Harrison, Woolridge wake the echoes of duos past

RENO -- The long-time faithful in the Cougar section of MacKay Stadium were racking their brains. "Broussard and Swinton," offered one. "Mayes and Porter," said another. Showing my age, I first thought of Ken Grandberry and Andrew Jones circa '73, before moving on to early 80s standouts Tim Harris and James Matthews. In the middle of a high-octane Cougar victory, there's nothing like a little trivia to serve as the icing on a 55-21 cake.

Cougars 55, Wolf Pack 21
254 combined rushing yards by Harrison and Woolridge.

Cougar safety Eric Frampton taking first quarter interception to the house.

WSU tight end Troy Bienemann catching four passes, including a first quarter TD, for 58 yards.

Braidwood 6, Derting 5, Dildine 5.

Nevada narrowed the score to 27-7 to open the second half but the Cougars slammed the door shut on the next series, driving 66 yards in four plays with Brink hitting Hill for the final 22 yards and the TD.

Cougars vs. Grambling State in Seattle, Sept. 17, 4 pm kickoff.

In this case, the fuel was the rushing exploits of senior Jerome Harrison and true freshman DeMaundray Woolridge, each of whom topped more than 100 yards as WSU improved its record to 2-0 at the nationally televised expense of Nevada's Wolf Pack.

Harrison racked up 121 hashes on 18 carries and Woolridge, of Keller, Texas, checked in with the Mother of All Coming Out Parties -- 133 yards on 13 carries, plus the final of WSU's seven TDs. One of his runs covered 70 yards. Before Harrison went 80 against the Vandals last week, the longest for a Cougar running back had been Jeremaine Green's 75 and 80 yard runs against USC and UCLA, respectively, in 2002.

At a school where the one-back offense has reigned supreme since 1987, it gets your attention when a pair of backs run wild in the same game. So it was no surprise their breachings of the century mark awoke
the echoes of other dynamic backfield duos.

For the record, no two Cougars have gone
over 100 yards in the same game since Jonathon
and Chris Bruhn beat up
on Idaho a couple of years back. Before
that, it was Frank Madu and Delton
against Montana State in 1993.

Speaking to the Cougars' domination,
Harrison and Woolridge were hardly
alone at center stage.

Quarterback Alex Brink fired for three TDs and 202 yards, completing 13 of 23 passes, while Josh Swogger added another TD and 85 yards on 4 of 9 passing.

Sophomore wunderkind Michael Bumpus returned a third quarter punt 87 yards for a touchdown -- the longest TD return in Cougar history --- and the first one over 80 yards since 1973. In all, he had 157 punt return yards -- the second-most in a single game by a Cougar behind Shawn Tims who piled up 167 against Louisiana-Lafayette in 1997.

Senior receiver Jason Hill continued his assault on the record book, pulling down two TD passes among his five catches. He now as 16 career TD receptions, putting him in a tie for fifth with the esteemed likes of Brian Kelly, Tim Stallworth, Phillip Bobo and Mike Bush. No. 1 on the list is Hugh Campbell (1960-62) with 22.

The uncertainty of how the Cougars might react to the Wolf Pack's brand new "pistol" offense and retooled 3-4 defense were answered early. The Cougars were up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 27-0 at intermission.

The Wolf Pack offense spent all of 30 seconds in Cougar territory in the first half, with the Cougar D blasting and blitzing quarterback Jeff Rowe early and often. Senior defensive end Adam Braidwood led the hit parade with six tackles and 1.5 of the Cougs' six total sacks.

The WSU defense also started the scoring fest, when junior safety Eric Frampton picked off Snow in the first quarter and took it 37 yards to the house.

By evening's end, with virtually the entire travel squad getting on the field, the Cougars had collected 534 net yards, averaging a glossy 6.9 yards per snap. They also converted on 5 of 6 trips inside the red zone.

Senior kickoff specialist Graham Siderius, playing in his home town, got to kick three of the Cougars' extra points. He also was made an honorary captain for the game.

Second-year freshman QB Gary Rogers made his collegiate debut in the fourth quarter, but did not get a chance to show off his strong arm.

True freshman receiver Brandon Gibson scored his first-ever TD as a Cougar when and Swogger teamed up for a 44-yard scoring strike in the third quarter.

This marked the fifth straight game Harrison has gone over 100 yards rushing.

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