Tag Archives: WSU Cougars

Apple Cup Predictions

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the frustrations of sports.  Seattle teams lose much more than they win, and it can get frustrating.  Some level of aggravation is normal, as it would be with any interest when it goes poorly.  It can be easy to let it get out of hand and take over one’s life, though, and that seems a shame.

Sometimes we need to step back and remember that sports themselves are great.  For every frustration, there’s the simple fact that sports are fun and exciting and entertaining. Is there anything better than sitting at Husky Stadium or Century Link or Safeco on a clear day?  Seattle is blessed with professional and major college teams, and whether they’re good or not, not everywhere is so lucky.

I hope the Huskies win Friday, and I hope the Seahawks make the Super Bowl this year.  I really hope the Mariners are good again in my lifetime.  Even if they’re not, I’m thankful I get to go to Husky games with my dad and brother and sister.  I’m thankful for the countless memories and hours of enjoyment sports have brought me.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and thanks for reading.

Joe

The Apple Cup is a rivalry game. Rivalry games, as they say, you can throw the records out the window, they don’t matter.  I am usually lukewarm about that assertion, because usually records do matter, and do reflect reality.  Your record is who you are. In the case of this year Apple Cup, I agree, records don’t matter. In the sense that WSU isn’t as good as theirs indicates, and UW is better than theirs indicates.

I have had an ongoing discussion with the other good guys regarding how opposite these two schools conference schedules have been. In a nutshell, WSU has had all their tougher opponents at home, UW, conversely, on the road (the exception being Oregon for both schools).  WSU has had the fortunate circumstances of not playing UCLA, getting Lane Kiffin’s USC team early, and catching a sleeping Arizona a week before senior day.  UW played Stanford, ASU and UCLA all on the road.  The point of all this is to say that I believe WSU’s 6-5 record is a bit of a mirage, aided by favorable conference scheduling and timing.  Conversely I believe UW’s 7-4 record is misleading as well.  I maintain if UW had WSU’s conf schedule, the Huskies would probably be at 9 wins already. They are that good of a football team.  And I think it will show Friday.

WSU will throw exclusively and be buoyed by a stingy defense, but in the end the Dawgs have two huge factors in their favor: Husky Stadium and revenge.  In sports, home field and a desire to get back at a rival almost always leads to victory.  It will Friday.  Watch for UW to establish a running game early no matter what, and watch for one of UW’s WRs to have a 100+ yd game (Stringfellow). WSU’s inability to run will lead to multiple Halliday interceptions that will kill WSU drives.  Late 3rd qtr the Dawgs will start to break WSU’s will with the run game.  Cougs go back home empty handed.

UW 38 – WSU 19

Matthew

Andrew’s written before about how my predictions always seem to go wrong.  I’ve done pretty well picking games this year, but if I make a proclamation in game, the opposite generally happens.  So, I’m a little hesitant to say this, but I have a really hard time seeing the Huskies losing this game.  The Cougars are better than last year, but I don’t think they’re very good.  I think UW, when focused and clicking, is a pretty dominating team.  Plus, they’re playing at home, which is generally all the difference they need against middling opponents.

I’m curious to see whether last week’s blowout win will function as the proverbial light bulb going on for this team.  Sometimes guys just need to see what can happen when they come out and play exactly as hard and as smart as they can.  Hopefully the dominating results  from that effort will give them confidence and motivate them to prepare and play like they did last week in the games and seasons to come.

As for the Apple Cup, I could see a close game, but I could also see the Huskies coming out hot again, reeling off a couple of scores and cruising to a big win.  Connor Halliday might be the difference between a close game and a blowout.  He can be very good at quarterback, and then he can be absolutely horrible at the flip of a switch.  The Huskies need to get some pressure early, hit a couple of passes over the top, and let Bishop carve up the Cougar defense.  I don’t think Black Friday will hold any good deals for WSU.

UW 45 – WSU 27

Andrew

After the beatdown the Huskies gave the Beavers last Saturday night, Husky fans are truly feeling good about the team for the first time since they were 4-0.  These good feelings should continue on Friday afternoon.  WSU has improved and will no doubt be ready to play.  They have rode a beneficial schedule to bowl eligibility but they are a better team than the one that the Huskies lost to last year.  The difference this year is that the Huskies will probably show up to the 4th quarter.  This Husky team is angry and ready to prove that last year was a mirage.  If the Huskies jump ahead early this game could get ugly, but, since it’s the Apple Cup, I expect this one to stay close throughout.

