COUGARS HONOR 14 SENIORS: Last Saturday's contest against Oregon State marked the final home contest for 14 seniors playing their final game at Martin Stadium. A brief pregame ceremony took place at midfield to honor those players. The list of seniors included Kenny Alfred, Jesse Feagin, Xavier Hicks, Colin Huemmer, Andrew Kreutz, Reed Lesuma, Kevin Lopina, Andy Mattingly, Patrick Rooney, Dwight Tardy, Zach Tatman, Sam Tennant, K.C. Thometz and Tony Thompson.

TARDY MOVES UP RUSHING LISTS: Earlier this season senior running back Dwight Tardy became only the ninth running back in WSU history to eclipse 2,000 career rushing yards following the Oregon game. Tardy now has 2,204 on his career, and ranks seventh on WSU's career rushing list. His 514 carries rank sixth all-time.

APPLE CUP WEEK PRACTICE SCHEDULE: The Cougars will close out the 2009 season at Washington in the annual Apple Cup. The practice schedule for Apple Cup week is as follows:
Monday: 3 p.m.
Tuesday: 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m.
Friday: Leave for Seattle
Media availability will be Monday and Tuesday only.

LAST MEETING AT HUSKY STADIUM: Alex Brink threw for 399 yards and five touchdowns, the last a 35-yarder to Brandon Gibson with 31 seconds left, as the Cougars came from behind to win the 100th Apple Cup 42-35, Nov. 24, 2007. Brink completed 27-of-40 throws, becoming the first Cougar quarterback to beat the Huskies three times while setting a record for passing yards in an Apple Cup game. Redshirt freshman Jake Locker rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns - including a go-ahead, 1-yard run that gave Washington a 35-28 lead with 12:18 remaining. On WSU's final drive, Brink found Gibson, who had six catches for 137 yards and two scores while setting the school record for receiving yards in a season.

PUTTING IN TIME: Looking at the 2009 WSU roster reveals few names who have been in the program more than two years. Of the 114 players currently on the Cougar roster, only 37 have been a member of the team more than two years. That includes only six current fifth-year seniors and 15 total players who have earned more than one varsity letter. Compare that to the success of WSU during the 2002 and 2003 season, when the Cougars had 28 and 24 players, respectively, with multiple varsity letter winners.

INJURIES TAKING A TOLL: Through 11 games of the 2009 season, the Cougars have been hit hard by the injury bug, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines. So far this season WSU starters or significant reserves have missed 111 player games due to injury or illness. On the offensive line five players who have started this season have 17 missed games due to injury, while the defensive line has missed a total of 26 games from five players.

FIRST STARTS: Continuing a trend from 2008, WSU has had a number of players make their starting debuts in 2009. This season 23 Cougars have made their first career starts, nine on offense and 14 on defense. In 2008, 26 players registered their first start for WSU, 17 on offense and nine on defense.

LINEUP SHUFFLE: Through the first 11 games of the 2009 season, the Cougar coaching staff continues to search for continuity within its starting lineup. Injuries have forced the Cougars to use seven different starting lineups in its offensive line, 10 different starting lineups on offense and nine different starting units on defense. There has yet to be two games this year where WSU has used the same starting offense and defense.

THREE COUGARS NAMED TO ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM: Washington State University football student-athletes Casey Hamlett, Micah Hannam and Chima Nwachukwu were named to the ESPN The Magazine 2009 Academic All-District VIII First Team as selected by CoSIDA. It marks the third-straight season Hannam, a civil engineering major with a 3.59 GPA, has been honored. He was named first team in 2008 and second team in 2007. Hamlett, a management and operations major with a 3.72 GPA, and Nwachukwu, a political science major carrying a 3.79 GPA, were honored for the first time. The Pacific-10 Conference placed eight individuals on the first team, with WSU placing a conference-best three players on the list, while Stanford and California each had two. Since the 2002 season, Washington State has placed 14 student-athletes on the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII teams, the most by any school in the conference.

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