Cougars to face Huskies in 2017 Apple Cup Saturday - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cougars to face Huskies in 2017 Apple Cup Saturday

Huskies lead the series 71-32-6 Huskies lead the series 71-32-6
By Washington State Athletics
No. 14 COUGARS FACE No. 15 WASHINGTON IN THE BOEING APPLE CUP
No. 14 Washington State (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) travels to Seattle to face No. 15 University of Washington (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) in The Boeing Apple Cup Saturday. Kickoff for the 55th version of the Apple Cup is set for 5 p.m. on FOX.

 
SERIES HISTORY
The series began in 1900 and Washington enters the 110th meeting leading the all-time series 71-32-6 and have claimed the last four meetings including a 45-17 contest in Pullman last season. The Cougars are looking for their first Apple Cup since 2012, head coach Mike Leach's first season in Pullman, and are looking for their first win in Seattle since 2007, having dropped the last four meetings in Seattle. WSU's last win over a ranked UW team came in 1997, a 42-35 win in Seattle over No. 16 Washington.

 
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State is 9-2 for the first time since 2003 and is looking for its fifth 10-win season in program history (1997, 2001, 2002, 2003) and claim the Pac-12 North Division for the first time in program history. WSU is searching for its first conference title since earning shares in 2002 and 1997 and its first outright title since 1930. WSU, who entered the week ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press Top-25, owns the nation's third-rated passing attack and the country's No. 11 defense that has forced 27 turnovers, 3rd-most in the country. Head coach Mike Leach is his sixth season at WSU, owns a 122-79 mark in his 16-year coaching career including a 38-36 record now in his sixth season with the Cougars.

 
COUGAR QUICK GAME
TEAM
•  WSU is 9-2 for the first time since 2003, looking for first 10-win season since 2003
•  WSU is looking to clinch its first appearance in the Pac-12 Championship Game
•  WSU is seeking its first conference title since earning shares in 2002 and 1997, last won outright title in 1930
•  WSU owns 19 Pac-12 wins in the last three seasons, third-most in the Pac-12 (Stanford - 21, USC - 21)
•  Under head coach Mike Leach, WSU has recorded 11 fourth-quarter comebacks in his six seasons
•  WSU frosh WR (Bell, Calvin, Martin) lead all Pac-12 freshmen WR groups with 9 TD, 2nd with 84 rec (USC - 88)
•  WSU is the only Pac-12 team with three shutouts in the last five seasons (Stanford and Washington with 2)
•  WSU owns an 19-4 record when forcing multiple turnovers under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch
•  Grinch has been named Pac-12 Defensive Coordinator of the Week twice by Athlon Sports (Colorado, Stanford)
•  WSU owns 94 tackles-for-loss, 2nd-most in the country behind Northern Illinois (100)
•  WSU owns 36 sacks, tied for the 6th-most in the country and 2nd-most in the Pac-12
INDIVIDUAL
•  Mike Leach owns 38 wins at WSU, 4th-most in program history
•  QB Luke Falk is the NCAA's active career leader in passing yards (14,117) and passing yards/g (336.1)
•  Falk owns Pac-12 and WSU records for passing yards, passing TDs, total offense, 300-yard games
•  DL Hercules Mata'afa leads all active Pac-12 players with 46.0 career TFL's and 21.5 career sacks
•  Mata'afa is one of 18 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award (Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year)
•  Mata'afa, OL Cody O'Connell were both named Mid-Season All-Americans (AP, ESPN, The All-American)
•  RB James Williams leads all FBS running backs with 59 receptions, tied for 6th among all Pac-12 players
•  K Erik Powell is 3rd in WSU history with 50 career field goals, 3rd in FG percentage at 72.4
•  Keith Harrington paces team with 11 special teams tackles (6 KR, 5 PR)
 
COLLEGE GAMEDAY RECORD
Dating back to the beginning of the 2004 season, ESPN's College GameDay has had the WSU flag appear throughout the show. The streak reached 206 after the appearance at Wisconsin last weekend. Two flags – Ol' Crimson and Gray – have been flown in the background of the GameDay set by dozens of friends and alumni. The Gray flag was added in 2014 after Whitey was retired in honor of Steve Gleason's "No White Flags." WSU recognized the GameDay flag wavers in a pregame ceremony prior to the Montana State game in 2010. In addition to the flags that fly, there is a traveling flag signed by the holders after each episode. The traveling flag is retired after each season, the first of which is hanging in WSU's Alumni Center.

 
FRIENDLY CONFINES OF MARTIN STADIUM
Washington State went 7-0 at home this season, the first, the most home wins in a season in program history and the first perfect home mark since going 6-0 in 2003. WSU's season-opening five-game homestand was a first in program history, sweeping all five contests. The only other time WSU  opened the season with more than three-straight home games was in 1907, with four.

 
COUGARS APPEAR AT No. 14 IN TOP-25 RANKINGS
Washington State moved up five spots to No. 14 in the Associated Press Top-25 since its win at Utah two weeks ago. The Cougars also appear at No. 15 in the Coaches Poll. WSU was ranked as eighth prior the game at California, the highest WSU had been ranked since entering the 2003 Apple Cup No. 8 in the AP Poll. The Cougars opened the 2017 season ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press Preseason Top-25, the first time appearing in a preseason poll since 2002 (No. 11). 

 
YOUNG COUGS TAKE THE FIELD 
WSU has seen 27 players make their debuts this season. 19 freshmen have made their first career appearance including six true freshmen, Jamire Calvin (WR), George Hicks III (CB), Tay Martin (WR), Zaire Webb (ST), Dominick Silvels (LB) and Will Rodgers III (DL). Three freshmen have recorded starts; Renard Bell (WR), Jahad Woods (LB), Justus Rogers (LB) and eight sophomores have started a game in 2017. 

 
MIKE LEACH AMONG NATION'S BEST
Head coach Mike Leach owns a 122-79 record in his 16-year coaching career including a 38-36 mark in his six seasons at WSU, the fourth-most wins by a Cougar head coach. Leach is the first coach in school history to lead WSU to three bowl games in his first five seasons and has them positioned for a fourth in 2017. In the last three seasons, the Cougars own the 3rd-most conference wins (19) in the Pac-12, trailing only Stanford and USC each with 21. Leach, the 2015 Pac-12 Co-Coach of the Year and a George Munger Coach of the Year semifinalist the past two seasons, has seen the Cougar Air Raid lead the Pac-12 in passing in four of the five seasons, only finishing second behind Cal and Jared Goff in 2013. Earlier this season Leach was named The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week after beating No. 5 USC. Leach has the Cougars looking for their first 10-win season since 2003 and first conference title since 2002.

