Washington State has had a wild ride these past ten years. This is my list on WSU’s top-5 upsets this decade. (All sports, in-order)
Number Five – WSU Basketball takes down No. 8 Oregon (1/16/2020)
The Washington State Cougars upset against the eighth-ranked Ducks was the most recent event on the list. Going into the game, the Cougars had lost 19 straight games vs top-10 opponents, with their last win coming against #7 Arizona in 2007. WSU won the game 72-61, which was easily the biggest win for the Cougs in a long time. First-year Head Coach Kyle Smith led WSU to their 11th win of the season behind CJ Elleby’s 25 points and 14 rebounds. Washington State would have their season cut-short, after finishing an even 16-16 on the season.
Number Four – WSU overcomes No. 5 USC (9/29/2017)
The No. 16 Cougars defeated the fifth-ranked USC Trojans by a score of 30-27. It was the first regular-season win over a top-five opponent in a quarter-century. Luke Falk was 34-51, with 340 yards and two passing touchdowns. Going into that Friday night game, the Cougars had lost 15 consecutive home games against ranked opponents. It was their first win over the Trojans since 2002. The win helped WSU remain perfect on the season, improving their record to 5-0. I was watching this game from my phone in the student section of a high school football game (I was a Senior), and I could barely contain myself after WSU safety Jahad Woods stripped USC quarterback Sam Darnold to seal the deal with one minute remaining.
Number Three – 2012 Apple Cup Win (11/23/2012)
The 3-8 Cougars were hosting No. 25 UW (7-5). It was a lost season for WSU, but it ended on a positive note by knocking off the Huskies 31-28 in overtime. Washington State snapped their 8- game losing streak in the victory over the Dawgs. The Cougs were down 28-10 with around ten minutes left in the 4th quarter. The 18-point comeback to put the game into OT was the largest comeback in the 105-game Apple Cup history. On the first play of over time, UW quarterback Keith Price was picked off by WSU’s Kalafitoni Pole, who returned it all the way to the UW five- yard line. A few plays later, Andrew Furney put a 27-yard field goal through the uprights to seal the upset-victory over rival UW, for the first time since 2008. The one thing that us Cougs and the Huskies can agree on is this: beating Oregon is a great feeling. The next upset on the list will prove that even more.
Number Two – WSU upsets No. 12 Oregon (10/20/2018)
No. 25 Washington State beat #12 Oregon 34-20 on Gameday’s first visit to Pullman. Washington State hosted ESPN’s “College Gameday” which started before the sun came up and ended with the Cougs coming out victorious for the fourth straight year against the Ducks (which is a beautiful thing). The Cougars four-game win streak against Oregon was their longest since the early 1980’s. WSU was up 27-0 at the half and won the game 34-20. The Cougs were propelled behind quarterback Gardner Minshew who threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns. WSU also won the battle in the ground game, which was a very nice surprise. This victory increased WSU’s record to 6-1, where they finished the season at 11-2, which is the best single-season record in program history. By far my favorite day as a student, and I am sure it was the same for anyone who was able to experience it.
Number One – WSU Women’s Soccer upsets first-seeded Virginia (11/22/2019)
This was hard for me to put over a football game but come on now. It was easily their biggest win in program history, where the Cougars upset the No.1 seeded Virginia Cavaliers 3-2, in Charlottesville, Virginia (making it virtually a home game for UVA). This win advanced WSU to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Virginia went into the game third-ranked in the country and having lost once in 21 games prior to their matchup with the Cougs. All-American forward Morgan Weaver, Averie Collins and MacKenzie Frimpong-Ellertson each accounted for one of the three goals in the playoff game. Washington State advanced to the Round of 16 for only the second time in program history. After their upset vs UVA, the Cougs would go onto beat West Virginia, No. 5 South Carolina, and ultimately lose to first-seeded (No. 2 overall) North Carolina in the College Cup.