Oct 27, 2002
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Jason Gesser became Washington State's career leader in total offense, and the ninth-ranked Cougars came back in the second half to beat Arizona 21-13 Saturday night.
Gesser completed 20 of 35 passes for 275 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown toss to Devard Darling to put the Cougars ahead 14-13 with 2:04 left in 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 five of its victories, plays conference co-leader Arizona State next Saturday at home.
Gesser broke Jack Thompson's school record for total offense and moved past Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf into second place on the career passing list - 228 yards behind Thompson's 7,818.
Washington State hadn't played in two weeks and seemed more rusty than rested.
Bobby Gill, whose previous long field goal was 26 yards, was successful from 47 and 42 yards for Arizona (3-5, 0-4). His 42-yarder, on a drive kept alive by two Washington State penalties on Arizona punt attempts, gave the Wildcats a 13-8 lead with 4:54 left in the third quarter.
Arizona quarterback Jason Johnson fumbled the ball away twice, once for a safety and another time to set up a Washington State touchdown. He completed 22 of a career-high 46 passes for 224 yards, including a 27-yard scoring pass to Bobby 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 the Arizona 32 midway through the fourth quarter. Three plays later, Green shook off several tacklers on an 18-yard scoring run.
Washington State squandered several opportunities as Arizona took a 10-5 halftime lead.
Drew Dunning had a 28-yard field-goal try blocked and missed a 45-yarder before finally making one from 22 yards to put the Cougars up 5-3 with 2:45 left in the half.
Wade's 35-yard kickoff return and a 61-yard, seven-play drive put Arizona ahead. Wade sidestepped two tacklers on the 27-yard pass-and-run play that gave the Wildcats a 10-5 lead with 51 seconds left in the half.
Washington State's first score was a safety, when Johnson fumbled into his own end zone. Fred Shavies and Virgil Williams jumped on the ball for the Cougars, but it popped away from them and out of the end zone, giving Washington 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 field goal to take a 3-2 lead 6:21 before halftime.
Lance Briggs matched his career high with 16 tackles for the Wildcats.