 
AIR RAID NUMBERS ADD UP
Washington State enters the week with the nation's 3rd-best passing attack (375.3), tied for the 5th-most 34 passing touchdowns and No. 12 in the country with 267 first downs. Against Arizona, WSU tallied 646 yards of total offense, 602 passing yards and tied the school record with 58 completions on 84 pass attempts. In the win over Stanford, WSU tallied 430 yards of total offense and tossed three touchdowns. The Cougars opened the season with 30+ points in six straight games for the first time since the 2001 team reached that mark seven times. Last season, WSU finished third in the country in passing offense (362.5) and set a program single-season records for the most touchdowns scored (67) and points (496). The Cougar passing attack led the country in passing in 2015 (389.5) and 2014 (477.7), was fourth in 2013 (368.4) and eighth in 2012 (330.4).

 
COUGARS CHASING SEASON MARKS (Season Records Page 23-24)
Through 11 games, the Air Raid and Speed D have produced some of the top marks in WSU single-season history. The 34 passing touchdowns are 6th-most in program history, 11 away from the top mark of 45 set in 2014 while the 375.3 passing yards-per-game is the 3rd-highest average. Defensively, the Speed D owns the 7th-most tackles-for-loss (94) in WSU season history while the 36 sacks are tied for 7th-most and the 27 turnovers and 14 interceptions sit just outside the Top-10. Individually, quarterback Luke Falk has thrown the 6th-most touchdowns (29) and thrown for the 9th-most yards (3,224) while defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa is tied for the 2nd-most tackles-for-loss (21.5) and tied for 10th-most sacks (9.5) and kicker Erik Powell owns the 4th-most 50+yard field goals (3), 5th-most field goals (19) and tied for the 7th-most total points (99) in WSU single-season history. The Cougars are looking to post wins over three Top-25 opponents in a season for the first time since 2003 (at No. 17 Colorado, at No. 10 Oregon, vs. No. 5 Texas).

 
SPREADING THE BALL AROUND
Washington State has averaged a national-best 10 receivers catching a pass per game this season, according to an unofficial survey from sports information directors. 10 (Montana State, Boise State, Oregon State), 13 (Nevada), 9 (USC), 8 (at Oregon), 10 (at Cal, Colorado), 11 (at Arizona), 9 (Stanford, at Utah). Last season, the Air Raid saw 10+ players catch a pass in 11 of the 13 games, highlighted by the 14 against Arizona, the most under Mike Leach at WSU. In 2015, WSU was the only team in the country with 10 players with 20+ receptions and was the only Power-5 Conference team with two players owning double-digit touchdown receptions. Last season, the Cougars were the only team in the country with five players owning 40+ catches last year and this season, WSU owns eight players with 20+ catches, the most by any team in the country.

 
FALK EARNS SIXTH CAREER PAC-12 WEEKLY HONOR
Luke Falk earned his second Pac-12 Player of the Week accolade of the season after throwing for 337 yards and three touchdowns and breaking the Pac-12 Conference career passing yards record during the win over No. 18 Stanford. Falk, winner of the award six times in his career, passed Sean Mannion's (OSU) previous passing record of 13,600 on a short swing pass to Jamal Morrow during the second quarter. Falk earned his seventh career fourth-quarter comeback victory and the first this season after leading the Cougars on an 11-play 94-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter, capped with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jamire Calvin with 6:56 remaining. 

 
FALK SETS PAC-12 AND WSU RECORDS (Page 25)
Quarterback Luke Falk opened his redshirt-senior season completing his first 20 passes and going 33-for-39 for 311 yards and three touchdowns against Montana State. His second touchdown pass, a six-yard strike to Tavares Martin Jr. in the second quarter, was his 91st career touchdown pass, breaking Connor Halliday's WSU touchdown passing touchdown record. Against Boise State, Falk passed Halliday's WSU record for passing yards and Alex Brink's WSU record for total offense. Falk followed with a 6-TD game in the win over Oregon State and 478 yards and five touchdowns against Nevada. He earned Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week after throwing for 340 yards and two touchdowns in the win over No. 5 USC and added three more touchdowns in the win at Oregon, passing Marcus Mariota for the second-most passing touchdowns in Pac-12 history. During the Colorado win, Falk broke Mariota's Pac-12 career total offense record and also became WSU's all-time winningest quarterback with his 25th career win, breaking Jason Gesser's previous record of 24. In the win over Stanford, Falk threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, breaking Sean Mannion's (OSU) Pac-12 passing yards record on a short swing pass to Jamal Morrow in the second quarter. In the win at Utah, Falk threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns and his one-yard touchdown throw to Kyle Sweet in the second quarter, broke Matt Barkley's (USC) Pac-12 career touchdown record of 116. Falk owns Pac-12 career records for passing touchdowns (118), passing yards (14,117), total offense (13,755), plays (2,243), completions (1,367) and attempts (2,000). The Logan, Utah native is the nation's active leader in passing yards and passing yards-per-game (336.1), good for 6th-best in NCAA FBS history and his 14,117 career passing yards are 9th-most in NCAA FBS history while his 118 career touchdown passes are tied for 10th-most.

 
FALK BY THE NUMBERS
14,117 - Pac-12 and WSU record for career passing yards (WSU vs. Boise State, Pac-12 vs. Stanford)
13,755 - Pac-12 and WSU record for total offense (WSU vs. Boise State, Pac-12 vs. Colorado)
1,367 - Pac-12 and WSU record for career completions (WSU last season, Pac-12 vs. Boise State)
118 - Pac-12 and WSU record for career TD passes (WSU vs. Montana State, Pac-12 at Utah)
68.4 - Falk's career 68.4 completion percentage is 2nd among all active FBS quarterbacks (Mayfield)
41 - Falk's 41 rushing yards against Colorado were a career-high, his 16-yard run was a career-long
29 - Career 300-yard games, most in WSU history including 11 400-yard efforts
29 - Falk's 29 touchdown passes in 2017 lead the Pac-12 and are tied for 6th-most in the country
27 - In 39 career starts, Falk owns 27 wins
23 - Falk owns 23 career 3-TD games
7 - Falk finished his career with 7 wins against Oregon State (4-0) and Oregon (3-0)
7 - Falk's career fourth-quarter comeback wins after coming back to beat Stanford last week
6 - Owns WSU record six career Pac-12 Player of the Week Awards, two this season (Oregon State, Stanford)

