USC Falls To Cougars, 33-27
Nov. 11, 2000
LOS ANGELES - Matt Kegel threw for 242 yards and a touchdown in hisfirst start as Washington State beat USC 33-27 Saturday nightin a game between the Pacific-10 Conference's worst teams.
Kegel, the cousin of former Cougars quarterback Ryan Leaf, completed just 12of 32 passes but connected on an 88-yard TD pass in filling in for JasonGesser, who broke his leg last week against Oregon.
Washington State scored first and led the rest of the way, with USC gettinga touchdown on the final play of the game to make it close at the end.
The Cougars scored one TD on a blocked punt and another on a fumble return,and the Trojans got one of their TDs on a fumble return.
By winning, Washington State (4-6, 2-5) dropped the Trojans (4-6, 1-6) intosole possession of last place.
The Trojans, who have lost six of their last seven, switched quarterbacksafter being shut out in the first half. Mike Van Raaphorst, a fifth-year seniorwho has started 15 games, replaced Carson Palmer to start the second half andthrew for three touchdowns, the last a 21-yarder to Keary Colbert as timeexpired.
The Trojans' other TD came on Zeke Moreno's 56-yard return of a fumble byDeon Burnett as USC closed to 26-14 early in the fourth quarter.
D.D. Acholonu scored for the Cougars on a 35-yard fumble return, after BillyNewman sacked Van Raaphorst, to stretch their lead to 26-7 early in the fourthquarter.
A 30-yard scoring pass from Van Raaphorst to Steve Stevenson narrowed thegap to 26-20 with 4:28 remaining, but the Cougars' Dave Minnich scored aninsurance touchdown on a 2-yard run with 1:42 remaining - and the pad provedjust enough.
After the Trojans pulled within 12-7 in the third quarter, Kegel answeredwith his long touchdown pass. Marcus Williams caught the long throw in stridejust beyond midfield and was off to the end zone for a 19-7 lead.
Van Raaphorst had not played in 13 games dating back to last year. Hecompleted 17 of 28 for 234 yards, but was sacked five times. Palmer was 12 of26 for 145 yards, with one interception, before being benched at halftime.
The Cougars scored their second touchdown on the punt block. With MikeMacGillivray punting from his own 31, James Price broke though to swat the kickdown and Jeremy Thielbahr chased the bouncing ball and covered it in the endzone. A run for the two-point conversion failed.
The Cougars cashed in on Chris Martin's interception of a Palmer pass totake a 6-0 lead earlier in the second quarter. After Martin outfought USCreceiver Kareem Kelly for the ball at the USC 47, Washington State took over onthe Trojans' 35.
Miilton Wynn sprinted around the right side on a reverse for a 25-yardtouchdown, but Anousith Wilaikul's PAT kick was blocked by the Trojans' SultanAbdul-Malik.
In the second quarter, Kelly caught a short pass from Palmer and ran 7 yardsto the Washington State 2, but Kelly fumbled at the end of the play and theball bounced into and out of the end zone for a touchback.
By KEN PETERS
AP Sports Writer