Also, Mike Leach dedicates the win to a Cougars fan suffering from lymphoma, and explains his weird Woodstock analogy

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PULLMAN — The 33,773-strong sold out crowd that came out to watch No. 16 Washington State beat No. 5 USC at home on Friday night marked the largest attendance at a WSU home football game since Martin Stadium was reconfigured in 2014.

And the lusty crowd made a difference.

They got loud and rowdy at all the appropriate moments – most of which occurred when USC was on offense. Late in the fourth quarter on third-and-13 from the 20, the crowd was so loud that USC was forced to call a timeout. Earlier in the fourth quarter, the Trojans’ offense lineman Austin Jackson was also penalized with a false start on third-and-9 as the home crowd turned up its volume to hinder USC’s offensive communication.

“It was a great environment. … I think it was pretty loud,” Leach said. “It broke the attendance record and everybody was loud the whole game.”

WSU quarterback Luke Falk said the game day atmosphere was the best he’s experienced in his five years in Pullman.

Even the Cougars’ defensive players were affected by the noise – in good ways and bad.

“Tonight it was super-loud,” said linebacker Jahad Woods, who had the key strip-sack of Sam Darnold that sealed the win for WSU. “When it gets loud like that, I don’t even know how to explain it, it’s a great feeling. Everybody’s cheering, supporting us.

“It was tough to hear, getting our move calls out and all that,” said WSU defensive tackle Hercules Mata’afa. “It affected us as well, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Added nickelback Hunter Dale: “When they get loud and they’re screaming for somebody to make a play, you want to go make a play. You want to get your name on the board. … Our fans are electric. And you see them stay for the end of a game, esp. in a competitive game like this. We really feed off of that.”

Leach dedicates win to WSU freshman from Sammamish who has lymphoma

Leach began his post-game news conference by flashing a neon green rubber band on his left wrist and saying, “There’s a great Coug named Ben Cushing whom I wore this thing today (for), who was in the hospital watching us. We dedicate this thing to Ben.”

Ben Cushing is a 19-year-old WSU freshman from Sammamish who’s suffering from a rare form of lymphoma.

Leach said he has not met Cushing, but that he and the team were touched by Cushing’s story and “wanted to recognize his situation and let him know that we appreciate him being a Coug.”

“He’s a great Coug. He watched us. I hope he enjoyed the game,” Leach said.

Leach likens Martin Stadium post-game atmosphere to Woodstock

When asked by a TV reporter to describe the post-game atmosphere on the field after WSU’s huge upset win, Leach responded: “It’s like Woodstock, except everybody has their clothes on.”

He later elaborated on that metaphor in his post-game news conference.

“It was the first thing that hit me,” Leach said. “All I saw out there was a mob of people. I saw this news thing (recently), it was famous photographs of Woodstock — the original Woodstock – and there was just a mob of people out there.

“The (reporter) says, ‘Well what do you see out there right now” Does this remind you of anything?’ The first thing that hit my head was Woodstock because I’d seen those photographs a day or two ago and there was a mob of people out there.”

Then, almost as an afterthought, Leach added, “Plus, I need a hair cut too. So that’s kinda like Woodstock.”