 
FALK's FOURTH-QUARTER COMEBACKS
Luke Falk is no stranger to leading fourth-quarter comebacks, recording the seventh in his career after the win over No. 18 Stanford. In the fourth-quarter this season, Falk is a combined 50-of-68 (73.5%) for 449 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. In the win over No. 5 USC, Falk went 10-of-12 for 90 yards and a touchdown and later went 8-of-10 for 99 yards and touchdown against No. 18 Stanford.
1 - at Oregon State (2014), WSU trailed early in the fourth and Falk led a pair of scoring drives for a 39-32 victory. 
2 - at Rutgers (2015), WSU trailed by four with 1:31 remaining, Falk led WSU on a 10-play, 90-yard drive capped by an 8-yard touchdown pass to River Cracraft with 13 seconds remaining. 
3 - at Oregon (2015), Falk led a pair of scoring drives late in the fourth quarter to erase a 10-point deficit and threw an eight-yard touchdown pass with one second remaining to force overtime. In overtime, Falk rushed for a touchdown and then threw for another before the defense picked off a pass in the second overtime to clinch the win. 
4 - vs. Arizona State (2015), trailing 24-17 to start the fourth quarter, Falk led WSU on three touchdown drives (73, 99 and 75 yards) in the quarter, capping each with touchdown throws to post a 38-24 victory. 
5 - at No. 18 UCLA (2015), trailing by three with 1:09 remaining, Falk led the Cougars on a seven-play 75-yard drive, capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Marks with three seconds remaining. 
6 - at Oregon State (2016), WSU trailed by three early in the fourth quarter before Falk led WSU on an 80-yard scoring drive midway through the quarter, capped with a one-yard touchdown pass to Robert Lewis that proved to be the game-winner. 
7 - vs. No. 18 Stanford (2017), trailing by four in the fourth quarter, Falk lead WSU on an 11-play 94-yard drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jamire Calvin for a 24-21 lead with 6:46 remaining that proved to be the game-winner.

 
FALK NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR DAVEY O'BRIEN, FINALIST FOR BURLSWORTH
Redshirt-senior Luke Falk entered the 2017 season named to the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell Award (Player of the Year), Davey O'Brien (Top Quarterback), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm (Top QB - senior or 4th year junior) and Walter Camp Player of the Year. Falk was recently named a semifinalist for the Davey OBrien Award and a finalist for the third-straight year for the Burlsworth Award (top former walk-on). Last season, the All-Pac-12 second-team selection was a finalist for the Manning Award, Johnny Unitas, Burlsworth and a semifinalist for the Maxwell, Davie O'Brien and Walter Camp Player of the year.

 
FALK 4-0 AGAINST OREGON STATE, NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Luke Falk was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after going 37-for-49 for 396 yards and tying a school record with six touchdowns in the 52-23 win over Oregon State. The Logan, Utah native went 4-0 against OSU, becoming the first Cougar quarterback to beat a team four times. Falk made his first career start at Oregon State in 2014, throwing for 471 yards and five touchdowns. Against OSU, Falk owns 1,689 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and two interceptions while averaging 422.3 passing yards per game.

 
FALK LAST SEASON
Last season, Luke Falk was fourth in the country in passing yards-per-game (343.7) and passing yards (4,468), seventh with 38 passing touchdowns and a Pac-12-best 342.2 yards-per-game in conference play. Falk tied his own WSU single-season record with  38 touchdown passes and finished second behind Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield for the nation's highest completion percentage (.700). 

 
FALK SET NCAA FBS RECORD FOR COMPLETION PERCENTAGE VS. ARIZONA in 2016
In the win over Arizona last season, Luke Falk went 32-of-35 for 311 yards and four touchdowns. His 91.4 completion percentage was a WSU record and a Pac-12 record for 30+ completions, breaking Dick Norman's (Stanford, 1959) previous record of 87.1. Falk completed 21 consecutive passes at one point, one away from Aaron Rodgers' (Cal) record of 22. The Cougars combined for a 90.3 completion percentage to set an NCAA FBS record for 30+ completions after going 47-of-52. Falk opened 2017 completing his first 20 passes against Montana State.

 
HILINSKI DELIVERS
Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Tyler Hilinski stepped in and came up big for the Cougars in the comeback win over Boise State. Hilinski relieved Luke Falk late in the third quarter and passed for 240 yards with three touchdowns, the last one coming as the game-winner in triple overtime. The Claremont, Calif. native stepped in for Falk again at Arizona, recording a pair of rushing touchdowns, 509 passing yards with two touchdown passes and four interceptions. It was career-bests for Hilinski who had only played extensively in the win over Arizona last season (15-17, 163 yds, 2 TD). In seven games this season, Hilinksi has thrown for 904 yards with five touchdowns and also rushed for two.

 
ALL-PURPOSE, ALL THE TIME
The Cougar running backs own all-purpose roles and have taken the Air Raid offense to new levels. In the week one win over Montana State, redshirt-sophomore James Williams erupted with 208 all-purpose yards and two scores, catching 13 passes for 163 yards and two scores, setting WSU single-game records for catches and receiving yards for a running back. Also in that win, redshirt-senior Jamal Morrow added 116 all-purpose yards including 89 rushing yards and one TD while the backs combined for 354 all-purpose yards on 40 touches with three TDs, 157 rushing yards and 197 receiving yards. Against Boise State, Williams made a game-high 10 catches, Morrow caught two TDs including the game-winner in triple overtime and redshirt-senior Gerard Wicks rushed for a TD in the second overtime. In the win over USC, the backs combined for 222 all-purpose yards led by Morrow who rushed for 91 yards with two touchdowns (1 rec, 1 rush). In the Oregon win, Wicks produced runs of 21 and 20 yards while Morrow opened the game with a 41-yard TD catch. Against Colorado, Morrow rushed for a TD, tallied 101 all-purpose yards as the Cougars rushed for a season-high 194 yards. Morrow caught 10 passes for 83 yards at Arizona before tallying 136 all-purpose including 66 rushing in the win over No. 18 Stanford. The backs have combined for 13 total touchdowns, 1,068 rushing yards (5.2 ypc), 871 receiving yards (120 rec) and 2,035 all-purpose yards.

 
EACH BACK MAKING A MARK (Page 25)
Each Cougar running back has put their name throughout the record book. Entering the Apple Cup, Jamal Morrow owns the WSU record for receptions by a running back (188) and good for 6th by any player in WSU history. Morrow's 4,106 career all-purpose yards are third and 22 total touchdowns are ninth. Gerard Wicks is tied for 5th in WSU history with 19 career rushing touchdowns while his 21 total touchdowns are 10th and 97 career receptions are 5th-most by a running back. James Williams enters the week with 59 catches, the most by any back in the country, and his 107 career receptions are 3rd-most by a running back in WSU history. Keith Harrington, who paces the team with 11 special teams tackles, owns 46 career catches, 11th-most by a Cougar running back.

