Cougs mauled on field, brawled in tunnel

LOS ANGELES -- Washington State ran into an offensive juggernaut in Southern Cal Saturday, as the Trojans amassed more than 450 first half-yards on their way to a 55-13 win. The Cougars' Jerome Harrison, the No. 2 running back in the nation, continued to amaze in the defeat, topping the 100-yard mark in the first quarter, but the outcome was never in doubt. The game was also marred by a near-brawl in the tunnel at halftime as coach Bill Doba was shoved into a wall according to reports.

The Cougars Radio Network reported police were required to break up a melee in the tunnel in which the 65-year old head coach of the Cougars was shoved into a wall. Doba was unhurt, and downplayed the incident, but said he didn't want to fully comment.

Cougars vs. Trojanss
The Cougars converted a woeful 2-of-13 third-downs while USC made good on 10-of-14.

In a game as one-sided as this one it's hard to pick anyone, but you've got to tip your hat once again to running back Jerome Harrison. He is the first back this season to gain 100 yards or more against USC. He had 147 -- most coming in the first half.

Cougar secondary looked downright foolish on numerous Trojan pass plays.

Eric Frampton 13, Husain Abdullah 9, Wally Dada 7

The Cougars (3-5) host Arizona State (4-4) next Saturday. Kickoff is at 2 pm game. No TV coverage. The Sun Devils beat Washington 44-20 today.

"In the Pac-10, the visiting team, the team closest to the tunnel is supposed to go in first and I guess 'SC must have a rule where they run up the tunnel, and we were not running," said Doba. "It wasn't anything intentional I don't think...It wasn't anybody fighting or swinging or anything like that."

In action on the field, USC scored 28 points to WSU's 6 in the first quarter to take control early.

The game was so one-sided that USC punted only twice, held a 13-minute advantage in time of possession and took 35 more offensive snaps than the Cougars. If Pete Carroll hadn't called off his big guns in the fourth quarter the Trojans' total yardage, 745, easily could have mushroomed to 1,000.

Harrison rushed for 147 yards despite playing spraingly in the second half, and extended his consecutive 100-yard streak to 11 games. Harrison was the first running back to rush for over 100 yards against the Trojans this year. The senior came into the game averaging 166.1 yards a game, No. 2 in the nation among Div. I-A ballcarriers.

But Harrison and the Cougar offense were simply no match for their counterparts from Southern Cal, as the Trojans did just about anything they wanted to when they had the ball. The Trojans riddled the WSU secondary with short and medium range passes, and then ran strsight through the middle of the Cougar defense, one featuring true freshman starters at defensive tackle and middle linebacker.

Southern Cal scored on their first four possessions and spent the first three quarters piling up large chunks of real estate through the air. Quarterback Matt Leinart sat down with a few seconds remaining in the third quarter and USC leading 41-6. Leinart was 24-34 for 364 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Washington State punted a season high 9 times, while USC rolled up 40 first downs and 745 yards of total offense. Coming into the game, Southern Cal was averaging 581 total yards a game, No. 1 in the nation. And they played like it.

Alex Brink was 9-17 for 66 yards in a little over three quarters work, while star receiver Jason Hill was limited to six catches for 50 yards on the afteroon.

Cougar QB Josh Swogger was inserted with a little over 12 minutes remaining in the game and Washington State down by 42 points.

The junior converted a fourth down conversion to Jed Collins deep in Trojan territory on the way to the WSU's second and final touchdown of the day as DeMaundray Woolridge bowled into the end zone. The next WSU series, QB Gary Rogers was put into the game by the Cougar coaches.

Washington State faces Arizona State next weekend at home. Kickoff is 2pm, and the game will not be televised. The Cougars are now in the position of having to win their final three games to go to bowling. After the Sun Devils, WSU plays Oregon in Pullman and then travels to Seattle to face Washington in the Apple Cup. They'll need to run the table to finish at 6-5.

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