1997 – Ryan Leaf
A recent ‘legend’ to have a ‘legendary’ game would be Cougar quarterback Ryan Leaf. In 1997, Washington State was ranked 11th and the University of Washington was 17th. Former Washington quarterback Brock Huard told USA Today last year that it was the one game he remembers the most detail about over his career.
The Cougars were set to make an appearance in the Rose Bowl for the first time in 67 years. However, the WSU football squad came into the game as a road underdog. Most likely due to the fact that Wazzu hadn’t won an Apple Cup played in Seattle in six previous attempts.
After falling behind early by a score of 7-0, Leaf caught fire. The Cougs scored the next 17 points. Leaf would go on to have a personal best, with 358 passing yards to go along with two touchdowns through the air in a 41-35 victory.
1992 – Drew Bledsoe
1992 saw another Apple Cup where both teams were ranked in the top-25. WSU at #25 and UW at #5. More importantly, the Huskies were defending national co-champions. The Cougars fell behind 7-6 but would score 29 unanswered points due to quarterback Drew Bledsoe‘s efforts.
In his regular-season finale’, he capped off an outstanding WSU career with 260 yards passing and two aerial touchdowns, on the way to a 42-23 win in Pullman. The Cougs went on to beat Utah in the Copper Bowl then Bledsoe became the only Cougar ever to be drafted into the NFL number one overall in 1993.