 
MORROW NAMED TO DOAK WALKER AWARD, HORNUNG AWARD WATCH LIST
Running back Jamal Morrow was named to the 2017 watch lists for the Doak Walker Award and Paul Hornung Award. The Doak Walker is given to the nation's best running back while the Hornung Award is given to the most versatile player in major college football. Morrow is the first Cougar to be named to the Paul Hornung Watch List since the award was created in 2010 and the first named to the Doak Walker since Jerome Harrison was a finalist in 2005.

 
MORROW CLIMBING RECORD BOOKS (Page 25)
Running back Jamal Morrow does a little of everything for the Cougar offense, rushing, receiving, blocking and owns the school record for receptions by a running back (188), 6th-most by any player. Morrow has had two seasons of 1,200-plus all-purpose yards and with 984 all-purpose yards this season, has moved into the Top-3 in school history for all-purpose yards, trailing only former All-Americans Steve Broussard and Rueben Mayes. He opened 2017 with 116 all-purpose yards, rushing for 89 against Montana State, caught two TDs against Boise State, rushed for 73 yards against Nevada before tallying 91 rushing yards along with a rushing and receiving TD in the win over No. 5 USC. He opened the win at Oregon with a 41-yard TD catch, added another 101 all-purpose yards with a TD run against Colorado, added 10 receptions at Arizona before recorded 136 all-purpose yards in against No. 18 Stanford. He enters the Apple Cup with 4,106 all-purpose yards, 3rd-most in WSU history, and with 1,784 career rushing yards, needing 104 to break into the WSU Top-10 for career rushing yards. Morrow leads the team with 511 rushing yards, 2nd on the team eight TDs (5 rec, 3 rush) and is 5th on the team with 46 receptions. 

 
CAPTAIN MORROW COME ON DOWN
Jamal Morrow has served as the WSU game captain for the past 33 games and coach Leach revealed why in 2016. In August of 2013, Morrow was a contestant on The Price is Right, reaching a showcase showdown and coach Leach thought he would be good at the coin toss. Morrow began the streak in WSU's double-overtime win at Oregon in 2015. The Cougars are 24-9 since, and Morrow is 10-4 in correctly calling the toss on road and bowl games, WSU is 7-3 when he wins a coin toss and WSU has been on the winning end of the coin toss 22 times in those 33 games with Morrow at captain, who won the coin toss at Oregon and Utah in 2017.

 
FLORIDA WIDEOUTS SETTLE IN
Former high school teammates at William T. Dwyer High School in Belle Glade, Fla., junior Tavares Martin Jr. and sophomore Isaiah Johnson-Mack came into 2017 looking to play a bigger part of the offense and both have done just that. Against Oregon State, Martin Jr. erupted with 10 receptions and career-highs of 194 yards and three touchdowns, the first three-TD game since River Cracraft against California last season, while Johnson-Mack nearly matched Martin Jr., catching a pair of touchdown passes along with a career-high nine receptions against OSU. Martin Jr., a 2017 Biletnikoff Award watch list selection, followed with 114 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Nevada and came up with another big catch in the win over No. 5 USC, catching a 28-yard touchdown on a short screen pass. Johnson-Mack answered a week later with a 25-yard touchdown grab in the win at Oregon. Martin Jr. caught 11 passes for 136 yards at Arizona, his third 100-yard game of the season while Johnson-Mack tallied eight catches for 89 yards including a TD. Martin Jr. made added another touchdown score over No. 18 Stanford and added 10 more catches at Utah. He is third in the Pac-12 with 65 catches and tied for the 15th in the country with nine TD catches. Johnson-Mack, who caught eight passes for a career-high 81 yards in the win over Boise State, made six more grabs in the win over USC and caught another TD at Utah, enters the week third on team with 57 receptions, 530 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

 
HIGH SCHOOL DUO COMES UP BIG
Former high school teammates at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, redshirt-freshman wideout Renard Bell and true freshman Jamire Calvin each reached a milestone during the week two win over Boise State. Bell made seven catches for a team-high 107 yards for his first career 100-yard game while Calvin caught a 17-yard TD that started the fourth-quarter comeback. Against Nevada, the duo was at again as Bell tallied 113 receiving yards and Calvin corralled his second career TD. The southern California natives came up big in the win over No. 5 USC as Bell tallied a game-high 101 receiving yards and Calvin made three catches including a key 21-yard first down catch in the second half. Bell's first career TD catch came at Oregon, he added  another against Colorado before leaping to make an acrobatic 27-yard TD catch against No. 18 Stanford. Calvin answered Bell with the game-winning 11-yard TD catch to cap a fourth-quarter go-ahead TD drive late in the win over No. 18 Stanford. 
Bell owns 33 catches for 504 yards, three touchdowns, three 100-yard games while Calvin has recorded 32 catches for 281 yards and three touchdowns.

 
YOUNG WIDEOUTS NOTCH FIRSTS
Two more young receivers have settled in started to contribute to the Air Raid. Redshirt-sophomore Brandon Arconado recorded his first career catch against Nevada, made his first career start (H) at California before catching his first career TD against Colorado. A true freshman broke out against Colorado as Tay Martin notched his first career TD with a 50-yard catch and run, and finished with four catches for 78 yards in the win. The Houma, La. native stayed hot with two more TD catches at Arizona, racing 49 yards for the second score. Martin came up big again in the win over Stanford, catching five passes for 40 yards including a diving 17-yard reception on a critical 3rd and 14 that allowed the drive to continue and saw the Cougars drive 94 yards for the go-ahead score.


SWEET DOUBLES AS WIDEOUT/PUNTER
Junior wideout Kyle Sweet doubles as the Cougars starting Y receiver and punter. The Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. native has started all 11 games at Y and enters the Apple Cup tied for 4th on the team with 46 receptions for 460 yards and two touchdowns, including Luke Falk's Pac-12 record breaking 117th career TD pass coming at Utah. Sweet who punted, kicked off and kicked field goals in high school, took over the punting duties last season, averaging 38.2 yards-per-punt on 32 punts while recording seven 50-yard punts and putting nine inside the 20. Through 11 games in 2017, Sweet has averaged 38.3 yards-per-punt on 63 punts with six of 50+ yards including a long of 61 vs. Stanford and seven inside the 20.

 
OFFENSIVE LINE AMONG NATION'S BEST IN 2016, MOVING UP IN 2017
According the website footballoutsiders.com, the 2016 Cougar offensive line was near the top of a couple categories. Last year, WSU led the country in "Stuff Rate" (12%) that is the percentage of carries by running backs that are stopped at or before the line of scrimmage. WSU was also fourth in the country in "Power Success Rate" (81.6%) that is the percentage of runs on 3rd or 4th down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown. In 2017, the latest edition of Football Outsiders Stats showed the Cougar offensive line rated No. 12 in the stuff rate at a 14.9 percent rate. 

