After a week of buildup and a game circled on the calendar since the schedule came out, Pullman exploded on Friday night as Luke Falk and the Cougars lined up in the victory formation. For the first time since 2002, when Drew Dunning buried the Trojans in overtime, Washington State beat USC in Pullman. And for the first time ever, Washington State beat a top-5 USC team, walking out of Martin Stadium with a 30-27 win.
From the jump, Washington State looked like it belonged, like it could not only hang with USC, but beat it. If not for a few drops, on both sides of the ball, the first half could've looked much worse for the Trojans. And it was the defense, once again, coming through for the Cougars as the offense looked for its rhythm.
After watching as the Trojans marched down the field on their first drive, the Cougars bowed up. Windows got smaller for Sam Darnold. Balls started hitting the turf. And when an incredible interception as Luke Falk was backed up against the end zone put the Washington State defense against the wall, they responded, forcing USC to settle for a field goal.
And one last time the defense came up big following an Erik Powell field goal to take the lead. After getting into Darnold's head all night long, the Cougars finished the drill in style, forcing a fumble and handling the ball back to its offense to sit on it and close the game out.
This game was billed as a measuring stick. We knew it coming into the game and you could feel it in the air all night. Washington State was 4-0, but we weren't quite sure how good the Cougars were. What better way to find out than playing a perennial power with all the talent in the world in USC?
We know how good Washington State is now. Sky's the limit. Shots of Fireball for everyone.