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Blanchette: WSU’s top 10 bowl performances

Washington State’s Sammy Moore puts on a few last moves during his 51-yard punt return against Texas in the Holiday Bowl NCAA college football game on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State’s Sammy Moore puts on a few last moves during his 51-yard punt return against Texas in the Holiday Bowl NCAA college football game on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Sammy Moore, 2003 Holiday Bowl

His production had dipped dramatically the last half of the season, but Moore was hell on Texas – TD receptions of 12 and 54 yards, a 51-yard punt return to set up another and 193 yards of all-purpose yardage.

Phillip Bobo, 1992 Copper Bowl

The sliding-into-a-snow-bank Apple Cup catch was Bobo’s most famous, but his touchdown receptions of 87 and 48 yards were part of a 212-yard day in Tucson that made him most valuable player of this defunct event.

Lamont Thompson, 2001 Sun Bowl

Lamont Thompson picks off a pass in the end zone intended for Taylor Stubblefield ( 21).  Thompson had two picks and this interception killed a Boilermaker drive late in the game to preseve the WSU win.  Christopher Anderson/the Spokesman-Review (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
Lamont Thompson picks off a pass in the end zone intended for Taylor Stubblefield ( 21). Thompson had two picks and this interception killed a Boilermaker drive late in the game to preseve the WSU win. Christopher Anderson/the Spokesman-Review (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton passed for a Sun record 474 yards, but was intercepted four times – twice by Thompson, who also broke up five other passes and had 10 tackles. He’s the only Coug defender to be MVP in a bowl that didn’t honor players on both sides of the ball.

Victor Wood, 1988 Aloha Bowl

 (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

The Cougs scored all 24 of their points in the second quarter triggered by the senior receiver, who scooped up a fumbled handoff and dashed seven yards for WSU’s first touchdown, and followed it up five minutes later with a 15-yard TD reception. He had 228 all-purpose yards.

Connor Halliday, 2013 New Mexico Bowl

 (Matt York / Associated Press)
(Matt York / Associated Press)

Before the Cougs’ late-game meltdown, their quarterback was dealing — throwing touchdowns to six different receivers and torching Colorado State for 410 yards. A sideline shouting match with a CSU assistant was only a bonus.

Erik Coleman, 2003 Holiday Bowl

WSUs Erik Coleman does a superman impression after sacking the Texas quarterback during the Holiday Bowl in San Diego 12/30/03.  WSu had 7 sacks in the game.  Christopher Anderson/the Spokesman-Review (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
WSUs Erik Coleman does a superman impression after sacking the Texas quarterback during the Holiday Bowl in San Diego 12/30/03. WSu had 7 sacks in the game. Christopher Anderson/the Spokesman-Review (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

No one played a bigger role in stifling Texas’ prolific offense than the Spokane safety. His third-quarter hit on tight end David Thomas popped loose the fumble that Jason David ran in for a touchdown and a 26-10 lead, but Coleman also blocked a punt, had a sack, broke up three passes and had eight tackles.

Drew Bledsoe, 1992 Copper Bowl

 (FILE / The Spokesman-Review)
(FILE / The Spokesman-Review)

No Cougar bowl quarterback has ever passed for more than the 476 yards Bledsoe racked up against Utah, including an 87-yard hookup with Philip Bobo that highlighted a 21-point first quarter.

Carl Dietz, 1916 Rose Bowl

Rugged and versatile, Dietz helped bottle up Brown freshman phenom Fritz Pollard and kept the Bruins at bay with his punting – on top of slogging through the mud for 105 yards. He scored the clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter to become the game’s MVP.

Kyle Basler, 2003 Holiday Bowl

WSU coach Bill Doba congrats punter Kyle Basler after he pinned Texas isnside the 5 yard line with another great punt.  Christopher Anderson/the Spokesman-Review (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
WSU coach Bill Doba congrats punter Kyle Basler after he pinned Texas isnside the 5 yard line with another great punt. Christopher Anderson/the Spokesman-Review (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

A punter as defensive MVP? Holiday Bowl voters insisted on it after Basler continually kept Texas pinned in the shadow of its own goal line. Four times the Longhorns had to start inside their own five; two of those possessions ended in punts, another in a fumble WSU turned into a TD and the last a clinching safety.

Luke Falk, 2015 Sun Bowl

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk looks to throw against Miami during the second half of the 2015 Hyundai Sun Bowl on Saturday, Dec 26, 2015, at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, TX. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk looks to throw against Miami during the second half of the 2015 Hyundai Sun Bowl on Saturday, Dec 26, 2015, at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, TX. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The conditions were frightful and it showed on the scoreboard, the Cougars’ normally potent Air Raid offense putting up just 20 points. Despite the snow, Falk still threw for 300 yards on 29-of-53 passing, including touchdowns to Gabe Marks and Jamal Morrow.

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