 
OFFENSIVE LINE BULKED UP
Not only have the Cougars produced big offensive numbers, finishing the last couple seasons among the nation's passing leaders, WSU has produced bigger offensive linemen. The size of the front five has gone up each season with the 2017 offensive line averaging 322.6 pounds after averaging the same number last season. In prior years WSU average 288.6 in 2012, 288.2 in 2013, 309.4 lbs in 2014 and nearly 310 lbs in 2015. 

 
COUGAR OFFENSIVE LINE "BONE" AWARDS  
Each week, Washington State coaches give out the "Bone Award" to the offensive lineman who performs the best during the previous game. Right tackle Cole Madison earned his team-leading fourth BONE AWARD of the season following the win over Stanford. The awards in 2017: Montana State: B.J. Salmonson; Boise State: Cole Madison; Oregon State: Cole Madison; Nevada: Andre Dillard; USC: Andre Dillard; at Oregon: Cole Madison; at California: None; Colorado: B.J. Salmonson; at Arizona: None; Stanford: Cody O'Connell; at Utah: Cole Madison

 
DEFENSE CONTINUES TO MAKE STRIDES UNDER GRINCH IN YEAR 3
The Cougar defense has turned into a force under third-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, who has been named a Broyles Award Nominee (given to the nation's top assistant) all three seasons with WSU. The Cougars enter the Apple Cup week with the 11th ranked defense (303.8) in the country, second in the country with 94 tackles-for-loss and tied for 6th in the country with 36 sacks. The Speed D owns the country's 13th-rated passing defense (174.2) and a pair of shutouts (Montana State, Colorado), the first time WSU has two shutouts in a season since 1981.

 
TAKEAWAYS=VICTORY
Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has emphasized the need to force turnovers and get the ball back to the Air Raid offense. The Speed D owns 27 takeaways including four against Boise State, two that were returned for touchdowns, two more takeaways including a fumble returned for a touchdown in the week three win over Oregon State before intercepting three passes against Nevada, forcing two turnovers against USC, three at Oregon, three more at Arizona before making its only takeaway against No. 18 Stanford, a game-clinching interception. At Utah, the Cougars forced seven turnovers (4 INT, 3 FUM), the most since forcing seven against UCLA in 2003. The 27 turnovers lead the Pac-12 and are 3rd-most in the country while the 13 fumble recoveries also lead the Pac-12 and are 4th-most in the nation and the 14 interceptions are 3rd in the conference. Now in their third season under Grinch, the Cougars are 19-4 when forcing multiple turnovers in a game. 

 
SPEED D SETTLES IN 
Highlights from the Cougars' Speed D in each contest.
- Montana State, first shutout since 2013, holding MSU to 143 yards of total offense, the fewest yards allowed since 2004 (125 vs. Colorado), and surrendered just 28 yards passing, the fewest since 1994 (18 at Oregon State)
- Boise State, had four takeaways, two returned for touchdowns (FUM, INT)
- Oregon State, recovered two fumbles, returned one for a touchdown, allowed 199 passing yards
- Nevada, allowed 151 yards of total offense while recording five sacks, 3 takeaways
- USC, allowed 327 yards of total offense, their lowest since facing Alabama to open the 2016 season, Sam Darnold went 15-of-29 for 164 yards, INT, fumble, sacked twice 
- at Oregon, 3 takeaways, 11 TFL's, 4 sacks, allowed 10 points and 277 yards for total offense after Oregon entered game averaging 537.4 ypg and a national-best 49.6 ppg
- at California, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks (both Hercules Mata'afa), allowed 106 rushing yards
- Colorado, shutout, 6 TFL's, 3 sacks, held CU to season-lows in total offense (174), rushing yards (80), passing yards (94) and just 2.0 yards-per-carry
- at Arizona, 3 turnovers (2 FUM, 1 INT), 8 tackles-for-loss
- Stanford, 1 INT, 11 TFL's, 2 sacks, held Stanford to season low in total offense (198) and Bryce Love to  season-low 69 yards on 15 carries (52 coming on run)
- at Utah, 7 takeaways (4 INT, 3 FUM), held Utah to 62 rushing yards and a 4-of-12 on 3rd down

 
SPEED D ADDS UP SACKS AND TFL'S
The Cougar defense opened 2017 with eight tackles-for-loss including three sacks against Montana State, 1.5 from Hercules Mata'afa. Against Boise State, Mata'afa tallied three more TFL's and Frankie Luvu recorded 2.5 sacks and recovered a fumble after entering the game with 1.5 career sacks. WSU added three more sacks against Oregon State, tallied nine TFL's against Nevada including five sacks and added five more TFL's and two sacks against USC. In the win at Oregon, the Speed D recorded 11 TFL's with five sacks and later at California, tallied nine TFL's including a pair of sacks from Mata'afa. WSU had three sacks against Colorado, eight TFL's at Arizona, 11 against No. 18 Stanford and 1 TFL's including eight sacks at Utah, tied for the 3rd-most in WSU history. WSU enters the Apple Cup second in the country with 94 tackles-for-loss, tied for 6th in the country with 36 sacks and the only Pac-12 team with three players with double digit TFL's (Mata'afa -21.5, Luvu - 10.5, Woods - 10.0).

 
HERCULES LEADS THE WAY, NAMED BEDNARIK AWARD, WALTER CAMP SEMIFINALIST (PAGES 20-25)
Prior to the season, defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa was named to the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Award Watch Lists, both given to the country's top defensive player. Mata'afa was named one of 18 semifinalists for the Bednarik and was recently named one of 15 Players to Watch for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. Last season, the All-Pac-12 second team selection finished fifth in the league with 13.5 tackles including a team-high five sacks. The redshirt-junior opened 2017 with 1.5 sacks against Montana State, added three TFL's in the win over Boise State and had tallied 2.5 sacks against Nevada. Mata'afa added two more TFL's against No. 5 USC, had a pair of sacks at California, another sack against Colorado,  two more for loss at Arizona and 1.5 against  No. 18 Stanford. Mata'afa wrecked Utah, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after matching a career high with eight tackles including career-bests of five TFL, three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, tying for the most TFL in WSU single-game history. The Lahaina, Hawaii native enters the Apple Cup leading the Pac-12 with 21.5 TFL and 9.5 sacks, 3rd-most and 8th-most in the country. Mata'afa's 21.5 TFL are tied for the 2nd-most in WSU single-season history, trailing DeWayne Patterson's record of 22 in 1993. Mata'afa also enters the week as the Pac-12's active leader in career tackles-for-loss (46.0) and career sacks (21.5), 2nd in WSU history for TFL and tied for 5th-most in sacks.

