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Pac-10: Washington State rallies behind QB in second half

©Associated Press

September 29, 2002


BERKELEY, Calif. -- Despite a dislocated rib, Jason Gesser passed for 431 yards and four touchdowns as Washington State rallied to beat California 48-38 Saturday in the Pac-10 opener for both.

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Despite a dislocated rib, Jason Gesser passed for 431 yards and four touchdowns as Washington State rallied to beat California 48-38 Saturday in the Pac-10 opener for both.

Three Washington State receivers topped 100 yards, led by Jerome Riley with seven receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown.

The Cougars, the preseason favorites to win the conference, scored 29 points in the third to erase a 21-9 halftime deficit.

Kyle Boller threw for a career-high 374 yards and four touchdowns for Cal, which lost its second straight after starting 3-0.

Gesser completed 28-of-44. Mike Bush added five receptions for 125 yards and a TD, and Devard Darling, who transferred from Florida State, had six catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Jonathan Makonnen had seven catches for 136 yards and a touchdown for the Golden Bears. Joe Igber carried 20 times for 111 yards and a TD, but got most of his yardage early.

Darling caught a 6-yard TD with 4:35 left to break a 38-all tie.

Gesser started and played the whole game despite a dislocated rib on his right side which, he hurt last week against Montana State. He wore a special hard flak jacket.

* * *

USC 22, OREGON ST. 0: Carson Palmer threw a pair of touchdowns to Mike Williams, and Southern California's defense shut down the host Beavers.

DeShaun Hill had six tackles and Mike Patterson had two of five sacks to lead the Trojans defense, which held the Beavers to 131 yards as a Dennis Erickson-coached team was shut out for just the second time.

In his 17th college season, Erickson's other shutout came in Miami's 29-0 loss to Arizona in the 1994 Fiesta Bowl.

Palmer was 23-of-41 for 231 yards with one interception. He connected with Williams on a scoring throw of 11 yards before halftime and added a 16-yard TD pass in the third quarter. Ryan Killeen added three field goals for the Trojans, who had 330 yards.

The Beavers' Derek Anderson, who entered ranked second nationally in passing efficiency, was just 8-of-30 for 80 yards and lost two fumbles.

WASHINGTON 41, IDAHO 27: Cody Pickett threw for 438 yards, the second-most in school history, and three touchdowns for the host Huskies.

Pickett was 32-of-44 without an interception, one week after throwing for 404 yards in a 38-7 victory over Wyoming. That performance ranks third and Pickett holds the school record of 455 yards, set in last year's win over Arizona.

"It's cool to have those records, but I'm not really worried about it right now," Pickett said. "We're trying to get wins. When I'm done with my career, I can look back and be proud of those things."

Coach Rick Neuheisel talked about improving Washington's option attack, but there was no need because of Pickett's arm. By halftime, he was 22-of-31 for 293 yards, and the Huskies led 28-3.

"We take what they give us," Neuheisel said. "Cody was good. He's a good player, and he had it going today."

Idaho quarterback Brian Lindgren was 22-of-38 for 309 yards and two TDs, but the Vandals have not beaten Washington since 1905.

ARIZONA ST. 65, STANFORD 24: Andrew Walter passed for 414 yards and five touchdowns in his first start for the host Sun Devils. Walter, a sophomore who started in two losses last season, earned the No. 1 job by rallying the Sun Devils to wins in their past two games.

This time, he had them leading 38-16 at halftime. Arizona State also notched its highest score in a Pac-10 game, and Walter posted one of the top 10 passing games in school history.

The five scoring throws tied Jeff Krohn (2000) for third.

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