Washington State defeats USC
Washington State beat USC on Saturday in the Pac-12 conference opener.
Both teams’ defenses did an excellent job, but the Washington State defense dominated. Gunnar Ecklund, Cougar left tackle, said, ”That’s where it starts for Washington State University. The defense won the game for us. They stepped it up big-time…”
USC is ranked 25, but their offensive play against the Cougars didn’t reflect that of a nationally respected team. Their cautious offense was unable to consistently breach the WSU defense. According to the Associated Press, at the very end of the first half, WSU’s Damante Horton intercepted a pass meant for Cody Kessler and returned it 70 yards, scoring a touchdown. Going into the second half, the score was tied at 7-7.
According to NBC, the second half of the game was ugly, but WSU managed to step up and make a play. Connor Halliday got the ball to Dom Williams, who took it 50 yards down the sideline, setting up Andrew Furney for a field goal with a little over three minutes left to play. Furney’s 41-yard kick put the Cougars up 10-7 with only 3:15 left on the clock.
To finish the game, Horton made another interception, this one thrown by Max Wittek, and WSU ran out the clock.
The Cougar strategy wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. They didn’t score an offensive touchdown the entire game, but they still pulled ahead of the Trojans. Head coach Mike Leach said, “Both sides were dominating up front, and it was hard to scratch and eke something out…I’m proud to say we did.”
Washington State can be proud of having defeated the nationally ranked Trojans. USC, on the other hand, is left to contemplate the changes they need to make in order to avoid any more embarrassing losses.