 
LUVU LIGHTS IT UP
Senior Frankie Luvu has been a force at the RUSH linebacker spot this season and made the most of his final game in Martin Stadium. Luvu tallied 2.5 sacks in week two against Boise State, added two TFL's at Oregon and recorded two sacks in the win over Colorado. Luvu came up big in the win over Stanford, his final home game, making three tackles and clinching the win with an interception on the final drive, his first career INT. What made it even more special was that Luvu's parents, Veresa and Ia (ee-ah), had made the trip from Pago Pago, American Samoa for senior day, it was his dad's (Veresa) first trip to the mainland. Luvu, who entered the season with seven career TFL's and 1.5 career sacks, comes into the Apple Cup second on the team with 10.5 tackles-for-loss (tied for 9th in the Pac-12) and with 6.5 sacks (tied for 5th in the Pac-12).

 
LINEBACKERS LEAD THE WAY
The Cougar linebackers filled up the stat sheet the past two seasons led by two-time All-Pac-12 honorable mention MIKE Peyton Pelluer who finished fifth in the Pac-12 last season with 93 tackles including 7.5 for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. WIL linebacker Isaac Dotson finished 2016 fourth on the team with 64 stops including six for loss. Both Dotson and Pelluer produced big numbers in the week two win over Boise State as Pelluer made a team-high 14 tackles to go along with a game-changing 36-yard interception return for touchdown while Dotson made a career-high 10 stops. Dotson missed the previous four games before starting at Utah and finished with four tackles.

 
FRESHMEN BACKERS STEP UP
Redshirt-freshman Jahad Woods has started at WIL the past eight games and has come up big, highlighted by the game-high nine tackles against USC, forcing a fumble on his sack of Sam Darnold that was recovered by WSU to clinch the win. In the win at Oregon, Woods made seven more stops including 1.5 for loss, added six tackles against Colorado before making three tackles-for-loss and corralling a tipped pass for his first career interception at Arizona. The San Diego native made a game-high eight tackles including 1.5 for loss against No. 18 Stanford and added another eight stops and sack at Utah. Woods enters the Apple Cup second on the team with 59 tackles and third with 10 for loss including 2.5 sacks. Fellow redshirt-freshman linebacker Justus Rogers, a converted quarterback last fall, has stepped in at MIKE linebacker and started four games before Dotson returned at Utah. Rogers posted nine-tackle games against California and Colorado, made six stops against No. 18 Stanford including 2.5 for loss with his first career sack and added two more sacks at Utah. The Bellevue, Wash. native enters the Apple Cup with 40 tackles, 5.5 for loss including three sacks. Walk-on redshirt-freshman linebacker Dillon Sherman has contributed as well, tallying 18 tackles in a backup role with four stops coming on kickoff. Sherman also recovered a fumble during the comeback win over Boise State and made his first career sack in the win at Oregon.

 
DALE LOCKS IN AT THE NICKEL
Junior Hunter Dale has settled into the NICKEL position after two-time All-Pac-12 selection Shalom Luani moved on to the Oakland Raiders. Dale recorded a sack in the win over USC but produced his best game at Oregon, recording a career-high nine tackles, three for loss including a sack and a forced fumble. The New Orleans native added another TFL at California, five more tackles including a pass breakup against Colorado, batted down a pair of passes in the win over Stanford before picking off his first career pass in the win at Utah. Dale enters the Apple Cup with 40 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.

 
THOMPSON TURNS THINGS UP
Sophomore safety Jalen Thompson, an ESPN.com True Freshman All-American last season, has taken huge steps in his sophomore season. Thompson opened 2017 with a team-high seven stops and recorded his first career interception against Montana State, added eight tackles against Boise State, made a team-best nine tackles against Oregon State before picking off two passes against Nevada. Thompson added four stops against USC, posted five-tackle games against Oregon and California before making a career-high 10 tackles and fumble recovery against Colorado. Thompson tallied six tackles including 1.5 for loss against Stanford before doing a little bit of everything in the win at Utah, making five tackles, recovering two fumbles and interceptions Utah's hail mary heave to seal the game. The Downey, Calif. native comes into the Apple Cup leading the team with 63 tackles including 5.5 for loss, three fumble recoveries and his team-best four INT are tied for 2nd in the Pac-12. 

 
RUN-IT-BACK-ROB ADDS ANOTHER
Senior safety Rob Taylor has backed up his nickname "Run-it-back-Rob" with a couple touchdown returns for the Cougars. In his first season at WSU last year, the City College of San Francisco transfer earned Pac-12 Special Team Player of the Week after his 100-yard kickoff return in the win at Arizona State, WSU's first kickoff return for score since 2003. Taylor was at it again against Boise State, scooping up a fumble after a sack and scrambling seven yards for the Cougars first touchdown of the game. Taylor picked off his first career pass against Nevada and added an interception and fumble recovery in the win at Oregon. At California, the San Leandro, Calif. native made a career-high 11 tackles before tallying six tackles and recovered a fumble at Arizona. In the win at Utah, Taylor forced a fumble and picked off a pass and comes into the Apple Cup third on the team with 49 tackles, three interceptions and a Pac-12-best three fumble recoveries.  

 
VETERAN SECONDARY LEADS THE WAY 
Gone is two-time All-Pac-12 defensive back Shalom Luani to the Oakland Raiders but the Cougar secondary is in good hands after going through a youth movement the past two seasons. Now a junior, Darrien Molton, was named the top freshman cornerback in the country by Pro Football Focus in 2015 and finished last season second on the team with 71 tackles and six pass breakups. Senior cornerback Marcellus Pippins made two interceptions and five pass breakups last year and has tallied 22 tackles with a pair of forced fumbles this season. Last season, junior college transfer safety Robert Taylor stepped in and recorded 61 tackles and recovered a team-best three fumbles. True freshman Jalen Thompson enrolled early in 2016, took over at strong safety and recorded 51 tackles, made a team-best seven pass breakups. WSU enters the Apple Cup second in the Pac-12 in pass defense, good for 13th nationally, and 3rd in the Pac-12 with 14 interceptions. 


