2002: WSU 30 USC 27 (Pullman)
Coach: Mike Price. In this thriller--a game that eventually determined the true Pac-10 champion—a 53-yard pass from Sammy Moore with just two minutes remaining in regulation set up the game-tying field goal by Drew Dunning. USC boasted the No. 1 defense in the nation, but it was the Cougar D—specifically eventual Outland Trophy winner Rien Long—who made the difference in this contest. Long stuffed the Trojans' Heisman QB, Carson Palmer, and back Justin Fargas for losses of seven and five yards, respectively, on consecutive plays in overtime, thus forcing SC to attempt—and miss—a 52 field goal. Moments later, Dunning was getting mobbed at midfield by teammates and fans following his game winning 35-yard three-pointer.
2000: WSU 33 USC 27 (Los Angeles)
Coach: Mike Price. Starting for an injured quarterback Jason Gesser, redshirt freshman Matt Kegel played with poise and maturity in leading the Cougs past the Trojans. The first time starter connected on 12 passes covering 242 yards, including an 88-yarder to Marcus Williams. Linebacker James Price was a machine, registering 11 stops and blocking a Troy punt that Jeremy Thielbahr pounced on in the endzone. D.D. Acholonu also added to the thrills, returning a fumble to pay dirt. Ironically, a Cougar LB who would later transfer to SC, Melvin Simmons, contributed mightily to the WSU victory, sacking Trojan QB Mike Van Raaphorst on fourth down at the SC 21-yardline, thereby setting up WSU's clinching TD. As Cougar players sang the WSU fight song in celebration, boos rained upon the Trojans.
1997: WSU 28 USC 21(Los Angeles)
Mike Price. On their way to a January 1 date at the Rose Bowl, the Cougs
defeated the Trojans in for the first time in LA in 40 years. The week two game
showed WSU's victory over UCLA the previous week was no fluke, propelled QB
Ryan Leaf into Heisman contention, and gave the world the first
true glimpse of just how "fabulous" the Crimson receiving corp was. With the game tied at 21 and less
than five minutes left, Kevin McKenzie snagged a Leaf bullet with one
hand and raced 51 yards for the game winner, courtesy of a picture-perfect block
by Fab Five soul mate Shawn McWashington.
Washington State has prevailed only eight times in the 64-game history of
the WSU-USC rivalry. But get this: Of the first 45 games in the series,
the Cougs enjoyed home-field advantage only eight times. Thirty-five of
the first 45 were played in Southern Cal and another two were played at
a neutral site.
SERIES NOT SO LOPSIDED WHEN YOU CONSIDER....
To date, Washington State has hosted USC a total of 17 times, as opposed to Southern Cal's 45.
And, it has only been since 1984 that the Cougars' home turns have been played in Pullman.
Until then -- when they weren't insisting the game be held on their home field -- Southern Cal bullied the PCC, Pac-8 and Pac-10 into forcing WSU to play its home games against the Trojans in Spokane. Apparently, John McKay, John Robinson and others thought their players too delicate to make the 75-minute drive to Palouse country.
Coach: Jim Walden. Sports Illustrated was in town with plans to center a feature on the resurgence of USC football around this sure Trojan win, all-World DB Tim McDonald slammed Pullman all week in the media, and the lowly Cougs (who finished the year 3-7-1), led by QB Ed Blount, destroyed the SC machine in every facet of the game.
1957: WSU 13 USC 12 (Los Angeles)
Coach: Jim "Suds" Sutherland. Cougar receiver Donnie Ellingsen, who had his nose broken in the first half, was on the receiving end of some long Bobby Newman spirals, but it was his 89-yard kickoff return in the second half that was the difference maker.
1934: WSU 19 USC 0 (Los Angeles)
Coach: Babe Hollingbery. Led by All-American QB Ed Goddard and All-Coast tackle Johnny Bley, the Cougs played a near flawless game, shutting down a Trojan club much of the nation had already dubbed the best squad in the country. Every train stop on the return to Pullman was packed with folks anxious to catch a glimpse of the "team that beat SC," Bley told Cougfan.com.
1930: WSU 7 USC 6 (Pullman)
Coach: Babe Hollingbery. Still considered one of the greatest Washington State games ever, this Rose Bowl squad of Cougars - - featuring the legendary Mel Hein and Turk Edwards - - scored just once, a first quarter one-yard plunge by Porter Lainhart, followed by a successful extra point kick. But the Cougs held the Trojans scoreless - - playing just 14 players all day! - - until giving up a long pass and run to SC in the fourth. An off target point-after snap, however, enabled the Cougs to smother the holder and seal the victory. The game marked the first time USC played in Pullman, the initial six meetings were all played in California. And after this loss to the Cougars in 1930, the next six games in the series would also be played at USC.
1925 WSU 17 USC 12 (Los Angeles)
Coach: A.A. Exendine. This is truly the game that birthed the legend of Butch Meeker. The diminutive train-that-could sophomore QB ran, passed, kicked a field goal, played a perfect defensive game, and returned kicks, or more simply, as one Los Angeles newspaper put it, he was "the shining light in Washington State's spectacular victory."
Washington State has prevailed only eight times in the 64-game history of the WSU-USC rivalry. But get this: Of the first 45 games in the series, the Cougs enjoyed home-field advantage only eight times. Thirty-five of the first 45 were played in Southern Cal and another two were played at a neutral site.