Washington State: Facts and Factors

The Washington State program is reeling, being 2-7, losing six in a row and with the recent controversy over first-year coach Mike Leach and its star player...

• UCLA travels to Pullman, Washington, to take on the Washington State Cougars Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2, with Adam Amin and Tom Luginbill in the booth and Shelley Smith on the sidelines.

• Washington State is 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the conference.

• UCLA is 7-2 and in first place in the Pac-12 South with a conference record of 4-2.

• The Bruins, after their routing of Arizona, 66-10, jumped up in the polls, to #17 in the AP, #19 in USA Today, and #18 in BCS.

• UCLA being listed in the BCS rankings is the first time since December, 2006.

• The Cougars have lost all of their conference games this season -- six in a row. WSU's two wins came at home against FCS Eastern Washington, and 2-8 UNLV.

• The series between the two schools began in 1928, with UCLA leading 39-18-1. UCLA has won the last four, but are 10-10 over the last 20 years against WSU. In that time, in games played in Pullman, UCLA is 2-2.

• Ranked UCLA teams are 12-4 against WSU in the last 40 years.

• UCLA pulled out a win last season in the Rose Bowl, 28-25, after being down in the fourth quarter 22-14. Johnathan Franklin set up a fourth-quarter touchdown with a 32-yard run.

• Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach is in his first year in Pullman. Leach is, of course, known for being the head coach at Texas Tech from 2000 to 2009, where he compiled a 84-43 record, his best season coming in 2008 when he guided the Red Raiders to an 11-2 record and a #12 ranking in AP. Leach is known for his pass-happy spread offense, the "Air Raid," which he developed at Valdosta State and Kentucky as an offensive coordinator, and then made famous at Oklahoma as an OC before being hired at Texas Tech. Leach was fired at Texas Tech after the controversy surrounding his handling of a disciplinary situation with Texas Tech player, Adam James. He was then hired by Washington State after the 2011 season, and was hailed by the Cougar faithful as the savior of the long-struggling football program. Last week, more controversy. After WSU was smacked down by Utah, 49-6, Leach publicly called out his players, calling them zombies and "exhumed corpses," and saying the Cougar's offensive line "borders on cowardice." Some are hailing it as tough love, while others consider it inappropriate to do in a public forum.

• On Sunday, Washington State's star wide receiver Marquess Wilson walked out early of a team conditioning drill. Leach subsquently suspended him for one week, missing the UCLA game. There are rumors that Wilson won't return. Wilson, who is probably the team's best player, has been the target of many of Leach's criticisms this season, and was recently demoted to second string despite leading the team in receptions.

• A Washington State players-only meeting was planned for sometime this week to try to re-group after the losing streak and recent controversy.

• Washington State has some dubious stats. The Cougars are last in the country in sacks allowed (4.44/game). They are last in rushing offense, gaining just 29 yards per game. They are 112th in the country (out of 120) in scoring offense, averaging just 19 points per game.

• UCLA has won 11 of its last 12 games when it limits its opponents to less than 100 rushing yards.

• Much has been made of this potentially being a "trap game" for UCLA, a match-up against a poor opponent it should dominate, sandwiched between a big win over Arizona and the classic rivalry against USC.

• The weather in Pullman is forecast to be in the low 20s at game time Saturday.

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