USC was held to less than 10 points for only the fourth time in 143 games.
The Trojans' final five possessions ended this way:
Blocked field goal, missed field goal, failed fourth-down play, punt, interception.
USC (1-1) wasted a 150-yard rushing performance by tailback Tre Madden, who carried 32 times.
USC's defense came up with three first-half turnovers, but a couple of big interceptions by Washington State's Damante Horton proved the difference.
He returned the first 70 yards for a touchdown. He made the second in USC territory late in the game, setting up a game-winning 42-yard field goal by Andrew Furney with 3 minutes 5 seconds left in the game.
Washington State improved to 1-1.
Max Wittek tried to throw to Darreus Rogers found the hands of
He returned the ball to the 32.
Cougars with the ball and the lead.
First play: A Wittek pass toward Nelson Agholor that was nearly intercepted.
Hey, the scoreboard works!
Andrew Furney has drilled through a 42-yard field goal to put Washington State in the lead.
There was really only one play that moved Furney into position -- a 49-yard pass play from Connor Halliday to Dom Williams that started as a short screen pass.
Wrong about Tre Madden.
Lee, an All-American last season, has taken the ball by pass or run 10 times in the game, and gained 23 yards.
As bad as
USC has the ball back at its own 38 with 7 minutes 16 seconds left in regulation.
The guess here is that Tre Madden is going to get the ball -- a lot.
He has run for 143 yards in 30 carries.
So Marqise Lee finally catches a couple of passes from Max Wittek.
Don't get excited
Worse, Lee cost USC a first down when he caught a pass seven yards downfield on a fourth-and-seven play, then jumped back a yard trying to break a bigger play.
Instead, he was swarmed under and the Trojans were stopped a yard short.
Still 7-7 with a little more than 8 minutes to play in regulation.
It's the start of the fourth quarter at the Coliseum in Los Angeles and
Game high/lowlights so far:
USC's Tre Madden has run for 102 yards in 22 carries. The USC defense has three turnovers.
Washington State, despite those turnovers, has a 164-131 edge in total offense.
USC kicker Andrew Heidari has missed two field goals. The first was blocked, the second, from 43 yards, was wide left.
Starting its second drive of the half near midfield,
And quarterback Max Wittek still hasn't gotten off a pass.
Deone Bucannon picked off the floater, but Brown was called for roughing up Lee before the ball got there.
The call gave USC a first down at the Washington State. And three Tre Madden runs moved the ball to the 24.
But then Wittek tossed the ball backward to Lee, who turned what might have been a five-yard loss into a two-yard gain -- officially counted as a run, and on the next play Wittek was sacked for a 10-yard loss.
Next up, the third-and-17 call: a handoff to Madden, who gained five yards.
That brought Andre Heidari on for a 43-yard field-goal try, which was wide left.
Heidari is now on the USC bench, head buried in his hands. TV cameras care catching many USC fans in the same pose.
Except it still didn't lead to any points.
Tre Madden busted off a couple of nice runs and the Trojans benefited from a 15-yard facemask penalty that gave them an automatic first down. And still, nothing.
Andre Heidari tried a 32-yard field goal, but his kick was low and swatted down by Kalafitoni Pole -- the very
Wittek tried to throw two passes on the drive and got neither of them off.
Max Wittek is in at quarterback for the Trojans, after Cody Kessler played the first half.
Well, this is confusing.
Isn't Mike Leach,
The Trojans, who are lucky to be in a 7-7 tie, amassed all of 59 yards in the first half against the Cougars. And the boo birds are chirping at USC Coach Lane Kiffin.
USC quarterback Cody Kessler rarely threw the ball downfield, and on one of the few times he did, his pass found Cougars cornerback Demonte Horton, who returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.
Kessler has completed eight of 13 passes for 41 yards. And he didn't get any kind of vote of confidence from Kiffin in a halftime TV interview.
Asked whether Kessler would be the quarterback in the second half, Kiffin said, "I don't know. We'll figure that out at halftime."
He has a lot to figure out on offense, but the defense has been stellar.
USC has forced three turnovers -- two by interception, plus a fumble recovery.