UW 35 – WSU 24

Dan

A bit late to get my prediction in, but here’s my quick take.

It’s impossible to know if the Huskies will be clicking tomorrow like they did last week. If they play well, there is no doubt in my mind the Dawgs will roll. I’m biased, sure, but I really believe the Huskies are a much better team than the Cougars. But again, we can’t know which UW team will show up and if Wazzu is the better team for 60 minutes tomorrow, they can absolutely win, and have major bragging rights in what would be their 6th apple cup in the last 10. The Pac 12 has been tough to predict, and rivalry games often surprise too, so anything can happen. If I were betting, I think the Huskies will win comfortably because I don’t see Sankey and the UW offense being contained, nor do I see the Cougs’ one dimensional offense having it’s way against the home team’s D. Expect an inspired, revenge seeking performance by the mighty men who where purple and gold. Go Dawgs!

UW 41 – WSU 24

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Running with the Pac: Week 5

And we’re back with our rankings of who had the best week in the Pac-12. Remember, these aren’t overall power rankings for the season (those will come in a day or two).  They are just rankings of which teams had the best games and weeks.  Teams on a bye are left off unless something happens to warrant inclusion.

1. Stanford Cardinal beat WSU 55-17

I had doubts about the Cardinal before the season, and their first few weeks didn’t do a lot to quell them.  An offense already short on playmakers lost two excellent tight ends and a star running back.  A defense supposed to be among the best in the country looked a bit lackluster for the first couple of games as well.  Stanford has changed course in a hurry.  The defense pounded WSU, knocking Connor Halliday out of the game, and the offense has added a vertical passing dimension it hasn’t had in a while.  I’m still not a complete believer in Stanford, but they look like a completely different offense from the one the Huskies beat last year.

2. Arizona State Sun Devils beat USC 62-41

ASU badly needed a win to maintain any shot at challenging UCLA in the south, and they got it in unexpected fashion.  Everyone knows about USC’s offensive woes, but their defense had been excellent.  ASU showed all of their offensive weapons in an explosion that cost Lane Kiffin his job.  Giving up 41 is concerning, but the win is still big.

3. UW Huskies beat Arizona 31-13

It’s unclear how good the Huskies opponents have been, which makes it tough to know how the Huskies are.  Or maybe it’s the other way around.  Either way, the Huskies handled what looked like a solid but limited Arizona squad.  It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t the blowout Dawg fans were hoping for, but I think that had as much to do with the first half monsoon as with anything the Huskies did.  There was a point where both teams seemed to give up on doing anything more than handing off, and that was a bigger detriment to UW than Arizona.  The defense was stingy all day, and the offense exerted its will most of the game.  It’s a big win for the Huskies, but it didn’t provide as much clarity on the Huskies ability as I’d hoped.  That’ll come soon.

4. OSU Beavers beat Colorado 44-17

After their well-documented slow start, the Beavers are rallying.  They haven’t beat anyone of consequence, but they’ve done what’s necessary to get their season back on track.  I still think their defense will keep them out of the top half of the division, but the offense is as dangerous as any.  Sean Mannion to Brandin Cooks is maybe the top duo in the country.

5. Oregon Ducks beat Cal 55-16

Oregon demolished another poor opponent.  The main reason they’re at the bottom of the winning teams is De’Anthony Thomas’s injury.  It doesn’t sound serious, but he’s likely out this weekend, and hopefully (for the Huskies) the one after.

6. Arizona Wildcats lost to UW 31-13

No one had a “good loss” this week, but Arizona’s wasn’t terrible: on the road, to a ranked opponent, competitive.  As I said, the weather made it hard to glean a lot from that game, but Arizona has a solid defense and an excellent running back.  Quarterback is what’s going to hold them down.  BJ Denker gave no indication he can be any passing threat whatsoever.  The Cats can beat the bad teams, but they’re going to struggle greatly against good defenses until they find a semblance of a passing game.

7. Colorado Buffaloes lost to OSU 44-17

The next three are all pretty interchangeable, but we’ll give the Buffs the top spot because we had low expectations of them and they didn’t suffer any notable injuries or embarrassments that I’m aware of.  The loss did show how far Colorado still has to go before they’ll be competitive.

