Although WSU (1-7, 1-4 Big Sky) built a 21-6 lead, it needed a career-tying 46-yard field goal from Shaun McClain and a stubborn stand to prevent a Southern Utah two-point conversion with 54 seconds left.
Wildcats quarterback Mike Hoke threw for 206 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score, while C.J. Tuckett gained 90 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
Receiver Xavian Johnson caught six passes for 123 yards, but the biggest catch was a sideline pattern that he turned into a 75-yard touchdown sprint early in the third quarter to give WSU a 21-6 advantage.
"All week, we had confidence," Hoke said. "Once you start practicing, all of your confidence comes back. That shows. We didn't play like we were 0-7."
SUU quarterback Brad Sorensen responded by throwing 155 of his 320 passing yards in the fourth quarter. Yet the Thunderbird quarterback was sacked by several Wildcats on the potentially game-tying 2-point conversion. Then, WSU recovered an onside kick to secure the victory.
Weber State punter Tyler McNannay kicked five times for an average of 51.6 yards, the fourth-best single-game effort in the school's history.
Another record falls
North Dakota quarterback Braden Hanson set a Big Sky single-game record when he threw for 660 yards 410 by haltime in a 40-34 win over Montana in Grand Forks. It was the second-most ever in an FCS game. Hanson completed 42-of-61 passes with five touchdowns. The record previously belonged to former WSU quarterback Jamie Martin, who threw for 624 yards in 1991 against Idaho State.