The Washington State Cougars beat the USC Trojans 30-27 on Friday night (Sept. 29), sending a message to the rest of the Pac-12 Conference that the team is ready to compete. With this victory, WSU moves to 5-0 (2-0) this season, giving the school its most important win in years. That fact led to the fans in attendance inevitably rushing the field when the clock ticked down to zero.

WSU dominated this game on offense and defense, but problems with special teams and an unfortunate turnover gave USC an opportunity to steal the game. After WSU took a 30-27 lead late in the fourth quarter, the defense forced USC quarterback Sam Darnold into a costly fumble that would bring an end to this game.

USC drops to 4-1, with their national title hopes taking a huge hit.

Breaking down the WSU vs USC box score

The oddsmakers picked the USC Trojans to win this game and set the over/under at 62.5 points. The offenses couldn’t hit those marks, mostly because the Washington State defense put the clamps down on Sam Darnold. USC managed only 327 total yards, with WSU limiting Darnold to just 164 yards and no touchdowns through the air. Darnold did wind up with two red zone rushing touchdowns, but he could never get the timing down with his receivers against the WSU defense.

On the other side of the ball, WSU quarterback Luke Falk completed 34-of-51 passes for 340 yards and touchdowns. The leading receiver was Renard Bell, who caught three passes for 101 yards. Falk’s favorite targets were Tavares Martin Jr.

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and Isaiah Johnson-Mack, who each caught six passes in the win. On the ground, Jamal Morrow had 91 yards on just six carries, including a huge 35-yard run that helped the Cougars immensely.

What’s next for the WSU Cougars?

Seven games against Pac-12 opponents remain on the WSU football schedule this season. That includes three road games in October, beginning with a tough contest against the Oregon Ducks on Oct. 7. The Cougars then play the California Bears, Colorado Buffaloes, and Arizona Wildcats to take the schedule into November. WSU finishes against the Stanford Cardinal, Utah Utes, and Washington Huskies. The team does get a bye week after playing Utah on the road, which leads to the Apple Cup on November 25 in Seattle.

In the Week 5 college football rankings, the Washington State Cougars were listed at No. 16. The team just knocked off the No. 5 USC Trojans, suggesting that they are about to get a boost from the voters. Winning a conference game during primetime television may have afforded the team a few extra eyes as well. Now WSU fans await the Week 6 rankings, with an outside shot at the school making it into the Top 10 for the first time in years.