The game itself was nuts, as AZ bolted to a fast 14-0 lead, then tried to hold on. The Cougs tied it up in the 4th quarter at 28 apiece, the game went to OT, and WSU scored first for a 35-28 lead. Arizona would score on an Ortege Jenkins TD pass on 4th down, making it 35-34. AZ goes for two the win on the road, and tries the QB bootleg with Jenkins. But WSU’s D stayed home, and Jenkins flips the ball over his shoulder as he goes down. Refs rule it an illegal forward fumble, incomplete pass or something, game over. I really don’t remember, as a friend of mine was screaming “HE CAN’T F’ING DO THAT! NO F’ING WAY!” WSU goes to 7-0 at the time, on their way to the 1998 Rose Bowl.
One thing lost from that game, that you don’t ever hear much about? Did you know WSU was nearly penalized for EXCESSIVE CROWD NOISE in that game?? It’s true. In a game where the paid attendance was 31,137, yes, the Pac-10 refs almost threw a flag against the WSU home crowd for making too much noise. One time, they bailed out Arizona with the play clock down to zero on a 4th down. Who knew!?
But enough of the blabbering on. You want to see the goods, right? Believe it or not, the NCAA crowd noise rule had been in place for some time, but obviously, it was rarely called. Thankfully it was eliminated in 2006. However, this time around, Ortege Jenkins, well, he kept asking the ref for help because of that annoying crowd noise! There are actually two videos after the read more – one the WSU – Arizona game, the other, a game from Michigan – Notre Dame from 1988, where Lou Holtz was pleading with the home crowd to pipe down. Amazing. Anyway, check it out. The first time, Jenkins asks for the game to be stopped, but the ref tells him to play on. The second time, around the 3:40 mark, is when the refs do stop the game, and then for a THIRD time at the 6:06 mark:
Let me tell you, I was in the stands that day, and there were, oh, MAYBE 28,000 fans in the stands. Even though the Cougs came into the game at 6-0, fans still hadn’t fully bought in, and the game was on a regional ABC TV broadcast. And sure, it got a little noisy at key moments. If you’ve been to Martin Stadium, you know it can get loud, just based on the close proximity to the field and all that stuff. But there is NO WAY it was too loud to run a play! I’ve heard that stadium absolutely rocking before, and it wasn’t anything unusual that day.
Here’s the video from the 1988 Notre Dame – Michigan game.
And for what it’s worth? Ryan Leaf was really, really, REALLY good in college. Big, strong, and even some wheels that are awfully surprising, even to this day. And that arm, WOW. I will put together a highlight clip of him from just this game alone, and maybe I’ll post it later this week. It really needs to be seen to be believed.
All for now. GO COUGS!