Defense Sparks WSU's 10-7 Win Over USC - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Defense Sparks WSU's 10-7 Win Over USC

LOS ANGELES -

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Andrew Furney kicked a 41-yard field goal with 3:03 to play, and Washington State beat No. 25 Southern California 10-7 Saturday night for its first victory at the Coliseum in 13 years.

Damante Horton returned an interception 70 yards for a tying score in the final seconds of the first half for Washington State (1-1, 1-0 Pac-12), and he made the clinching interception with 2:18 to play in the Cougars' first win over the Trojans anywhere since 2002.

Dom Williams took Connor Halliday's third-and-long screen pass 49 yards to the USC 30 with 5 1/2 minutes left to set up Furney's tiebreaking kick.

Horton then picked off Max Wittek's pass to finish off USC (1-1, 0-1), which received loud boos throughout its Pac-12 opener.

Halliday passed for 215 yards and threw two interceptions for Washington State, which won without scoring an offensive touchdown.

It's not exactly a signature win for second-year coach Mike Leach - but it's the ugliest moment yet for embattled USC coach Lane Kiffin, who calls the Trojans' plays.

Tre Madden rushed for 151 yards and Marqise Lee had seven catches for just 27 yards for the Trojans, whose inept offensive performance had fans loudly booing and chanting ``Fire Kiffin!'' even before USC fell behind.

Kiffin's two-quarterback offense managed just 193 yards on 63 plays, with no pass completion longer than 8 yards.

The Trojans also missed a field goal and had another blocked after scoring their only touchdown on an early 22-yard drive set up by their dominant defense, which has nearly shut out two straight opponents.

Cody Kessler went 8 of 13 for 41 yards and rushed for a 4-yard TD in his second straight start at quarterback for the Trojans. Wittek took over at halftime and went 3 of 8 for 13 yards, struggling to hit open receivers.

Washington State's defense mostly shut down USC's cautious offensive game plan, and it scored the Cougars' only touchdown when Kessler threw behind a receiver.

Horton's interception for a TD silenced the Coliseum - until the crowd heavily booed Kiffin while he ran up the tunnel alone at halftime following his television interview.

Washington State's offense moved the ball well early on, but River Cracraft dropped a sure touchdown pass behind him in the end zone on the Cougars' second drive. Two plays later, Torin Harris picked off Halliday's forced pass into the end zone, ending a 74-yard drive with a touchback.

Halliday also threw an end zone interception late in the fourth quarter of last week's narrow loss at Auburn, his third interception in the opener.

Washington State drove into USC territory again, but Morgan Breslin created havoc on three straight plays - drawing a holding penalty, sacking Halliday and helping George Uko to force a fumble recovered by Devon Kennard, who returned it to the Cougars 22.

The Trojans converted a fourth-and-1 with a direct snap to Madden before Kessler scored on a 4-yard bootleg 9:59 before halftime.

Wittek took over at halftime, and a drive with eight straight runs got USC into field goal range - but Kalafitoni Pole blocked Andre Heidari's 32-yard attempt. Heidari missed a 43-yard field goal attempt to end the Trojans' next drive, and the Cougars stopped Lee just short of the marker on fourth down at their own 29 with 9:03 to play.

After the Cougars took over at their 20 with 6:18 left, two plays went nowhere before Williams eluded several tacklers and made it 49 yards down the Washington State sideline.

The Trojans played without injured tailbacks Silas Redd and D.J. Morgan and cornerback Anthony Brown. Morgan Breslin returned to USC's starting lineup after missing the season opener with an injury, moving into his linebacker spot in the Trojans' new 5-2 defense after excelling as a defensive lineman last season.

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    Grinch, in his third year as the Cougars defensive coordinator, has taken the WSU defense into elite status. WSU enters the week No. 11 in the country in total defense (303.8).

    >>

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    >>
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    >>
  • Press Pass Pullman: Apple Cup Week

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    >>

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    >>