Washington State has gained 126 yards, with quarterback Connor Halliday passing for 121 yards. He has completed 14 of 23 passes, but has those two interceptions.
USC 7, Washington State 7 (27 seconds left in second quarter)
After more great defense by USC, the Trojans were in scoring position with time running out in the first have until ... receiver Nelson Agholor turned right and Cody Kessler's pass went left -- right into the hands of Washington State cornerback Demonte Horton, who returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.
Well, next to nowhere.
Three plays netted one yard and USC punted.
Time to see if that defense can carry the night again -- and maybe see if they can return the next turnover for a touchdown or close enough for a field-goal try when the USC offense bogs down again.
The latest: a diving interception by Dion Bailey of an off-balance Connor Halliday pass at the Washington State 43.
The boos can be heard at the Coliseum, even though
Fans don't get into defense, though.
They want to see USC and quarterback Cody Kessler throw the ball down the field.
When a throw-back pass to Marqise Lee went for a loss of seven on USC's last drive, Coach Lane Kiffin heard the wrath of some fans.
USC and quarterback Cody Kessler have found the end zone -- converting on a first-and-goal situation no less.
The Trojans came up empty on a few of those situations last week against Hawaii, but they converted this time when Kessler faked a handoff to the left and swung back around on a bootleg to the right for four yards and a touchdown.
The score came on the sixth play after a turnover gave the Trojans the ball at the Washington State 22.
Kessler has completed six of seven passes for 32 yards. Tre Madden has five carries for 22 yards.
Another nice drive by
Washington State had driven from its own 21 to the
The first was turned in by USC Morgan Breslin, for a loss of eight. The next was a sack and forced fumble by George Uko. Devon Kennard scooped up the ball at the Washington State 42 and returned it 19 yards to the 23.
There is no score at the Coliseum after one quarter of play in a
Washington State outgained USC, 111 yard to 34, in the first quarter. Quarterback Connor Halliday completed 10 of 14 passes for 95 yards.
The boo birds are already out on Lane Kiffin's play-calling, and
The boos rained down as quarterback Cody Kessler hit Marqise Lee with a quick out pass on third and 2 at USC's 41
The play lost two yards after, who had no chance of getting a first down when he caught the ball -- the play was well defended -- cut back to the middle of the field, picked up a great block from Kessler, but was swarmed by defenders.
On third and goal from the 9, quarterback Connor Halliday's pass intended for Kristoff Williams was picked off by USC's Torin Harris.
To that point, Washington State looked sharp on a 12-play drive.
USC has five interceptions. The Trojans had four last week against Hawaii.
Cody Kessler, starting at quarterback for the second consecutive week, completed all three of his passes -- for five yards to Marqise Lee, a six-yard loss to Nelson Agholor and for a gain of seven yards to freshman Darreus Rogers.
Cougars took ball at their own 25 and lined up as if they were going for it on fourth and one from the 34.
In other words, it took Mike Leach less than two minutes to act like ever-aggressive, go-for-broke Mike Leach.
Except, after a timeout, the Washington State coach elected to punt.
Cody Kessler was announced as
It's the second consecutive start for the third-year sophomore from Bakersfield, who completed 10 of 19 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, in the Trojans' season-opening victory at Hawaii.
Senior linebacker Morgan Breslin, who sat out the opener because of injury, was announced as a starter. Breslin led the Trojans last season with 13 sacks.
The Trojans' defense will once again feature three starting safeties -- senior Dion Bailey, junior Josh Shaw and freshman Su'a Cravens.
It's about 15 minutes before kickoff at the Coliseum, where
USC is coming off a 30-13 season-opening victory over Hawaii. Washington State lost to Auburn, 31-24, in its opener.
This is the first game between the schools since 2010, so most of the players on both teams have never played the other school.
USC linebacker Morgan Breslin, who sat out the opener against Hawaii because of an apparent ankle or foot injury, is in uniform and going through warmups.
Breslin is expected to play. Tailback Silas Redd will not.
Cornerback Anthony Brown, who suffered an injury against Hawaii, is not in uniform.
Hiserman is reporting from Los Angeles, though not from the Coliseum.