8. California Golden Bears lost to Oregon 55-16

No one expected Cal to keep this close, but I thought they’d put up a few more points, or at least yards.  They now have a bit of a quarterback controversy as well, for reasons unclear to me.  They switched mid-game from starter Jared Goff to give Zach Kline some snaps.  Maybe it was just to protect the less mobile Goff, but if they were expecting more from a true freshman against Oregon, they’re crazy.  Goff was good enough before Saturday to justify the surprising decision to go with him to start the season, and to change now seems strange to me.  I’d expect to see Goff back in there throwing like crazy.  It might not get Cal many wins, but a dynamic passing game is all they have going for them.

9. WSU Cougars lost to Stanford 55-17

The Cougars go below the previous two because they actually had hopes of a win, hopes that Stanford tore apart and sent down the storm drains with the rain.  WSU’s supposedly improved defense was overmatched, and the offense did next to nothing.  I do think WSU’s better than last year, but their improvement has been overstated.  A big problem is the quarterback.  Halliday can do some things, but he balances his plusses with terrible mistakes.  Austin Apodaca looked decent when he came on for the injured Halliday, but he’s not going to be a magical cure should the Cougars go to him more in the future.  The Cougars might be on the right track, but Stanford showed it’s going to be a slower journey than Cougar fans had hoped.

10. USC Trojans lost to ASU 62-41

Let’s recap USC’s Saturday/early Sunday. They were demolished by ASU, giving up more points in one game than they had all season up to that point.  They lost multiple defenders to injury, depleting a roster already demolished due to scholarship sanctions.  All-world WR Marquise Lee, suffering a poor season due to inconsistent quarterback play, had a knee injury that looked bad, although it’s unknown how long he’ll be out.  And, to top it off, Lane Kiffin was fired as soon as the plane landed back in LA.  It’s been about as bad a week as USC could have imagined.  A few positives: USC still has plenty of talent, and it might respond to new coach Ed Orgeron.  The running game with Tre Madden and Justin Davis has been a solid plus for an offensive that’s struggled.  And whatever else one wants to say about Kiffin, his playcalling this season has been strange at best.  A new mind running the offense might get better results.  Or it might not.  It’s hard to know what the rest of the season will bring, but this was an inevitable move.  Let’s just say that as a fan of another Pac-12 team, I’d much rather have Lane Kiffin as USC’s coach than whomever they hire to replace him.

-Matthew

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Runnin’ With The Pac: Week 3

Once again, rankings of who had the best week in the Pac-12.  These are not overall power rankings, just who had the best game/week last week.  Teams on a bye are excluded unless something warrants it.

1. UCLA Bruins beat Nebraska 41-21

What a tough week for the Bruins.  Last Sunday they lost a player, Nick Pasquale, who was killed in a car wreck.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, teammates and coaches.  Dealing with a death like that is so far beyond anything happening on the football field, and it showed as UCLA struggled in the first half on Saturday.  They stormed back to blow-out Nebraska and earn the Pac-12’s best victory thus far.  No matter how you usually feel about UCLA, this was a win everyone can be excited for them to get.  It doesn’t replace losing a member of their family, but if it helps give them meaning and a chance to move on, it will be worth something.  Best wishes to everyone involved, and we hope you find overwhelming love and support through the next months.

2. ASU Sun Devils beat Wisconsin 32-30

ASU didn’t always look good, but they looked better most of the game than did the Badgers.  And come on, how great was that ending!  It was wrong in oh so many ways, and Wisconsin has every right to be furious.  It was also one of the craziest things I’ve seen on the field in a while.  I’d put them number two just because of how much enjoyment it brought me, but it was also a solid win against a ranked team.  ASU didn’t look perfect, but they’re a tough team when they get rolling.

3. USC Trojans beat Boston College 35-7

After their terrible showing against WSU, the Trojans finally did some things right.  Kiffin named Cody Kessler as quarterback, and he was solid.  Even more encouraging was a strong day in the running game and signs that Marquise Lee is getting untracked.  He only caught two balls, but they went for 90 yards.  BC isn’t good, but USC did exactly what they needed to get their season at least going in the direction of the right track.

4. Oregon Ducks beat Tennessee 59-14

Not much to say here, as Oregon pummeled yet another mediocre opponent.  I wish we could see them play someone, but they’re disposing quickly of anyone they see.

5. UW Huskies beat Illinois 34-24

Illinois is probably about as good as Tennessee, but the Huskies weren’t nearly as dominant as Oregon was.  Still, road wins are always good, and the Dawgs were a few mistakes from a blow-out.  They need to stop making mistakes.  Don’t do dumb stuff, Huskies!

