Cougars Beat No. 18 USC In Overtime
Oct 5, 2002
By JOHN K. WILEY
PULLMAN, Wash. - Drew Dunning kicked a tying 35-yard field goal with 1:50 left in regulation, then made another 35-yarder in overtime to give No. 18 Washington State a 30-27 victory over Southern California on Saturday night.
Ryan Killeen missed a 52-yard field-goal attempt on USC's overtime possession. He earlier missed an extra point that would have won the game for the Trojans (3-2, 1-1 Pac-10) after Carson Palmer threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams late in the fourth quarter.
Jason Gesser led the Cougars (5-1, 2-0) with two TD passes to Mike Bush and Devard Darling, and Jermaine Green ran 75 yards for another TD. Gesser, playing with a padded flak jacket his sore rib, completed 23 of 44 passes for 315 yards with one interception.
Palmer was 32-of-50 for 381 yards, including TDs to Malaefou MacKenzie and Williams. Palmer also ran for a 3-yard score. He threw one interception. Sultan McCullough scored on a 6-yard run.
Southern California trailed through much of the game, but Jason Leach intercepted a pass by Gesser and returned it to the Trojans 47 to set up Williams' go-ahead score with 4:10 remaining.
USC entered the game as the nation's top defensive team, holding opponents to an average of 204 yards a game. Washington State had 216 yards at the half as Gesser hit his receivers on long pass plays.
The Cougars thought the Trojans would blitz frequently, but Gesser was sacked only once, while Palmer was sacked four times by the Cougars' defense.
Washington State thwarted two USC scoring attempts in the second quarter.
Jason David intercepted a pass by Palmer in the end zone, but USC's Alex Holmes
knocked the ball out of his hand. Eric Coleman recovered for the Cougars.
The Trojans were at the Cougars 13 at the end of the second period, but a holding penalty, a tackle for a 4-yard loss and a fumble on the exchange pushed them back to the Cougars 30. Ryan Killeen's 47-yard field goal attempt bounced off the right upright.
Washington State had 201 yards rushing, while USC had just 72.
USC's standout strong safety Troy Polamalu left the game in the first quarter with an injury to his lower right leg or ankle. He returned to the game at the end of the third quarter after X-rays were taken.
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