BOULDER, Colo. – More than 1,500 days after making his debut in crimson and gray threads, linebacker Peyton Pelluer tied Washington State’s record for career games played Saturday against Colorado at Folsom Field.
The fourth-generation Cougar matched former teammates, defensive lineman Daniel Ekuale and wide receiver Gabe Marks, by appearing in the 51st game of his career. Pelluer will stand alone atop the WSU record book when he plays in game No. 52 next week at home against Arizona.
Pelluer’s debut for the Cougars came on Aug. 28, 2014, when WSU opened the season with a neutral-site game against Rutgers at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The middle linebacker redshirted in 2013, then played 10 games in 2014, 13 in 2015, 13 in 2016 and three in 2017.
Pelluer’s redshirt senior year was cut short after he sustained a season-ending foot injury in week three against Oregon State, but the linebacker was able to get the season back through a medical redshirt.
“It’s good to see he beat out his uncles, his dad, his grandparents and his great grandparents. So congratulations to Peyton, I’m happy he’s on top,” WSU coach Mike Leach said after the Cougars’ 31-7 win over the Buffaloes.
Leach is obvioulsy embellishing, but not by much. Father Scott Pelluer played linebacker for WSU from 1977-80, grandfather Arnie suited up for the Cougars from 1953-55 and great grandfather Carl Gustafson was a flanker for WSU from 1925-27.
“I didn’t have the honor of coaching those guys but I do him, so we want him to have that,” Leach said. “And he’ll probably have to take one of his family members’ trophy off the mantel if they’re going to give him one for that.”
The sixth-year senior came into Saturday’s game against the Buffs as WSU’s leading tackler with 71 stops on the year. Pelluer cracked the school’s top-10 for career tackles earlier this season against Oregon and entered the CU game No. 7 on the all-time list with 325.
Astonishingly, Pelluer didn’t record a single tackle on Saturday – just the third time that’s happened in his career and the first time since his freshman season. But he still left an imprint on the 24-point win, notching two fumble recoveries in the second half. Both turnovers eventually led to touchdowns for the offense.
“I love Peyton, man,” defensive lineman Logan Tago said. “He inspires me a lot.”
Fellow inside linebacker Jahad Woods praised his teammate for the milestone – and slipped in a jab Pelluer’s heard all too often this season.
“He’s an old guy, man,” Woods said. “He plays his heart out, he’s played every single game he’s been able to play and he’s just a tremendous guy on and off the field. I look up to him, everybody on the team looks up to him.”
The Cougars have posted an impressive record – 31-18 – in games with Pelluer on the field.
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