ERIK POWELL CLIMBING THE CHARTS (Pages 20-25)
Kicker Erik Powell rebounded from a tough start last season after missing his first five field goals, hitting nine of his last 10 attempts including both attempts in the Holiday Bowl. The Vancouver, Wash. native opened 2017 connecting from 40 yards in the win over Montana State and added two more against Boise State, coming through with a clutch 23-yarder in the second overtime. In the win over No. 5 USC, Powell came up big once again, connecting on field goals of 44, 33 and 32 yards including the final one proving to be the game-winner with 1:40 remaining. Powell was at it again in the win at Oregon, connecting on all four of his field goal attempts (25, 52, 47, 29) and added another 52-yarder at California the following week. Powell stayed hot with a career-long 56-yard field goal at Arizona, the longest by a Cougar since Andrew Furney's 60-yarder against Eastern Washington in 2012. Powell added a 41-yarder against Stanford and four more field goals in the win at Utah. The lefty owns 50 career field goals, 310 career points and a 72.5 career field goal percentage, all 3rd-most in WSU history. Powell enters the Apple Cup 19-of-23 including 8-of-10 from 40+ plus yards with three makes of 50+ yards (52, 52, 56), second in the Pac-12 with 19 made field goals and 99 total points.

 
POWELL EARNS TWO STRAIGHT PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS, ADDS A THIRD
Kicker Erik Powell earned two straight Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week awards following the USC and Oregon wins. The redshirt-senior from Vancouver, Wash. picked up his third accolade after the win at Utah. Powell hit all three of his field attempts (44, 33, 32) in the win over USC with the 32-yarder proving to be the game-winner with 1:40 remaining. At Oregon the following week, Powell connected on all four of his field goal attempts (25, 52, 47, 29) with the 52-yarder being a career high to help the Cougars beat Oregon for the third straight season. Powell was the first Cougar to earn the award in consecutive weeks since Rueben Mayes in 1984 (Oct. 20, Oct. 27). Powell became the first Cougar to earn three special teams awards in a season after hitting four field goals in the win at Utah (44, 32, 28, 33) and all three extra points. Other Cougars to earn three special teams weekly honors in their career were punter Kyle Basler and kicker Drew Dunning while kicker Jason Hanson claimed the most with four.

 
SPECIAL FORCES PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Each week, Cougar special teams coach Eric Mele selects a Special Forces Player of the Week who made the biggest impact. The awards for 2017:
Montana State: Dillon Sherman, 3 units, tackle on kickoff, drew penalty
Boise State: Erik Powell, 2 FG (20, 23), 54-yard punt, two kickoff touchbacks
Oregon State: Gerard Wicks, 3 units, 2 knockdowns on kickoff, fumble recovery
Nevada: Kickoff team, 8 kickoffs, 5 tackles, 3 TB, 19.2 yards allowed, 19 players
USC: Erik Powell, 3 FG (44, 33, 32), game-winning FG, 3 TB
at Oregon: Field Goal Unit, 4 FG (25, 52, 47, 29), 3-for-3 PAT
at California: None
Colorado: Keith Harrington, first man down on four punts, two tackles on punt coverage
at Arizona: None
Stanford: Erik Powell, 41-yard field goal, 3-for-3 PAT, two tackles on kickoffs
at Utah: Erik Powell, 4 FG (44, 32, 28, 33), 3-for-3 PAT, seven touchbacks on eight kickoffs

 
INSIDE THE HOT START
WSU started the season 6-0 for the first time since 2001 and was just the seventh 6-0 start in program history (1906, 1915, 1930, 1992, 1997, 2001). The Cougars opened the season with 30+ points in six straight games for the first time since 2001. 

 
SPEED D, FALK LEADS COUGARS TO ROAD WIN AT UTAH
The Washington State defense forced seven turnovers and Luke Falk threw three touchdown passes in the 33-25 win at Utah. The Speed D picked off four passes and forced three fumbles to record the most takeaways since 2003 and Falk broke Matt Barkley's Pac-12 record for career touchdown passes with his one-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. WSU matched a season-high with 11 tackles-for-loss, recorded eight sacks, the most since 2006, and held Utah to just 62 rushing yards while kicker Erik Powell hit four field goals for the Cougars.

 
FOURTH-QUARTER COMEBACK LEADS COUGARS PAST NO. 18 STANFORD
The Cougars used a fourth-quarter comeback to knock off No. 18 Stanford 24-21 for the second straight season. Luke Falk threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, breaking the Pac-12 career passing yards record along the way as WSU won back-to-back meetings against the Cardinal for the first time since 2006-07. The defense recorded 11 tackles-for-loss and held Stanford to a season-low 198 yards of total offense including Bryce Love to a season-low 69 yards on 15 carries. Falk engineered an 11-play 94-yard scoring drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jamire Calvin for the go-ahead score. The Speed D clinched the win with an interception with under a minute to play.

 
SPEED D SHUTS OUTS COLORADO, SECOND SHUTOUT OF THE SEASON
Washington State recorded its second shutout of the season with a 28-0 victory over Colorado. The last time the Cougars posted two shutouts in a season was 1981 when WSU recorded three. WSU last shut out a conference opponent in 1981, 21-0 at No. 22 UCLA. The Cougars held Colorado to season lows in total offense (174), passing yards (94), rushing yards (80) including 2.0 yards-per-carry. WSU rushed for a season-high 194 yards while Luke Falk tossed three TD passes including the first career TD catches for Tay Martin (50 yards) and Brandon Arconado (18 yards).

 
COUGARS NOTCH THIRD STRAIGHT OVER DUCKS
Washington State posted a 33-10 victory over Oregon in Eugene to claim its third straight meeting against the Ducks for the first time since 1982-84. The Cougars also recorded back-to-back wins in Eugene for the first time since 1982 and 1984. Luke Falk threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns, Erik Powell kicked four field goals (25, 52, 47, 29) while the defense forced three turnovers, recorded 11 tackles-for-loss with four sacks, held Oregon to its lowest point total since 2009 and just 277 yards of total offense after entering the week averaging 537.4 yards-per-game.

 
COUGARS KNOCK OFF NO. 5 USC
Washington State received big plays from all three phases to post a 30-27 win over No. 5 USC in Pullman. It was WSU's first win over a Top-5 team since beating No. 5 Texas in the 2003 Holiday Bowl and first over a Top-5 team in the regular season since beating No. 5 Washington in the 1992 Apple Cup, also in Pullman. WSU saw running back Jamal Morrow rush for 91 yards and score two touchdowns (1 rush, 1 rec) while Luke Falk threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns. The Cougar defense held USC to just 327 yards of total offense, its lowest output since its 2016 opener against Alabama. WSU recorded five tackles-for-loss, picked off Sam Darnold once and forced a fumble off of Jahad Woods' strip-sack to seal up the win. Kicker Erik Powell connected on all three of his field goal attempts (44, 33, 32) with the last coming as the game-winner with 1:40 remaining.

