Kicker Erik Powell the unsung hero in No. 16 WSU’s upset win over No. 5 USC

Kicker Erik Powell drove in three huge field goals to help the Cougars defeat USC. His senior season is off to a much better start compared to how his junior season unfolded in 2016

PULLMAN – In a game where every point mattered, perhaps the unsung hero award of No. 16 Washington State’s 30-27 upset of No. 5 USC should go to kicker Erik Powell.

The Cougars’ senior kicker was steady as could be Friday night at Martin Stadium, hitting three field goals, including the game-winning 32-yarder with 3:21 left in the fourth quarter.

“I thought it was very important this game. We had to be able to kick the ball,” WSU coach Mike Leach said of his kicker’s good night. “He was clutch in all three situations. And really the ones he hit, he didn’t leave any doubt. So I thought he really did a good job kicking, and then he did a good job kicking off too.”

Powell also made a career-long 44-yard field goal in the first quarter, and connected on a 33-yard attempt in the third. He went 3-for-3 on extra points, and averaged 63.7 yards on seven kickoffs, with four touchbacks.

Through five games, Powell has been a dependable weapon for WSU, flipping the script from the way he began last season.

The Vancouver native started this season 8 for 9 on field goals – a stark contrast to the way he started his junior campaign in 2016, when he opened 0-for-4, and didn’t make a field goal until the season’s fifth game.

All in all, it marks quite the turnaround for a kicker who has slowly crept his way up WSU’s record books.

With his three field goals on Friday night, Powell has now made 39 career field goals, fifth-most in WSU history.

Drew Dunning holds the record, with 68 field goals. Powell needs four more field goals to tie John Traut (1982-85) for fourth-most in school history.

Scouts galore

Twenty-four scouts from 15 NFL teams and two CFL teams (Edmonton and B.C.) were credentialed for the WSU vs. USC game.

The New York…

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