Sept. 18, 2004
By JOHN K. WILEY
Associated Press Writer
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Josh Swogger threw four touchdown passes - three to Chris Hill - and Allen Thompson rushed for two more as Washington State routed Idaho 49-8 on Saturday night.
After a shaky performance that caused coaches to bench him last weekend, Swogger came back to complement a strong defensive effort that frustrated the Vandals and quarterback Michael Harrington before a crowd of about 34,858.
Swogger, a sophomore, threw for 196 yards, completing 12-of-19 passes before he injured his knee and turned the reins over to backup Alex Brink early in the third quarter. Coach Bill Doba had taken pains this week to reaffirm that Swogger would be the Cougars starter despite a poor showing against Colorado.
Doba said it was not immediately known how serious the injury was but it did not appear to be season ending. He said team doctors would look at the knee Sunday.
Swogger showed his coach's confidence was merited, directing a balanced offensive attack against the overmatched Vandals, who had scored just two TDs in two previous games.
Although the game was played in Martin Stadium on the Washington State campus, Idaho was designated the home team under an agreement to help the Vandals meet NCAA Division I attendance minimums.
Washington State (2-1) of the Pacific-10 generated 509 yards of offense, holding Idaho (0-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) to 276 yards.
Jason Hill, a sophomore, was a favorite target, catching three passes for 105 yards. Swogger hit him on a short screen over the middle from the 24, then Hill picked his way through Idaho defenders to complete a 76-yard scoring play to put Washington State up 28-0 with 9:40 remaining in the second quarter.
Hill also caught TD passes of 10 and 13 yards. Swogger also hit Marty Martin on a 13-yard scoring pass after the Cougars recovered a fumbled kickoff on the Idaho 13.
The Cougars also showed they could run, piling up 286 yards and three rushing TDs.
After a 65-yard run by Chris Bruhn, Allen Thompson ran 5 yards to score to put the Cougars up 42-0 in the third quarter, then rumbled 3 yards early in the fourth quarter make it 49-0. Earlier, Jerome Harrison scored on a 19-yard TD run.
Idaho's only score came with 17 seconds remaining, when Brian Nooy hit Ryan Heacock on a 6-yard TD pass, then converted on another pass to Heacock. Nooy completed 6-of-6 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.
WSU's defense frustrated the Vandals all evening, forcing six fumbles, recovering three and turning two touchdowns.
Harrington completed 12 of 17 passes for 66 yards and an interception before Nooy came in to relieve him to start the fourth quarter.
It was not the first time Idaho had used Martin Stadium as its home turf. The Vandals played some home games in Pullman from 1999-01 to qualify for Division I status under a similar arrangement.