(18) USC 27

(3-2, 1-1 Pac-12)

(17) Washington St 30

(5-1, 2-0 Pac-12)

7:00 PM ET, October 5, 2002

Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA

1 2 3 4 OT T
#18USC 7 0 7 13 027
#17WSU 10 0 7 10 330

Cougars' kicking game the difference

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Drew Dunning is a soccer player who kicks footballs. He used another sport to describe his field goals.

"It's kind of like a putt. When you know it's in, you know it's in,'' Dunning said.

Jason David

Washington State corner back Jason David intercepts the ball in the USC end zone.

The junior kicked a tying 35-yard field goal with 1:50 left in regulation, then made another 35-yarder in overtime to give Washington State (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) a 30-27 victory over Southern California (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today) on Saturday night.

"My mindset was: What's different than any other kick I've had?'' Dunning said.

Dunning, who last kicked a game-winner as a senior in high school, sprinted to midfield and did a soccer-style slide before being mobbed by teammates and fans.

"It's one of those things I've always wanted to do,'' he said.

The Cougars gave coach Mike Price his first victory over USC at home. The team gave the game ball to Price, who has spent 14 years in Pullman.

"He's the longest reigning coach in the Pac-10 and he finally got his win against USC up here in Martin Stadium,'' quarterback Jason Gesser said. "I'm proud to be writing history with him. Hopefully, we'll keep writing history together.''

Ryan Killeen missed a 52-yard field-goal attempt on USC's overtime possession. He missed an extra point earlier that would have won the game for the 18th-ranked Trojans (3-2, 1-1 Pac-10) after Carson Palmer threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams late in the fourth quarter.

Gesser led the Cougars (5-1, 2-0) with TD passes to Mike Bush and Devard Darling, and Jermaine Green ran 75 yards for another score. Gesser, playing with a padded flak jacket over a sore rib, completed 23 of 44 passes for 315 yards and one interception.

"The crowd kept me going,'' Green said after finishing with 92 yards on six carries. "The momentum changed after the first quarter.''

Palmer was 32-of-50 for 381 yards, including TDs to Malaefou MacKenzie and Williams. Palmer also ran for a 3-yard score and threw one interception. Sultan McCullough scored on a 6-yard run.

Southern California trailed through much of the game, but Jason Leach intercepted a pass by Gesser and returned it to the Trojans 47 to set up Williams' go-ahead score with 4:10 remaining.

USC entered as the nation's top defensive team, holding opponents to an average of 204 yards. But Washington State had 216 yards by halftime as Gesser hit his receivers on long pass plays.

The Cougars thought the Trojans would blitz frequently, but Gesser was sacked only once. Palmer was sacked four times by the Cougars' defense.

"I don't know why they didn't blitz,'' Gesser said. "They only blitzed on third-and-long. Maybe it's because their corners are inexperienced and we could have picked on them.''

Washington State thwarted two USC scoring threats in the second quarter. Jason David intercepted a pass by Palmer in the end zone, but USC's Alex Holmes knocked the ball out of his hand. Eric Coleman recovered for the Cougars.

The Trojans were at the Cougars 13 at the end of the second period, but a holding penalty, a tackle for a 4-yard loss and a fumble on the exchange pushed them back to the 30. Killeen's 47-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the right upright.

Washington State had 201 yards rushing, while USC had just 72.

"That's awesome. To put 200 yards up against the No. 1 defense in the nation,'' Gesser said. "Our goal was to get 150 and we went way past that.''

USC coach Pete Carroll lamented his team's mistakes.

"We had some missed opportunities with the pick in the end zone, the field goal off the upright and the missed extra point. Those points are huge,'' Carroll said. "The extra point is a huge difference. WSU didn't have to score a touchdown.''

USC's standout strong safety Troy Polamalu left in the first quarter with an injury to his lower right leg. He returned at the end of the third quarter after X-rays were taken.