PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Jason Gesser went down, and any chances Washington State had of winning the national championship went along with him.
John Anderson kicked three field goals in overtime, including a 49-yarder, and linebacker Kai Ellis recovered a fumble by backup quarterback Matt Kegel in the third extra session as Washington stunned third-ranked Washington State, 29-26, in the annual Apple Cup.
The Cougars (9-2, 6-1) entered Saturday third in the Bowl Championship Series standings and still had a chance to play in the Fiesta Bowl if several scenarios unfolded, including a loss by top-ranked Miami in its last two games.
But those were hopes were dashed when the Cougars squandered a 10-point lead in the final 3:13 of regulation and were unable to move the ball in overtime. Washington State's fortunes went south soon after Gesser, a Heisman Trophy candidate, went down with a right ankle sprain that will sideline him indefinitely.
"If I don't get hurt and leave the game, we win that game," Gesser said. "There is no doubt in my mind that we would have won. It's just the way things go."
Washington State officials said they will have a better idea on Gesser's recovery time by next weekend. The Cougars are off next week before facing UCLA on December 7.
Kegel threw a costly interception that set up the game-winning field goal at the end of regulation and was unable to move the Cougars in overtime.
Anderson seized the opportunity with five field goals, including kicks of 34, 46 and 49 yards in overtime. He also converted from 35 and 27 yards to atone for misses from 50, 51 and 34.
Washington State had one last chance in overtime when Kegel tries a backwards pass toward the left sideline. Ellis batted down the pass and recovered the fumble, sealing the win for Washington. The officials seemed confused and huddled before making the call.
"It's frustrating to watch because they had no idea how they were going to make the call," Gesser said. "If you don't know, you can't make a call. They decided that, then they came back together, and decide another thing. It (stinks) to lose a game, especially like that."
Gesser was just 14-of-24 for 226 yards while Kegel was 5-of-7 for 20 yards.
Washington State also missed a chance at clinching the Pac-10 Conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. The Cougars can clinch the title with a win at UCLA. A loss to UCLA would give the title to Southern California.
"We still have an opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl and share the Pac-10 Conference," said Cougars coach Mike Price, who fell to 3-11 against the Huskies. "The next two weeks will determine the type of football team we have."
It has been a disappointing season for the Huskies (7-5, 5-2), but Saturday's triumph assured them a 26th straight non-losing season.
Washington coach Rick Neuheisel improved to 5-0 against the Cougars, including a 4-0 mark as Huskies coach.
"It wasn't a pretty win. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot of times today but I know Washington State will say the same thing," Neuheisel said. "It was just a hard-fought game as most intense rivalries are. I look forward to hopefully getting to play one more time."
The teams exchanged field goals in the first two overtime periods as Drew Dunning of Washington State connected from 42 and 32 yards.
Cody Pickett completed 35-of-57 passes for 368 yards and one touchdown and directed a pair of late scoring drives to send the game into overtime.
Reggie Williams a made spectacular leaping catch of a pass from Pickett for a 48-yard gain, leading to a seven-yard TD pass over the middle to Paul Arnold with 3:13 left.
Williams had a huge game with 12 catches for 169 yards.
With Gesser sidelined, Kegel forced a long pass that was intercepted by Dave Robinson at the Cougars 35-yard line.
Pickett completed passes of nine yards to Patrick Reddick and 10 yards to Williams to give the Huskies a first-and-goal, but Washington settled for a game-tying 27-yard field goal by Anderson with 15 seconds left in regulation.
Pickett opened the scoring with a one-yard TD run in the first quarter, capping a 41-yard drive that began after Owen Biddle intercepted Gesser and returned the ball 21 yards.
Dunning kicked a 34-yard field goal to make it 7-3 after one quarter.
Washington State took its first lead at 10-7 on a two-yard run by Jermaine Green less than two minutes into the second period. Green's score followed a 17-yard pass from Gesser to Troy Bienemann and a pass interference penalty.
The Cougars increased their lead to 17-7 less than three minutes later when Gesser connected on a 66-yard TD pass to Sammy Moore.
Anderson kicked a 35-yard field goal for the only scoring of the third quarter before Dunning kicked a 22-yarder early in the fourth to make it 20-10.
Rich Alexis of the Huskies completed 18 carries for 72 yards before leaving with an undisclosed injury.
The mistake-filled game featured 22 penalties, including 10 by the Cougars for 69 yards.
"It seemed like both teams wanted to give the game away," Price said.