PULLMAN – Sometime around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dennis Erickson probably rediscovered why he’s happy coaching in Tempe instead of Moscow, Laramie, Pullman or even Seattle.
That’s when it started snowing on the Palouse.
Erickson, who was Washington State’s head coach in 1987 and 1988, probably said a silent thank you for coaching in Tempe, where dust storms and an occasional 50-day long run of 100-degree temperatures are about the only odd weather occurrences.
It started as a rain/snow mix that quickly turned to snow as the sun went down. As the Martin Stadium field was being prepared for the 7:30 start, someone wrote “Colfax” in the early snow in front of the student section.
The writing, like the town, was quickly covered with more snow as traffic on U.S. 195 slowly snaked its way into Pullman on Dad’s Weekend.
By game time the snow has slacked, no more than a flurry. A tractor and a pickup truck with a plow had the field clear by warmups.
The last time it snowed during a WSU game was Nov. 19, 1994, when snow flurries were recorded during the Apple Cup. Two years earlier, on Nov. 21, it was the famous Apple Cup of Drew Bledsoe, Phillip Bobo and the 42-23 victory known since as the Snow Bowl.
The coldest game in Martin Stadium has to be the Nov. 13 game in 1955 against San Jose State.
The official temperature that day in Pullman: 5 degrees. The official crowd count was 424. Only one grandstand ticket was sold and the Cougars spent a few days trying to give the hardy customer his $3 back. Thirty enterprising people stepped up, but no one got the money.
Not to engender jealousy or anything, but on Nov. 13, 1999, the Cougars hosted USC at Martin Stadium. It was 74 and sunny.
Wilson reaches 1,000-yard milestone
Marquess Wilson is just a sophomore, but he’s already climbing up the Washington State receiving lists.
When he hauled in an 85-yard scoring pass from Connor Halliday with 6 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first quarter, Wilson surpassed 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season.
He joined Jason Hill, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, as the only WSU receiver to eclipse that mark twice. Hill had 1,007 receiving yards in 2004 and another 1,097 the next season.
Wilson had 1,006 yards on 55 catches last season.
The pass was Halliday’s first of the game after taking over from Marshall Lobbestael – and the redshirt freshman’s first Pac-12 completion.