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Great (and not so great) moments in WSU vs. Arizona history

NCAA Football: Arizona at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington State Cougars have just 16 wins over the Arizona Wildcats dating back to 1963. I know the Cougs have had plenty of lean years, but doesn't that seem low?

It does to me.

And not counting Utah or Colorado, Arizona is the only Pac-12 team that hasn't tied WSU.

The Cougs are on a two-game winning streak heading into this weekend's matchup, and have won three of the last four.

There aren't too many past games that stick out too much, at least not like 2012 vs. Colorado or 2014 vs. Cal. But there are some.

So let's turn on the wayback machine.


Nov. 5, 2016: WSU 69 Arizona 7

Have to start with this nice game, right?

WSU completely dominated from start to finish. Well, almost. They did give up a touchdown pass on the first play of the game, but it was called back because Arizona had an ineligible man down field. Just our luck!

Luke Falk and Tyler Hilinski combined to complete 47 of 52 passes for 474 yards and six TDs. WSU only punted once—a Kyle Sweet 58-yarder inside the 20.

Mike Leach elected to kick the PAT after WSU's last touchdown, instead of going for two to #Drop70. What a shame.

Nov. 16, 2013: WSU 24 Arizona 17

The Cougs were 4-5 coming into this game and had to win two of their final three games to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2003. They had lost three in a row and were coming off a bye.

There was hope for a bowl game, but the clock was ticking.

Connor Halliday hit Isiah Myers for a 25-yard touchdown with 2:15 to play, but the play of the game came earlier in the drive when he scrambled and found Teondray Caldwell as Caldwell tip-toed the sideline.

The Coug defense bent but did not break, and forced Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker to throw to Samajie Grant out of bounds as time wound down.

The win moved WSU one game closer to bowl eligibility, a status they would achieve the following week at home against Utah.

This was a good win against a decent Arizona team that was 6-3 coming in.

Sept. 29, 2001: WSU 48 Arizona 21

WSU jumped out to a dominating 28-0 lead about seven minutes into the first quarter.

Lamont Thompson had a pick six a little more than a minute into the game, and WSU drove 76 yards to make it 14-0. The Cougs then decided to pour salt in the wound and recovered an onside kick before making it 21-0 three plays later.

A James Price interception on Arizona's next drive set up the fourth TD of the first quarter.

WSU almost blew it, though, and Arizona scored the next 21 points. The Cougs then took a 35-21 lead into halftime and shut out the Wildcats in the second half.

Running back Dave Minnich scored four TDs—three on the ground and one through the air.

Sept. 25, 2004: WSU 20 Arizona 19

The Cougs can thank Mike Stoops' clock management for this one.

With a 19-14 lead, the Stoops-led Wildcats ran up the gut on first down with 1:15 to play instead of taking a knee to run out the clock. Running back Gilbert Harris fumbled, and WSU recovered.

Josh Swogger found Jason Hill in the end zone three plays later for the win.

It was an ugly game. WSU lost four fumbles, overshadowing Arizona's terrible offense. Sometimes, you have to get lucky, and the Cougs definitely did on this day.

Oct. 25, 1997: WSU 35 Arizona 34 (OT)

This was a close one.

WSU, trying to move to 7-0, welcomed Ortege Jenkins and the Wildcats to Pullman. The game went to overtime and WSU's defense stopped an Arizona two-point try for the win.

The video cuts out right at the end, unfortunately, but you'll notice the officials stopped the game briefly because Arizona was complaining about crowd noise. You'll also notice that the end zone they were playing toward was half empty.


Not so great :(

Nov. 4, 2006: Arizona 27 WSU 17

WSU was 6-3 heading into this game. Bowl eligible! With three games to go!

My family had already put down its bowl game deposit and started to figure out which bowl games we could get to. With a possible 9-3 record on the horizon, our possibilities were endless!

Wazzu was back!

And then, well, you know the rest.

Oct. 14, 2000: Arizona 53 WSU 47 (3OT)

This was a wild one.

Jason Gesser threw six touchdowns but his last pass in the third overtime was picked off. Arizona scored a touchdown on the first possession of the third overtime.

The recap of the game has a lot of, "Hey! I remember him!" moments.

Sept. 25, 1999: Arizona 30 WSU 24

If only replay existed in 1999.

Arizona's Bobby Wade brought in a 42-yard Hail Mary as time expired to give the Wildcats the win. However, TV replays seemed to show he didn't have complete control of the ball as he came to the ground.

Had today's replay system been part of the game back then, this one would have likely gone to overtime.

Freshman Jason Gesser replaced starting quarterback Steve Birnbaum in this one, too. I had forgotten that Gesser played in the 90s.