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Originally published September 19, 2009 at 9:28 PM | Page modified September 20, 2009 at 12:03 AM

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WSU offense delivers in end

Trailing 27-20 with 2:03 left Saturday, the Cougars had 80 yards of Martin Stadium turf between them and a tying touchdown.

Spokesman Review

PULLMAN — The defense had done all it could. Now it was up to Washington State's offense.

Trailing 27-20 with 2:03 left Saturday, the Cougars had 80 yards of Martin Stadium turf between them and a tying touchdown.

Fail and WSU would be 0-3 with five of its next six games on the road.

Instead, the Cougars tied the game with 28 seconds left and went on to defeat Southern Methodist 30-27 in overtime.

Talk about unexpected. Nothing the Cougars offense had done in the previous 58 minutes indicated it could march down the field and score.

When the drive started, WSU had 193 yards in total offense, 308 less than SMU. But the Cougars were prepared.

"That's a scenario you practice quite a bit," WSU offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy said of the final regulation-time possession.

That was part of the pre-drive message he had for quarterback Marshall Lobbestael, who up to that point was 17 of 42 for 159 yards. But there was more.

"I just reminded him of the situations that will come up during the drive," Sturdy said. "Just relaxing, taking what the defense will give you."

The defense gave the short stuff. Two throws for 14 yards got some momentum going. Then Lobbestael found Johnny Forzani for 21 yards to put the ball in Mustangs territory.

Two incompletions and a short gain left WSU with a fourth-and-seven from SMU's 42 with less than a minute left. The Cougars had no choice but to go for it. Lobbestael tried to hit Jared Karstetter.

Moore made sure Karstetter couldn't catch the ball, but his overzealous defense brought a pass-interference call. First down at the SMU 34.


"I saw pass interference," WSU coach Paul Wulff said. "It definitely was."

With the new life Lobbestael rifled a bullet to Jeffrey Solomon for 15 yards and a first down at the 19. WSU killed the clock with 42 seconds left, then Lobbestael found Daniel Blackledge for 12 yards to the 7.

On second and goal, Karstetter slipped inside Moore, went to his knees and caught the scoring strike with 28 seconds left. Nico Grasu's extra point tied it, and the teams went to overtime.

"I think I was able to stay on an even keel because I hadn't been performing too well earlier in the game," said Lobbestael, who completed 7 of 10 passes on the final drive. "I sort of owed it to the rest of the offense."

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