Washington State Upsets USC 30-27

Washington State Quarterback Luke Falk passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns as the sixteenth ranked Cougars upset #5 USC 30-27 in Pullman,  Washington on September 29th.  The Cougars improved to 5-0 on the season, 2-0 in the Pac-12, and the victory put them one step closer to being among the elite in the league.  It was the team’s first victory over a Top 5 ranked opponent in 25 years, and their first win over USC since 2002.

Besides Falk’s performance, the Washington State defense stepped up and held USC QB Sam Darnold to 164 passing yards and no touchdowns (though Darnold did rush for two TDs himself).  USC rushed for 163 yards, but 86 of them were on one long run by Ronald Jones II for a touchdown.

Last season, the Cougars started 0-2 but then ran off eight straight victories including one over #15 Stanford.  They then proceeded to lose their last three, at #10 Colorado, at home against #5 Washington, and to Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl.  While this victory helps elevate the program, there are some obstacles remaining.  All five victories have been at home, and other than a triple overtime win over consistently good Boise State, the other wins were against Montana State, Oregon State, and Nevada, who have a combined two wins this season.  The Cougars have only two home games remaining, and will play five on the road including #20 Utah and #6 Washington to close out the regular season.  Depending on how it plays out, the toughest part of the schedule may be at the end again.

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