Rebirth in Reno: Cougs roll 7s all night long

RENO -- If Cougfans were worried about the rust on the Washington State football team last week in that less-than-spectacular win over Idaho, all fears were put to rest tonight as the Cougs corked Nevada's "pistol" offense, 55-21. Indeed, WSU's domination over the Western Athletic Conference school turned Mackay Stadium into a ghost town by the third quarter.

Cougar QB Alex Brink -- looking like a 2005 version of current WSU QB coach Timm Rosenbach, circa 1988 -- dismantled the Wolfpack defense with a 15 of 23 passing performance for 202 yards and three touchdowns. So effective was Brink -- and his Cougar comrades --- against Nevada, that all three of WSU's active QBs (Brink, Josh Swogger and Gary Rogers) saw playing time. Not to mention a handful of depth-chart dwellers who gained significant primetime experience on the live ESPN broadcast.

But it was safety Eric Frampton who awakened the sleeping giant that is -- or rather, was -- WSU football. The junior from San Jose ignited the Cougar bench in first quarter by returning a tipped Nevada pass for the first WSU score.

Brink and company would add 17 more points by the end of the first half. The outcome—other than how many points the Cougs would score—was never in doubt from then on.

If Frampton was the spark, true sophomore Michael Bumpus was the fire. Although the Cougar wide receiver caught just two passes for 21 yards, he set the WSU punt return record book aflame. The Culver City, Calif. native returned five punts for 157 yards—including a record 87 yard run back for a TD in the third quarter—and secured his spot in the Cougar annals in the process.

His TD return—the third of his career—tied him with Mark Williams (1966-68) for most punt return touchdowns in Cougar history. In addition, his 87-yard return broke the 37-year old record of 81 held by WSU great Rick Reed and Williams. Bumpus also moved himself into the number two spot for most punt return yardage in a game. His 157 yard effort was just 10 hashes shy of Shawn Tim's record of 167 set in 1997 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

With two TD grabs for the second week in a row, junior wide receiver Jason Hill moved into a tie for fifth place on WSU's career receiving TD chart with 16 total. He joins Cougar legends Brian Kelly (1975-77), Tim Stallworth (1986-89), Phillip Bobo (1990-92), and Mike Bush (2001-02). The all time WSU mark is 22, set by the great Hugh Campbell over three seasons from 1960-62.

With 254 yards between them, Cougar running backs Jerome Harrison (121 yards) and DeMaundray Woolridge (133 yards) entered the elite fraternity of backs to hit the century mark in the same game.

Redshirt freshmen offensive linemen Andy Roof and Dan Rowlands saw their first action of the season. Roof had a particularly good night, often driving his man well downfield. Rowlands returned after having gall bladder surgery earlier this fall.

Kickoff specialist Graham Siderius had a rousing homecoming. The Reno native consistently booted the ball deep into the end zone -- or out of it altogether. Five of his 10 kickoffs were unreturnable, with the senior averaging 64.5 yards a kick on the night.

Washington State's defense leads the nation, along with Nebraska, over the last five years in interceptions gained. The Cougs have pilfered 79 passes over that time.

Washington State tallied six sacks on the night, with Matt Mullennix, Bryan Olson and Fevaea'i Ahmu notching their first career sacks against Nevada.

The Wolfpack didn't cross into Washington State territory until 3:12 remained in the first half.

First Quarter
WSU: Frampton 36-yard interception return (Langley kick)
WSU: Bienemann 18-yard pass from Brink (Langley kick)

Second Quarter
WSU: Langley 18 yard FG
WSU: Hill 7-yard pass from Brink (Langley kick)
WSU: Langley 28-yard FG

Third Quarter
NEV: Spencer 21-yard pass from Rowe (Jaekle kick)
WSU: Hill 22-yard pass from Brink (Siderius kick)
WSU: Bumpus 87-yard punt return (Langley kick)
WSU: Gibson 44-yard pass from Swogger (Siderius kick)
NEV: Mitchell 14-yard run (Jaekle kick)

Fourth Quarter
NEV: Hubbard 3-yard run (Jaekle kick)
WSU: Woolridge 1-yard run (Siderius kick)

Washington State -- Woolridge, DeMaundray 15-133; Harrison, Jerome 18-121; Asuega-Stark, Brandon 2-5; Collins, Jed 1-1; Swogger, Josh 1-0; Brink, Alex 3-minus 2; Team 3-minus 11

Nevada -- B.J. Mitchell 13-59; Jeff Rowe 11-38; Robert Hubbard 6-25; Caleb Spencer 1-6; Travis Moore 3-0; TEAM 1-minus 3

Washington State -- Brink, Alex 15-23-0-202; Swogger, Josh 4-9-0-85
Nevada -- Jeff Rowe 19-32-1-219; Travis Moore 4-10-0-38

Washington State -- Hill, Jason 5-92; Bienemann, Troy 4-58; Harvey, Trandon 3-27; Bumpus, Michael 2-21; Jordan, Chris 2-17; Gibson, Brandon 1-44; Harrison, Jerome 1-15; Prator, Greg 1-13

Nevada -- Caleb Spencer 7-126; Mike McCoy 4-23; A. Pudewell 2-23; Jack Darlington 2-21; N. Flowers 2-20; Trevor Brackett 2-10; Tommy Haug 2-5; Kyle Sammons 1-20; Alex Rosenblum 1-9

Washington State -- Braidwood, Adam 1-1; Bruce, Mkristo 1-0; Ahmu, Fevaea'i 0-1; Olson, Bryan 1-0; Mullenix, Matt 1-0; Eichelberger, Matt 1-0

Nevada -- Roosevelt Cooks 1-0; Craig Bailey 0-1; Ezra Butler 0-1

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