Which Cougar records are at risk in 2013?

PULLMAN – When Mike Leach took over the WSU helm last year, many projected the Cougar record books to be rewritten on the offensive side of the ball. But don't forget about the D in 2013. CougGreats like Lee Blakeney, Brian Forde, Lamont Thompson and many more own respective WSU crowns. With the ‘13 season all but here, which Cougs are close to leaving their permanent mark on WSU history?

Several Cougs will have the opportunity to stamp their place in Wazzu history with impressive performances in 2013. Let's explore some of those on the cusp of both moving up and setting program marks.

ON THE DEFENSIVE side of the ball, senior safety Deone Bucannon is working his way into celebrated company.

With 32 more stops, Bucannon will move into the top-10 for career tackles at Washington State. Furthermore, tallying 73 more tackles this season will give Bucannon the crown of most prolific tackling safety in WSU history, passing John Rushing.

Those 73 tackles would put Bucannon fourth all-time on the career tackles list. But third place seems a long-shot. Bucannon would need 170 tackles in 2013 to pass the great Brian Forde for third all-time.

Furthermore, the ball-hawking playmaker would need a video-game like 254 tackles to top former linebacker Lee Blakeney, who averaged nearly 13 tackles per game over his entire career.

AS FAR AS career marks go, no other Cougars look to be approaching record-breaking numbers -- some single-season records are attainable this season.

Second-year freshman quarterback Austin Apodaca could break numerous freshman records if he can claim the starting quarterback job at some point in 2013 and hold onto it.

With 12 touchdown passes, Apodaca would surpass former Coug QB Aaron Garcia for the rookie crown.

Another passing record that could crumble this season -- the single-season passing touchdowns throne.

Regardless of whether Apodaca or fourth-year junior Connor Halliday wins the starting job, excessive passing touchdown numbers are familiar territory for Mike Leach-led offenses.

Ryan Leaf owns the record with 34 passing scores -- look for that number to be tested in the coming years.

By the way, the single-game high for passing yards is held by Alex Brink, with 531 yards against OSU in 2005. Halliday holds the second spot, with 494 hashes against ASU in 2011. The number of completed passes in a game is 38, also by Brink. Halliday had 32 in the game at ASU, tied for fourth all-time.

WSU LAST SEASON set the all-time single season pass attempts mark, with 624, but they did it using two QBs. The individual single season mark is 503 by Brink. If either Halliday or Apodaca plays the bulk of the season, that mark figures to go down.

So too would the completions record, which sits at 305 by Brink in the same season.

And keep in mind that Leach wants his quarterbacks to complete at least 65 percent of their passes. Former NFL quarterback Timm Rosenbach has held the WSU single-season record of 64.5 since 1988. Tuel came close last season, at 63.7 percent.

Ah, but what about the receivers?

The biggest hurdle is that the Air Raid tends to have multiple receivers put up crooked numbers. That said, here are some single season marks which could be in jeopardy:

Receptions: 82 (Marquess Wilson, 2011)

Receiving TDs: 13 (Jason Hill, 2005)

Receiving Yards: 1,388 (Wilson, 2011)

OVER ON SPECIAL TEAMS, senior kicker Andrew Furney is already one of the most accomplished kickers in Cougar history. Considering Pullman has seen the likes of Jason Hanson, Rian Lindell and Drew Dunning come through, that's no small feat.

With a strong 2013, Furney could find himself in the top 3, if not at the top, of several kicking categories.

Furney already sits atop the single-season best field goal percentage in Coug history at a mark of 87.5 percent, (2011). This season, he may push to own the career record.

At 75.6 percent, Furney sits just 1.7 percent behind Dunning for the all-time mark. A stellar 2013 season, above the 80 percent mark, should put him over the top.

With just 13 more field goal makes, Furney will move into the top three all-time. The top spot is out of reach -- Furney would need 38 field goals this season to pass the prodigious numbers posted by Hanson.

One final kicking statistic -- With two more 50-yard-plus field goals, Furney will move into second all-time with five. Hanson, incredibly, recorded 18 of the 50-yarders during his tenure.

NOTABLE NOTE:
The assault on the WSU record books under Mike Leach has already begun. Last season, QB Jeff Tuel left his mark in the WSU record books, becoming the all-time leader in completion percentage at Washington State. Tuel, now a rookie with the Buffalo Bills, completed 61.4 percent of his passes at Wazzu and now sits atop the career list followed by names like Rosenbach, Brink, Thompson, Gesser, Leaf and Bledsoe.

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