Found September 08, 2013 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
It Only Took 13
The Washington State Cougars defeated #25 USC Trojans last Saturday 10-7 in the Coliseum for the first time in 13 years, and oh what a day.
I think I speak for every Cougar fan when I say, we popped bottles.
The Cougars won the game without an offensive touchdown – very unlike a Mike Leach coached team – but he’ll take it. This is one of the biggest wins for the Cougars in recent memory, and will hopefully be a turning point for the future of this program.
I believe some game balls are in order.
This one is a no-brainer. Damante Horton literally won the game for the team.
Damante Horton had what was likely the biggest play of the game for the Cougs. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)
Horton scored the only touchdown for the Cougars on a 70-yard interception return from Cody Kessler to close out the first half.
He also picked off Max Wittek in the final minutes of the game to seal the victory for the Cougs.
I had my doubts about Horton – he has been burned on multiple occasions in the past – but this game really bumped him into my good graces, which I’m sure is a major accomplishment for him.
Kalafitoni Pole didn’t stuff the stat sheet on Saturday – only recording one tackle in the contest – but he did change the game in a major way.
Max Wittek took over for Cody Kessler at halftime, and on the opening drive he led the Trojans down the field to a 32-yard field goal attempt.
Typically a chip shot, but not on Pole’s watch. Pole swatted the field goal attempt down and kept the game tied at 7′s – proving to be a game-saving play.
Along with Deone Bucannon, Darryle Monroe is a clear leader on the Cougar defense. As a true sophomore Monroe has burst onto the scene as one of the conference’s top linebackers, and showcased some of that talent on Saturday.
He didn’t have any sacks and only recorded 6 tackles – but 4 were solo and several were on key plays.
The Trojans did all they could in attempt to get star wide out Marqise Lee going – mainly throwing screens and end-arounds to get the ball in his hands. But Monroe seemed to be there on every play to assure Lee minimal gains.
Now I am not saying he single-handedly shut down Lee. That praise goes to our next game ball recipient. But he did make his presence known, and on several third downs at that. Just another run-in-the-mill day for the young man out of Orlando.
Now here comes the true hero of the ball game. Holy hell did that Cougar defense look good!
When facing the Trojans as a defensive coordinator, it is obvious that your main focus is containing N o. 9, and the Cougars did just that.
Mike Breske’s Cougar defense held Lee to a career-low 27 yards on 7 receptions. For a player that is expected to go top 10 in the NFL draft next year, that’s impressive.
We took Lane Kiffin’s favorite toy out of the equation, and he didn’t seem too happy about it. Hat’s off to you Mike.
Cody Kessler/Max Wittek
Just for showing up.
How such high recruits can project such porous play is dumbfounding to me, but I guess that’s what happens when your offensive game plan gets shut down.
Looks like Lane has found himself on yet another hot seat. That guy must go through loads of khakis. (ZIIING!)
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BEST OF MAXIM
WASHINGTON STATE SEEMINGLY had every opportunity to build momentum during the first half, but three turnovers by Connor Halliday nearly set up a halftime deficit Saturday at No. 25 USC. But a stunning interception by signal-caller Cody Kessler was returned 82 yards for a touchdown by Damante Horton to tie the score, 7-all.
PULLMAN – Washington State defensive players admit they occasionally get a bit miffed about all the attention given to the team’s explosive “Air Raid” offense. On Monday, it was the offense’s turn to be jealous of the defense, after senior cornerback Damante Horton was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week and National Defensive Player of the Week by Athlon Sports.
Smiles everyone, smiles!
Happy Tuesday Cougs. Our new friend Burning Snowmans has dropped in another guest post (but at the rate we're going here, might be time to drop the whole "guest" post thing?). Take it away Snowmans....
Are you smiling? I know you are. You’ve had that little grin on your face ever since Damante Horton came down with that interception...
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...
WHEN WASHINGTON STATE hired Mike Leach in 2011, fans had a different idea of what his signature win would look like. It is doubtful that anyone would have projected a defensive-minded battle that was not settled until cornerback Damante Horton intercepted Max Wittek in the fourth quarter to secure a 10-7 win Saturday night against No. 25 USC at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
If you are the type of person who likes watching offense, Saturday night's game at the L.A. Coliseum was not for you. In a game that lay somewhere between a defense battle and offensive ineptitude, the Washington State Cougars won their first game at USC since 2000, beating the Trojans 10-7. Andrew Furney kicked a 41-yard field goal with 3:03 remaining for the final margin...
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