Happy Holiday Bowl For Cougars
By BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Now this was a Holiday Bowl.
No. 15 Washington State scored three touchdowns in the third quarter tobuild a 16-point lead, then came up with a huge defensive stand late in thefourth quarter to beat No. 5 Texas 28-20 on Tuesday night.
The Holiday Bowl has a history of big plays and wild finishes, and this onehad both.
With the Longhorns trailing by eight, senior receiver Roy Williams caught a45-yard pass from Chance Mock to give Texas the ball at the WSU 11 with 2:31 toplay.
After Mock threw an incompletion, WSU blitzed hard and forced Mock deep intothe pocket. Don Jackson hit Mock and forced a fumble that was recovered byfellow linebacker Will Derting at the 36-yard line with 2:16 to play.
Texas got the ball back one more time, but Mock was sacked at midfield byD.D. Acholonu as time expired.
Washington State (10-3) won 10 games for the third year in a row. At times,Texas (10-3) look nothing like the highest-ranked team not in the BCS. TheLonghorns saw their six-game winning streak end, and with it a chance to postthree straight 11-win seasons for the first time in school history.
The Cougars scored on three big plays in the third quarter to take the leadfor good. The big rally came 22 years after the Cougars also scored threetouchdowns in the third quarter of their first Holiday Bowl appearance, only tofall just short in a 38-36 loss to BYU.
With the Cougars trailing 10-7, Sammy Moore hauled in a 54-yard pass fromMatt Kegel to give WSU its first lead, 13-10, with 9:23 left in the thirdquarter. Moore caught the ball at about the 20 and came dangerously close tothe right sideline as he outraced Cedric Griffin to the end zone. DrewDunning's PAT hit the left upright.
The Cougars forced Texas to punt, and Moore returned it 51 yards to theTexas 26.
Four plays later, from the 12, Kegel went into motion and the ball wassnapped straight to running back Jonathan Smith. Smith had to pick up the lowsnap from the ground, then picked his way through the defense to score. Smithcarried 21 times for 110 yards.
Texas was held to just 131 yards rushing with Cedric Benson gaining 83 yardson 22 carries.
Two Texas possessions later, the Longhorns were pinned deep and Mock had tothrow from the end zone. Matt Melton caught the ball at the 13, but was hit andfumbled. Cornerback Jason David picked it up at the 18 and ran it in for a26-10 lead. The PAT was blocked.
Texas' David Pino kicked a 19-yard field goal with 13:32 to play, and WSUgot a safety when Texas was called for holding in the end zone, giving it a28-13 lead.
Texas closed to 28-20 when Williams, who had been a nonfactor, caught a30-yard touchdown pass from Mock with 4:29 to go.
Kegel, a cousin of former NFL bad-boy quarterback Ryan Leaf, was playingwith a sore throwing shoulder that forced him out of WSU's final tworegular-season games. He completed 18 of 32 passes for 203 yards and two TDs,with two interceptions.
WSU punter Kyle Basler pinned the Longhorns inside their 5-yard line fourtimes.
After a scoreless first quarter, Benson scored on a 1-yard run for Texas andKegel threw a 12-yard TD pass to Moore. Pino kicked a 39-yard field goal fourseconds before halftime for a 10-7 lead.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TODAY | 5:00pm PTLive