3:30 PM ET, September 25, 2004
Arizona Stadium, TUCSON, AZ
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Josh Swogger showed off his arm a week ago in a rout of Idaho. On Saturday, he showed the mettle of a born leader.
The sophomore quarterback, ignoring a partially torn tendon in his knee, rallied Washington State twice with fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Jason Hill and the Cougars opened Pac-10 play with a 20-19 win over Arizona on Saturday.
"We played the full 60 minutes today," Swogger said. "That's how you have to play every game in the Pac-10."
The Wildcats (1-3) forced five fumbles and recovered four to nearly make up for their weak offense, but gave the game away when Gilbert Harris fumbled with 1:15 left while they were trying to protect a 19-14 lead.
The play before, Harris ran 6 yards for a first down.
"I did think we were done when Arizona got the first down," Washington State coach Bill Doba said. "I knew we only one time out left, and I was trying to figure out if we had a chance. While I was trying to figure it out, we got the ball back."
Little-used freshman safety Husain Abdullah recovered on the Arizona 28, and Swogger covered the distance in three plays, connecting with Hill for a 15-yard TD with 53 seconds to go. Swogger's pass for a two-point conversion was knocked down, but time ran out with the Wildcats deep in their own territory.
"It's seriously like a killer instinct," Swogger said. "We knew we had to score a touchdown, and the defense had given us another opportunity."
Jerome Harrison scored the first TD for Washington State (3-1) on a 2-yard run.
Kris Heavner threw 47- and 23-yard scoring passes for Arizona, the second lifting the Wildcats to a 19-14 lead with 3:52 to play.
Swogger, who had four TD passes last week before tearing his right posterior cruciate ligament in the third quarter, played with a brace but still got a first down on a sneak in the first quarter.
He had a 43-yard scoring toss to Hill with 13:22 left in the fourth for a 14-13 lead.
Arizona took a 13-7 lead into the final quarter thanks mostly to strong defense. Linebacker Sean Jones recovered two fumbles and caused another, leading to one of Nick Folk's two field goals.
"We just have to keep our heads up," Jones said. "It's almost like we are jinxed at home or something. Hopefully the football gods will help us out next time."
The Cougars had the ball for 11:14 of the first quarter, holding Arizona to three three-and-outs while eating up time with Swogger's accurate passing and runs by Harrison, who had 40 yards in the first quarter and minus-5 the rest of the game.
But they only led 7-0, and their lead vanished on Heavner's bomb to Steptoe after three possession-changing fumbles in a 20-second span early in the second quarter.
Nose tackle Carlos Williams caused and controlled Arizona's second fumble recovery, taking the ball from Chris Bruhn on the WSU 47.
Heavner, under pressure, threw a low-percentage pass for Steptoe, fronted by 6-foot cornerback Karl Paymah. The 5-9 Steptoe somehow caught the ball over Paymah at the 6 and stumbled into the end zone to tie it with 12:28 left in the second.
It was the first TD scored by a Washington State opponent in the first half this year, but the Cougars recovered to beat Arizona for the fourth straight time and third in a row in Tucson.
"This was obviously a tough loss," Arizona coach Mike Stoops said. "We came up with a couple of great plays, but we couldn't finish it."
The Cougars' Kyle Basler set a school record with an 87-yard punt that rolled into the opposite end zone in the fourth quarter, topping the 83-yarder Gavin Hedrick unleashed in 1975 against California.
"It was kind of one of those things like a baseball player when you hit a home run," Basler said. "You don't really feel it."
The punt appeared to be a game-winner with 7:00 left to play, but Arizona went the distance thanks mostly to Heavner's 38-yard completion to Ricky Williams.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||7-19|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||0-1|
|TD||8:14||JEROME HARRISON 2 YD RUN (LOREN LANGLEY KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||12:28||SYNDRIC STEPTOE 47 YD PASS FROM KRIS HEAVNER (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 47 yards.
|FG||7:07||NICHOLAS FOLK 23 YD FG|
Drive info: 17 plays, 74 yards.
|FG||5:36||NICHOLAS FOLK 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, -8 yards.
|TD||13:22||JASON HILL 43 YD PASS FROM JOSH SWOGGER (LOREN LANGLEY KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||3:52||SYNDRIC STEPTOE 23 YD PASS FROM KRIS HEAVNER (FAILED 2PT RUSH)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||0:53||JASON HILL 15 YD PASS FROM JOSH SWOGGER (FAILED 2PT PASS)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 28 yards.