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Let's revisit the 2002 and 2008 WSU-USC games

One was good, one was very bad!

Oregon v Washington State Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

When I started this weekly great-and-not-so-great feature, there were a few games on the schedule that I knew would bring memories of euphoria and a few games that would bring memories of doom.

This week, we get both. Just one game in each category today.

The Washington State Cougars have only nine wins in 72 tries against the USC Trojans and boasts only one winning streak over USC: two games, 2000 and 2002 (the teams did not play each other in 2001).

This week we feature the two opposite sides of the fan emotion pendulum. Buckle in.



Oct. 5, 2002: WSU 30 USC 27 (OT)

First off, big thanks to YouTube user Gabe Storment. I spent two weeks lamenting the fact that I couldn't find video like this anywhere, and lo and behold: Gabe uploads this video yesterday. Clutch!

If you had to rank the top three WSU football games of all time, this has to be in there. A sold out crowd on Homecoming watched no. 17 WSU battle no. 18 USC in a #Pac12AfterDark classic before that was even a thing.

Everybody remembers Drew Dunning's kick and soccer slide to win it. They probably also remember his funky kick to tie it.

What some might forget, though, is that we don't even have overtime if USC kicker Ryan Killeen doesn't miss an extra point earlier in the game. Killeen also missed a 52-yarder on USC's first possession in overtime. #CollegeKickers.

Thanks to stellar D-Line play, WSU pushed the Trojans back, forcing Killeen's 52-yard attempt.

After his miss, the Cougs elect to kick it on third down. Icing the kicker must not have been a thing in 2002, because the kick happens pretty quickly (after that Lethal Weapon 4 promo, of course). As you know, it was perfect, setting off a wild celebration that Mike Price definitely enjoyed:

This was the last time WSU defeated the Trojans in Pullman. It was an incredible atmosphere and let's hope Martin Stadium is similar on Friday (but please, ban Thunderstix forever).

And how Dunning didn't come away paralyzed from that dog pile, I have no idea:

OK, before we get to this next game, I just want to present a READER WARNING: What you're about to read and watch may cause flashbacks and night tremors that take you back to the dark days of Cougar football.

You've been warned.

Not So Great :(

Oct. 18, 2008: USC 69 WSU 0

This was not a nice game.

This was the first year of the Paul Wulff regime, and it was clear to anybody who was at the game and anybody who read the post-game quotes that the coaching staff's only concern was keeping the players from leaving in body bags.

Part of me understands that—remember, quarterback Kevin Lopina was already coming back from a back fracture, probably earlier than planned. The other part of me wonders, what kind of message are you sending to your team, laying down like that?

Lopina threw just nine passes, completing six to his own team and one to USC.

Oh yeah, Mark Sanchez took a knee at the WSU 10-yard line at the end of the first half. It was that bad.

The Cougs were overmatched in every facet of the game. Just look at how center Kenny Alfred gets rocked by Rey Maualuga:

Oy. Check out these stats at your own peril.

This was also the first time WSU laid a goose egg in 280 games.

The Cougs then had a bye week.

"We need to start over," Lopina said after the game. "This bye week is going to be a new season."

They lost to Stanford 58-0 coming out of that bye week.

Honorable Mention

OK I'll adda few more:

Nov. 1, 2014: USC 44 WSU 17

Not so great. Connor Halliday saw his career end here.

Sept. 7, 2013: WSU 10 USC 7

Great! Not the greatest football but a Damante Horton pick six and a field goal from Andrew Furney gave WSU a rare win in The Coliseum. We'll take it.

Sept. 30, 2006: USC 28 WSU 22

Not so great. WSU wore goofy unis in this game and Alex Brink couldn't hit the end zone as time expired with a Hail Mary from the USC 38. Not good.

Sept. 13, 1997: WSU 28 USC 21

Great! The Block!

Sept. 30, 1989: USC 18 WSU 17

Not so great. Both teams were ranked and a Todd Marinovich-led USC came away with a one-point victory thanks to a 91-yard drive and and a two-point conversion as the game wound down. The Spokesman-Review's Theo Lawson included this game in his feature today.


Grade Drew Dunning's Soccer Celebration

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Perfect 10
    (162 votes)
  • 29%
    (93 votes)
  • 3%
    Just OK
    (11 votes)
  • 6%
    (22 votes)
  • 9%
    Come on, Drew. This ain't a Slip 'N Slide.
    (31 votes)
319 votes total Vote Now