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

NCAA Football: Washington State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This weekly feature has been part nostalgia and part therapy. The great moments against the Washington State Cougars' opponents each week are fun to look back on. Everybody has their own story from any particular game, and that's fun to revisit.

On the other hand, the not-so-great moments are often ones we wish to forget. But in a season like this, and with the recent success the Cougs have experienced, it's kind of fun—in a weird way—to look back on those rough patches of Cougar football.

And there have been plenty. You've probably noticed there are more "Not so great" games over the years.

This week, we'll look back on one of the most frustrating losses in WSU's recent history. But first, let's look at the good outcomes when WSU went up against Colorado.


Oct. 1, 2011: WSU 31 Colorado 27

This was Colorado's first year in the Pac-12, and year one of Colorado's Jon Embree experience.

WSU was 2-1 in what was a show-me year for Paul Wulff. The Cougs were down ten points with 5:11 to play and found a way to win. Marshall Lobbestael threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Marquess Wilson with 1:10 to give WSU the lead. This was the culmination of a drive that started on the WSU 10-yard line.

The Cougs would recover a Paul Richardson fumble on Colorado's next possession to seal the win.

The Cougs were 3-1—halfway to a bowl! We thought we were good! Things were looking up!

The euphoria from the win completely ignored the fact that Colorado was a very bad team. They were down seven (!) cornerbacks and had to convert two players on offense.

But still, 3-1!

The Cougs would lose seven of their last eight games, and Paul Wulff was soon gone.

(don't you hate it how so many of these great games have a sour ending?)

Sept. 23, 2003: WSU 47 Colorado 26

Matt Kegel in action Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Washington State was coming off that overtime loss at Note Dame in which it had a 19-0 lead. It's safe to say they took out their frustration on the 17th-ranked Buffaloes.

The Cougar D forced Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt out of the game due to an injured shoulder, and Matt Kegel threw three touchdown passes in the romp.

This is when the 2003 version of Washington State showed what it was capable of. They would win their next five games and went on to win the Holiday Bowl, as you know.

Not so great :(

Nov. 21, 2015: WSU 27 Colorado 3

Colorado v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

WSU won, but this is in the "Not so great" category because of what happened to Luke Falk.

That's all.

Sept. 22, 2012: Colorado 35 WSU 34

Sigh. Here we are. One of the more frustrating losses of the Mike Leach era.

Mike Leach was new, and for some reason we all thought we'd automatically be good with Leach at the helm (or was that just me?). WSU was 2-1 with a clunker at BYU to open the season and two unimpressive wins over Eastern Washington and UNLV.

Still, they were 2-1 with a bad Colorado team coming to town in year two of the Jon Embree experience (it would be the final year, too). The Buffaloes were also starting Jordan Webb at quarterback, who'd transferred from Kansas.

It was a prime opportunity to move to 3-1 in front of a homecoming crowd under a cloud of smoke thanks to wildfires in the northwest.

As you recall, WSU allowed a late touchdown on a QB draw in the final seconds to give Colorado the win. Colorado scored three touchdowns in the game's final seven minutes.

That's insane.

Brian did a nice job analyzing Colorado's final drive back in 2012. It involved poor positioning, poor substitution and the inability to snag a crucial fumble that was there for the taking.

I'm sure everybody has a story from this game. What a blunder.

Nov. 19, 2016: Colorado 38 WSU 24

Before last season, many Coug fans circled this game as a probable win. Colorado had been bad for quite some time, and there weren't too many signs of them improving.

Of course, that turned out to be the opposite of what happened: the Buffaloes had a major turnaround and found themselves in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

This one's fresh in our memories. The Cougs would have had a 21-7 lead in the first half had Gabe Marks not dropped a sure touchdown pass. Instead, WSU turned it over on downs and you know the rest.

The Cougar D allowed Colorado's Sefo Liufau to throw for 345 yards and gain 113 yards on the ground.

Sept. 11, 20014: Colorado 20 WSU 12

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

This one was ugly.

Here are the ways Colorado scored: two field goals, a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown, and a pick six.

WSU out-gained Colorado 416 yards to 117 and still lost.

Alex Brink, taking over for Josh Swogger (who was just 6-of-27), pulled WSU to within 17-12 after a touchdown pass to Jason Hill. The two-point conversion failed, but there was still 8:04 to play, so trust your defense, right?

Except they couldn't trust their special teams. Colorado ran the ensuing kickoff 59 yards to set up a field goal.

The Cougs had a chance to tie it with a late drive but Brink fumbled near the goal line attempting to scramble for a touchdown.