6. Oregon State Beavers beat Utah 51-48

The Beavs are tied with WSU for the Pac-12 lead.  Have a good laugh.  Take your time.  The good news is that, in what was something of a must win, the Beavers did, and salvaged any hope their season had.  The bad news is they didn’t look too great doing it and the defense continues to struggle mightily.  OSU usually improves over the year, except for that year they really didn’t.  They’re going to score plenty of points, but the defense doesn’t have any answers right now.  Glad to see Storm Woods is okay, though.  That was a scary moment for a talented guy.

7. (Tie) Arizona Wildcats beat UTSA 38-13 WSU Cougars beat Southern Utah 48-10

Both teams beat weak opponents fairly handily, so I’m giving them the tie.  I saw some of the WSU game and none of Arizona’s so I can’t say a ton.  WSU looked shaky early, but they managed to take care of business.  Both teams are doing what they need to do, but stiffer challenges await.

9. Stanford Cardinal beat Army 34-20

Unimpressive win for a top five Stanford squad.  The passing game is looking better than expected, but the defense struggled a bit with Army.  That shouldn’t happen.  Stanford is probably fine, but they look a bit suspect, and that’s enough to drop them to 9th in a strong week for the conference.

10. California Golden Bears lost to Ohio St. 52-34

Cal got whupped by OSU, but they did manage to put up 34 points.  QB Jared Goff is a keeper (literally. I have him in fantasy.  I might keep him) and the offense is fairly loaded and in a system well-fitted to their strengths.  Unfortunately for the Bears, the defense is horrendous.  I mean, it’s really bad.  Really really bad.  Cal could be good soon, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year.

11. Utah Utes lost to OSU 51-48

The Utes get the basement for losing a conference game at home they were in position to win.  The good news is they were in position to win, and the offense is dramatically improved from last year.  Alas, they still lost, and the Utes aren’t good enough yet to be losing conference games at which they have a shot.

Honorary Listing: Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado had their match with Fresno State postponed due to the incredible flooding taking place.  Again, prayers and well wishes to all those suffering loss in the tragedy.  Cancelling the game was the right move.  Still, it was probably unfortunate for Colorado, who have been playing reasonably well and were looking for some revenge against FSU for last year’s beating.  Last I heard, they haven’t decided for sure if the game will be rescheduled, although they hope to.  Hopefully Colorado dries out soon and the Buffs can resume their slow improvement on the field.

Here’s to a week with fewer tragedies and even more great games.  Stay safe everybody.

-Matthew

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Head of the Pac: Week Two

This is a new thing I’m trying this season.  Last week it was just called Ranking the Pac-12.  Prepare yourself for a slew of bad “Pac” related titles until I find one I like.  Anyway, this is not a power ranking.  It is a subjective ranking of who had the best week the week before.  Teams who didn’t play will be left off unless something significant enough to merit a ranking happened. This week there was one interesting game and lots of blowouts of cupcakes.  The schedule gets a lot better in week 3.  Let’s do this.

1. WSU Cougars beat USC 10-7

I have some misgivings putting the Cougs at the top, because they really didn’t look too great, USC looked horrific, and they’re the Cougars.  Still, WSU got a road win over USC and is leading the Pac-12 North.  I would never have guessed either of those things would have happened this year.  WSU’s defense looked good, but there’s no arguing it was helped significantly by terrible quarterbacking and worse play-calling for USC.  The offense didn’t manage a touchdown, and was maybe worse than USC’s before the big catch and run that put them in field goal position.  The Cougars are certainly better than they were, but I’m unconvinced of how much.  Strangely, it’s the defense that has made the greatest strides under Mike Leach.

2. Oregon Ducks beat Virginia 59-10

The Ducks weren’t perfect, but any complaints are extremely minor when you beat an FBS  team on the road by 49 points.  I doubt Tennessee will fare much better this week.  The Ducks might not be challenged much before coming to Husky Stadium in a few weeks.

3. Utah Utes beat Weber State 70-7

Everything gets a little murky through the vast middle of these rankings.  No one played anyone good and most teams won big.  Extra points and the number three ranking to Utah for doing something I wouldn’t have believed them capable of before the season: putting up 70 points.  That’s a lot, regardless of the opponent.

4. ASU Sun Devils beat Sacramento St. 55-0

I like blowout shutouts.  This is an appropriate score given the teams involved, but it’s always encouraging to see a team nearly perfect on opening night.  This Saturday gets much tougher with Wisconsin coming to town.

