Cougars Bounce Back From Early Deficit To Beat Wildcats

Oct. 26, 2002

AP Sports Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Jason Gesser became Washington State's career leader intotal offense, and the ninth-ranked Cougars came back in the second half tobeat Arizona 21-13 Saturday night.

Gesser completed 20 of 35 passes for 275 yards, including a 16-yardtouchdown toss to Devard Darling to put the Cougars ahead 14-13 with 2:04 leftin the third quarter.

Jermaine Green rushed for 119 yards in 29 carries. His tackle-breaking,18-yard touchdown run with 7:37 remaining gave Washington State a 21-13 lead.The game ended with the Cougars on the Wildcats' 3.

Washington State (7-1, 4-0 Pac-10), which has trailed at some point in fiveof its victories, plays conference co-leader Arizona State next Saturday athome.

Gesser broke Jack Thompson's school record for total offense and moved pastDrew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf into second place on the career passing list - 228yards behind Thompson's 7,818.

Washington State hadn't played in two weeks and seemed more rusty thanrested.

Bobby Gill, whose previous long field goal was 26 yards, was successful from47 and 42 yards for Arizona (3-5, 0-4). His 42-yarder, on a drive kept alive bytwo Washington State penalties on Arizona punt attempts, gave the Wildcats a13-8 lead with 4:54 left in the third quarter.

Arizona quarterback Jason Johnson fumbled the ball away twice, once for asafety and another time to set up a Washington State touchdown. He completed 22of a career-high 46 passes for 224 yards, including a 27-yard scoring pass toBobby Wade, but was intercepted twice.

The Cougars sacked Johnson seven times. Wade, the Pac-10's leading receiver,caught nine passes for 83 yards.

Johnson's fumble was recovered by Washington State's Isaac Brown at theArizona 32 midway through the fourth quarter. Three plays later, Green shookoff several tacklers on an 18-yard scoring run.

Washington State squandered several opportunities as Arizona took a 10-5halftime lead.

Drew Dunning had a 28-yard field-goal try blocked and missed a 45-yarderbefore finally making one from 22 yards to put the Cougars up 5-3 with 2:45left in the half.

Wade's 35-yard kickoff return and a 61-yard, seven-play drive put Arizonaahead. Wade sidestepped two tacklers on the 27-yard pass-and-run play that gavethe Wildcats a 10-5 lead with 51 seconds left in the half.

Washington State's first score was a safety, when Johnson fumbled into hisown end zone. Fred Shavies and Virgil Williams jumped on the ball for theCougars, but it popped away from them and out of the end zone, givingWashington State a 2-0 lead with 3:57 left in the first quarter.

Arizona drove to the Cougars' 30 and Gill kicked a career-best 46-yard fieldgoal to take a 3-2 lead 6:21 before halftime.

Lance Briggs matched his career high with 16 tackles for the Wildcats.

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