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My Favorite Moment in WSU Football History, Part 4 of Whatever

Kyle Sherwood breaks down some of his favorite lesser-known moments in Cougar Sports History.

WSU Athletics Communications

Since our entire community is hoping this is finally the year the Cougs can finally turn things around and get to a bowl game, I figured this would be a good stop in our journey to show you the last time we saw WSU at this turning point, going from "losing streak to Idaho" to "hey, with a couple breaks we might win the Pac-10 this year!" all in the span of eight minutes.

It was late September, 2001. The Cougs were 3-0, but had not been tested yet as the wins came against Idaho (!!!), Boise State and the fightin' Belcastro's, and a really bad Cal team who would go on to win only one game that season against lowly-Rutgers. 9/11 had cancelled a week of games which would've included a very good Colorado team coming to Pullman, so WSU's first test came in the form of a road game in Tucson against a Wildcat defense led by Lance Briggs and Michael Jolivette. The last time WSU started a season 3-0 was 1998 and they followed that with a 12-game losing streak, so a win in the desert was necessary to get the bandwagon fixed up for use.

The first eight minutes of the game brought everyone back in droves.

Arizona takes the ball at kickoff and three plays into the game, Lamont Thompson picks the ball off and takes it to the house to get out to an early 7-0 lead.

We're not done.

After a Wildcat punt, Jason Gesser and Co. get their first crack at the Arizona D. A quick six-play, 76 yard drive including a bomb from Gesser to Mike Bush and a Dave Minnich run on 3rd and goal resulted in another Wazzu touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

We're not done.


After the Cougs take the ball back on an onside kick, the Arizona announcers start talking about how composed the Wildcat defense looks. Gesser, Bush and Minnich again respond with a touchdown within the next two plays to go up by 21.

We're not done.

On the first play of the next Arizona drive, J-Dub gets his hands on a Jason Johnson pass and James Price takes it back into the Wildcat Redzone. Three plays and a bizarre comment about beer-swilling Marines from the color commentator eight days after 9/11 later, Gesser finds Bush in the endzone and the Cougs are up four touchdowns and making their plans for the Tucson bar.

The Cougs would go on to win this game 48-21 and improve to 4-0. Dave Minnich would finish with four touchdowns. But it's that first eight minutes that will always stick with me. 28 points in half-a-quarter. Those are Playstation numbers.

That's how you install a winning culture.