EVEN IF THE APPARENT knee injury Travis Long suffered during the ASU game ends up shelving him for Friday's Apple Cup, there's no getting around the fact his place among the all-time Cougar greats is secure. Indeed, Long is already in select company on WSU's career lists for sacks and tackles-for-loss.
Long appeared poised to leapfrog some legendary names in Cougar history if he could turn in a star-powered performance Friday in the Apple Cup. But Long sat out Monday's practice and his availability for Friday's game is in question. If he doesn't play, it will end his string of consecutive starts at 47. WSU does not comment on injuries.
Long sits at No. 4 on WSU's career TFL list, with 42. He would need four against Washington to move by D.D. Acholonu and Mkristo Bruce into second place behind DeWayne Patterson (52.5 from 1991-93) on the all-time list. Among those Long has already passed up the ladder so are Keith Millard and Rien Long -- two of the best defensive linemen in conference history.
Meanwhile, in the sacks department, Long's 20.5 career takedowns currently place him No. 6 on WSU's all-time list. With one more he'd tie Millard for fifth. Two more would tie him for fourth with Isacc Brown. The top three in Cougar history: Patterson (37.5), Acholonu (32.5) and Bruce (29.5).
THE APPLE CUP WILL will be the last game in crimson for Long and 11 other Cougar seniors -- and possibly a 12th. Saying so long will be Phillp Brandt, Adam Coerper, Steven Hoffart, Wade Jacobson, Corey Laufasa, Andrei Lintz, Taylor Meighen, Daniel Simmons, Gino Simone, Tyree Toomer and Carl Winston. Jeff Tuel is also a senior, but he could be back next year if a medical redshirt year is granted by the NCAA and if Tuel decides he wants to return. He's been noncommittal when asked if he would return if the fifth year is granted.
Tuel, who started six games as a true freshman in 2009, enters the game fifth on WSU’s career top-10 for completions (498), seventh in passing yards (5,586) and tired for seventh in TD passes (33). His career pass completion percentage of .613 (498/812) is the best by any quarterback in WSU history.
When looking at the stats this season for Tuel and Connor Halliday, the two are, as Mike Leach said the other day, very similar. But Tuel's uncommon accuracy is one category that sets them part. Tuel has completed 63.8 percent of his 279 passes this season while Halliday has connected on 52.2 percent of his 291 tosses.
Those numbers speak volumes about two other statistical categories that illustrate the difference between Tuel and Halliday. Tuel has thrown six interceptions to Halliday's 15, but Halliday has fired 15 TD passes to Tuel's 8. In short, Halliday takes more chances than Tuel and the result, it seems, is high risk/reward.
The broadest measure of a quarterback's production -- the efficiency rating -- isn't especially favorable to either player when compared to the rest of the Pac-12. Tuel's efficiency rating is 121.2 and Halliday's is 114.5. That places them among four lowest in the conference.
ON THE RECEIVING FRONT, Cougar freshmen Brett Bartolone and Gabe Marks each need solid outings on Friday against the Dawgs to surpass Marquess Wilson for the team lead in receptions. Wilson, who is of course done for the season, has 52 catches, while Bartolone and Marks check in at 49 and 47 respectively.
No matter what kind of day they have in the Apple Cup, they won't be surpassing Wilson's receiving yards mark this season. Marks, currently second on the team at 547 yards, is 266 behind Wilson. Bartolone is third with 407 air yards.
DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING, junior safety Deone Bucannon has the team tackling crown all-but-wrapped-up with 95 total stops on the year -- 23 more than second-place middle linebacker Darryl Monroe. This will be Bucannon's second tackling title. He also took the top spot as a true freshman in 2010. Linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis just edged Bucannon for No. 1 last season.
Bucannon also is the team leader in interceptions this season, with four, but that crown remains uncertain because outside linebacker Cyrus Coen is right behind at three.
KICKOFF ON FRIDAY is set for 12:30 p.m. with TV coverage on Fox. Washington has been installed as an 11-point favorite.
With Long looking doubtful for the Apple Cup, Logan Mayes was running with the 1s at the BUCK on Monday.
“He’s going to be playing a lot more this Friday,” defensive coordinator Mike Breske said of Mayes.
Click here for more from CF.C on Monday's practice.