Nov. 22, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Washington State forced overtime with Nico Grasu's 28-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, then Grasu hit from 37 yards in the second overtime to stun rival Washington 16-13 in double overtime on Saturday, retaining the Apple Cup.
Ryan Perkins kicked a 22-yard field goal for Washington to send the game to a second overtime, but just a few minutes later was wide right with a 37-yard attempt.
After WSU went just five yards, Grasu calmly drilled the kick to give Washington State its second win of the year.
Washington State won the Apple Cup for the fourth time in the last five years for the first time in the series' history.
The Cougars took possession at their own 20 with 56 seconds left and little hope after quarterback Kevin Lopina spent most of the day under constant pressure from Washington's pass rush.
Lopina was suddenly nearly perfect. He was 4-for-6 on the final drive, including a 48-yard completion to freshman Jared Karstetter to the Washington 18 with 24 seconds left. Karstetter then caught a 7-yard pass but didn't get out of bounds, forcing Lopina to rush to the line and spike the ball with 2 seconds left. Grasu then kicked a 28-yard field goal on the final play of regulation to send the game to overtime tied at 10.
WSU got the opening possession in the first overtime, and gambled by going for it on fourth-and-1 at the 4. Logwone Mitz got the needed yard but the Cougars stalled at the 2 and had to settle for a 19-yard kick from Grasu for a 13-10 advantage, before Perkins hit from 22 yards.
The Cougars and Huskies played a tight game that continued the tradition of the rivalry. Only once in the last 14 matchups has the game been decided by more than 10 points.
But Washington made some crucial mistakes in the fourth quarter and were unable to finish a pair of drives inside the WSU 25. Then both Washington kickers - Jared Ballman and Perkins - missed makable kicks. Ballman was wide right from 40 yards, Perkins was wide left from 28 yards with 3:24 left in regulation.
Washington led 10-0 behind the running of Willie Griffin, who finished with a career best 116 yards and a 3-yard touchdown in the first half. Perkins also hit a 35-yarder in the second quarter and the Huskies jogged off the field at halftime with a 10-0 lead.
Washington State finally got its spark late in the third quarter when Mitz sprinted 57 yards for a touchdown just as Cougars fans began refilling the stands following halftime. It was the first time the Cougars scored since the first play of the fourth quarter against Arizona on Nov. 8.