The Magnificent Seven

As Washington State seeks just its eighth victory ever against Southern California on Saturday, <i>Cougfan.com</i> looks back at those historical rarities when the Cougars silenced the Trojans. And keep heart, Cougfans: Although seven wins, 4 ties, and 50 losses may seem like some lonely numbers, ol' Wazzu has taken two of the last four from USC!

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, then Cougar now current SC starting LB, Champ 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)

Coach: 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.

 

1986: WSU 34 USC 14 (Pullman)

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 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.

 

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."

 

 


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