 
THE COMEBACK
Down 31-10 to Boise State midway through the fourth quarter, Washington State rallied with 21 points in the final eight minutes to send the game into overtime. Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Tyler Hilinski got things going with a 17-yard touchdown strike to freshman Jamire Calvin to make it 31-17. Four plays later, Peyton Pelluer picked off an errant BSU pass and raced 39 yards for the score, cutting the deficit to 31-24. With under three minutes left in regulation, WSU was forced to punt but Erik Powell's punt landed on a Bronco blocker and redshirt-freshman Dillon Sherman jumped on the fumble. Three plays later, Hilinski found Morrow for a six-yard touchdown pass, evening the game at 31. In the third overtime, Hilinski again hit Morrow in the flat and Morrow scampered 22 yards before leaping over the left corner of the end zone for the game-winner. WSU matched the largest fourth-quarter comeback set back in 1984 after WSU trailed 42-21 to start the final period, scored 28 points behind a touchdown run from Mark Rypien, one from Rueben Mayes, a  53-yard scoring pass from Rypien to Mayes and finally a 22-yard touchdown run by Mayes to win 49-42 at Stanford. 

 
SPECIAL TEAMS REACHED MILESTONES IN 2016
The 2016 WSU special teams produced a pair of Pac-12 Special Teams Players of the Week awards and finished the year ninth-ranked punt return unit in the country (13.5 per return). At Arizona State, Robert Taylor returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, WSU's first since 2003, and against California, Kaleb Fossum returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown, WSU's first since 2005, both players earned Pac-12 weekly awards. It was the first time WSU had a kickoff and punt return for a touchdown in the same season since 1968 and the first time with two conference special teams player of the week awards in the same season since 2006. In Pac-12 play, the Cougars led the league in punt return average (18.8) and were second in kick return avg (23.0).

 
PELLUER NAMED TO WUERFFEL TROPHY WATCH LIST
Linebacker Peyton Pelluer was named to The Wuerffel Trophy Watch List. Pelluer was among the 109 players named to the watch list for The Wuerffel Trophy, known as "College Football's Premier Award for Community Service." Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Pelluer is a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection, twice named to the First Team, and has been involved with a number of community service projects through WSU Athletics.

 
PELLUER NAMED PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Linebacker Peyton Pelluer was named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week after making a team-high 14 tackles and keyed a fourth-quarter comeback with his 36-yard interception return for a touchdown in the 47-44 triple overtime win over Boise State. Pelluer's touchdown cut the BSU lead to seven and WSU eventually tied it with 1:44 left in regulation before winning in triple overtime. It was the redshirt-senior's second career interception and his 14 stops were his eighth career double-digit tackle effort. Pelluer, a native of Sammamish, Wash., led a defense that forced four turnovers and scored two touchdowns (Robert Taylor 7-yard fumble return for TD) for the first time since 2013. Pelluer earned his first career player of the week honor and is the Cougars first defensive player of the week accolade since Shalom Luani earned the award in 2015 after his two-interception game against Oregon State.

 
POWELL, WOODS EARN PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS
Kicker Erik Powell and linebacker Jahad Woods each garnered Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week awards after the win over USC. Powell was named the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week and Woods as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, the first time WSU claimed two conference weekly honors in the same week since Erik Coleman did so in 2003. Coleman earned both Pac-10 Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week following the Cougars 31-13 win over No. 12 UCLA (10 tackles, 2 INT, 2 FF). Powell earned his first career weekly accolade after connecting on all three of his field attempts (44, 33, 32) with the 32-yarder proving to be the game-winner with 1:40 remaining. Woods earned his first career weekly accolade after making a game-high nine tackles and forcing a fumble on his sack of Sam Darnold that was recovered by Derek Moore to seal up the win. Woods, a redshirt-freshman from San Diego, was part of a Cougar defense that tallied five tackles-for-loss, forced two turnovers and held the Trojans to a season-low 327 yards of total offense. 

 
POLYNESIAN PIPELINE
The Washington State roster has seen an influx in Polynesian players since Mike Leach and his coaching staff arrived in 2012. The 2017 roster has 11 players who are of Polynesian decent including four who list their hometown from American Samoa. 

 
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Four Cougars share a unique bond with their dads and/or grandpa, each have worn the crimson a gray. Redshirt-junior left tackle Andre Dillard's dad, Mitch was an offensive lineman and tight end for the Cougars in the late 1980's; redshirt-senior linebacker Isaac Dotson's dad, Michael was an All-American wrestler for WSU from 1983-86; redshirt-senior linebacker Peyton Pelluer's dad, Scott also played linebacker for the Cougs, matching Peyton's No. 47 from 1977-80; Peyton's grandpa, Arnie played end for WSU in the mid 1950's and his great grandpa, Carl Gustafson, played flanker in the 1920's; and freshman quarterback John Bledsoe's dad, Drew Bledsoe played at WSU from 1990-92, was the No. 1 overall pick by the New England Patriots in the 1993 NFL Draft and played 14 seasons.

 
STEVE GLEASON RECRUIT SUITE IN COUGAR FOOTBALL COMPLEX
WSU announced the naming of the Steve Gleason Recruit Suite, inside the Cougar Football Complex in 2016. Gleason, the Washington State Athletic Hall of Famer who played football and baseball in a Cougar uniform from 1995-99, was on hand as the room all future Cougar football players will walk through was named in his honor. The opportunity arrived courtesy of Cougar alumnus Glenn Osterhout's naming donation of $250,000. With his pledge, Osterhout, a 1983 graduate who is a certified financial planner in Bellevue, was presented the opportunity to name the recruiting room inside the Cougar Football Complex.

 
COUGAR FOOTBALL BROADCAST TEAM
Hall of fame announcer Bob Robertson is in his 51st season calling Cougar football games, and according to a nation-wide survey of sports information directors, is the longest tenured radio announcer in the country with the next closest being Bill Hillgrove who has announced 47 straight seasons at Pitt. Robertson began calling WSU games in 1964 and with the exception of a three-year period in 1969-71, has been calling Cougar games ever since. Robertson now hosts the Cougars pre, halftime and postgame shows, while also providing analysis during the games. Matt Chazanow is in his third season as the play-by-play voice for Cougar football, men's basketball and baseball broadcasts. Joining Chazanow and Robertson in the booth for his fourth season will be Cougar legend Jason Gesser who quarterbacked WSU to the 2001 Sun Bowl and 2003 Rose Bowl. Returning for her sixth season as the sideline reporter is Jessamyn McIntyre, an executive producer for 710 ESPN Seattle.  
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