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Flashback Friday: Remembering the Cougars' historic victory over Boise State

Boise State suffered largest loss in school history in 1997.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the most anticipated out of conference matchup in long time is next year's trip to Boise State. With an announcement of a Saturday night national television matchup and WSU selling out of all their allotted tickets it seems like fans are extremely excited for this game. With Boise State's emergence as a mid-major powerhouse and WSU's highest expectations going into a season in a long time the fan base has a right to be amped. With that as a backdrop, I thought it would interesting to look at WSU's surprising historical dominance over the Broncos and one game in particular.

Believe it or not our fighting Cougars have never lost to the Broncos going 4-0 in the series history. All games took place between 1997 and 2001 and featured a couple of great Cougar teams and couple of not-so-great teams. Either way they managed to take down the Blue and Orange. But the most memorable game may have been the least competitive.

It was the fall of 1997. Mario Kart was the video game of choice and Outkast's "ATLiens" was playing at every party. The weekend began on Wednesday with Shaker's Power Hour. Nian Taylor's green Geo Metro was the talk of the campus. Pullman was abuzz after Ryan Leaf led the Cougars to upsets over UCLA and USC in their first two games. Then Boise State came to town for their first matchup with WSU.

Boise State kicker Todd Belcastro was angry about the Cougars not recruiting him out of Mead high school in Spokane. He decided he needed to pull a Mike Vanderjagt and  talk to the press about it.

"I hate the Cougars. I really do. I'm going to wear my Washington hat on the sideline Saturday after we win. I'm going to sign a football, put the score on it, and hand it to Price."

This really fired up the Cougars and they absolutely destroyed the Broncos. By the time it was over the Cougars rolled up 565 yards and gave Boise State it's worst loss in school history 58-0. Micheal Black and Kevin McKenzie both had 100 yard efforts and Ryan Leaf threw for 287 yards. Not only that, but the kicker Price recruited, Rian Lindell, kicked a 57-yarder.

As for Belcastro, he played one play: the opening kickoff. Mike Price definitely got the last laugh as he told the Spokesman.

"Obviously, my kicking coach, Aaron Price, made the right recruiting decision there,"

Sick burn. The Cougars of course ended up in the Rose Bowl and Boise State took a few more years to really emerge. Hopefully the Cougs can continue this trend against BSU this fall.


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