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

When WSU and Cal meet up, weird stuff tends to happen.

Washington State v California Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Apologies in advance, but in doing some research for this week's installment, I'm finding that there are a few more notable "Not So Great" games when the Washington State Cougars and Cal Bears meet up. As such, there is just one game in the "Great!" category, and even that one is a stretch.

There just haven't been many memorable wins against Cal. In all, there have been 27 wins over the Bears, but none that were otherwise noteworthy, but my memory doesn't go too far back.

And yes, the 60-59 game is in here. It's good therapy to revisit that nutty game.

So let's take a look back.

*As always, feel free to point out games I didn't include.


Oct. 5, 2013: WSU 44 Cal 22

The YouTube video of this game won't embed, so here you go.

The Cougs went into Berkeley and came out with a satisfying victory. So what if Cal went 1-11 this season? This was 2013—we weren't used to wins like this!

And so what if we were gifted two fumbles inside our own ten-yard line? We needed all the help we could get!

It was the most points WSU had scored in a conference game in ten years—the 2003 drubbing of Oregon was the last time WSU had this many points in a conference game. We've been through some stuff, haven't we?

Vince Mayle had two touchdown receptions, including one where I think he killed a guy:

Not so great :(

Oct. 4, 2014: Cal 60 WSU 59

We're not going to talk about this game.

We're not going to talk about how Connor Halliday threw for 734 yards, setting an NCAA record in a loss. We're also not going to talk about how Cal's Trevor Davis ran two carbon copy kickoffs back for touchdowns in a wild third quarter.

We're not going to talk about how WSU was up 10-0 after one quarter, meaning they gave up 60 points in three quarters.

And we won't talk about how Gerard Wicks actually scored a touchdown at the end but, you know, #Pac12Refs.

We're not going to talk about how special teams coach Eric Russell was out of a job the following day, and defensive coordinator Mike Breske was seemingly a dead man walking.

And we DEFINITELY won't be talking about how Quentin Breshears missed a 19-yard field goal that would have won the game, even after hitting a 42-yarder in the first quarter.

So we're not going to talk about ANY of that stuff, OK?

Oct. 3, 2015: Cal 34 WSU 28

What's the bigger brain fart: the fake punt attempt up by two in the third quarter that was fumbled and returned for a Cal touchdown, or allowing the Bears to convert a 3rd-and-36 run from its own four-yard line halfway through the fourth quarter?


This was 2015. The Cougs were good in 2015, finishing 9-4 with a Sun Bowl victory over Miami. But this game came before we knew whether they were good or not. They'd lost to Portland State, rallied to win at Rutgers and beat Wyoming before having a bye week to prepare for Cal.

Oct. 23, 2005: Cal 42 WSU 38

Bill Doba was calling for fake punt attempts with a lead before it was cool. The one in this game was stuffed and turned out to be just as costly as the one that would come ten years later.

Alex Brink completed just 18 of his 39 pass attempts, but those 18 completions went for 423 yards. That's a 23.5 yards per completion average. Yikes.

Jason Hill caught three touchdowns and the Cougs blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, which was a theme in 2005.