5. Stanford Cardinal beat San Jose St. 34-13

Stanford wasn’t incredible, but they handled one of the week’s better opponents easily.  Offense is going to be the question for the Tree.  They’re lacking in established skill players outside of QB Kevin Hogan.  The defense and O Line will have to carry them until they can get clicking.

6. Arizona Wildcats beat UNLV 58-13

Another big win over a weak opponent. The passing game is struggling for the Cats.  Luckily they have All-American Kadeem Carey back from suspension.  Carey is one of the few players to ever be suspended for being an All-American.  The guy’s amazing in so many ways.

7. Oregon State Beavers beat Hawaii 33-14

We have reached the section: “Unimpressive wins against terrible opponents”.  Hawaii is terrible.  Even USC beat them handily.  OSU did too, but it took a while.  The game was in question for the first half before the Beavs pulled away.  They also lost the defense’s captain and maybe best player, LB Mike Doctor. At least he should heal quickly (Doctor joke).  Actually, probably not: 6-8 weeks out. The O Line is beat up as well.  We’ll see if the Beavers can rally, but it’s looking like a potentially long season.  Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks are pretty great though.

8. (Tie) California Golden Bears beat Portland St. 37-30; Colorado Buffaloes beat Central Arkansas 38-24

Many similarities here.  Both teams struggled to beat bad opponents.  Both had some standout offensive performances: Jared Goff went over 450 yards for the second game in a row for Cal, with many of those yards going to WR Bryce Treggs; Buff WR Paul Richardson had his second straight 200 yard receiving game.  That’s never been done before in the Pac-12.  Good stuff.  Unfortunately, the rest of the team isn’t that great, for both squads.

10. USC Trojans lost to WSU 10-7

Oh, USC.  Where to even begin?  This was one of the worst offensive performances I have ever seen.  Both quarterbacks are bad and made worse by Lane Kiffin’s poor handling and ridiculously terrible play-calling.  Maybe my biggest question is why both quarterbacks are so bad.  Both guys were highly rated and possess obvious physical skills.  It’s no surprise if one of them doesn’t develop, but I find it quite strange that both are struggling so greatly.  One more strike against Kiffin.  Unfortunately for him, he’s already wearing a Golden Sombrero.  The defense is good enough to sustain them if they can show even the slightest threat on offense, but that’s looking like a lot to ask for at the moment. That sentence is really depressing if you simultaneously look at their roster.  They have so much talent it’s crazy.  This team is going to have to drastically improve if they want to save Kiffin’s job, let alone get to a bowl game.  I’d put Kiffin at about a 3% chance of returning next year.

-Matthew

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Pac-12 Rankings: Week 1

Hello there, and welcome to the first week of the Good Guys Pac-12 power rankings!  These aren’t really going to be true power rankings though, because everyone does those and they never really change from week to week.  Instead, I’m going to rank teams based on who had the best week.

As such, this will mostly be a ranking of who had the weekend’s best wins to worst losses.  It has no bearing on who is the best overall team.  I repeat, these are not rankings of which team is the best.  Looking ahead, UW is number one on the list, because they demolished a ranked team.  I don’t think they’re the best team in the conference, but they easily had the best win.  All clear?

Stanford and Arizona State didn’t play, so I’m leaving them off.  That will be the case for most teams with byes throughout the year, unless something terrible or great happens to them during practice.  Not likely, but players get hurt during practice or arrested in Eugene.  Things happen.  On to the rankings!

1. Washington Huskies

No team made more of a statement than the Huskies.  Whether or not Boise State is a bit down this year, they were maybe the best opponent of any Pac-12 team this weekend.  The Huskies disposed of them with little mercy.  It was a dominating win for a program that needed one.

2. UCLA Bruins

It gets a little harder to distinguish at this point.  Nevada’s a decent team and UCLA whupped them 58-20.  I’m giving them bonus blowout points to bump them ahead of a couple of other teams.

3. Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado beat Colorado State 41-27.  CSU isn’t very good, but if you remember 2012, the Buffs didn’t win too many games.  One, to be exact.  They also lost to CSU to start last year, so this is a big improvement.  By all accounts, Colorado looked greatly improved, and for a program in need of some hope, this is a big win. Continue reading

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Apple Cup Predictions

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  Hopefully your day was full of turkey, people you love, and Mark Sanchez running into his lineman’s butt.  Worst football play ever.

One quick piece of news broke today.  Devon Blackmon, a wide receiver who recently left the Oregon program, is reportedly transferring to the UW.  He has to sit out a year but will be eligible in 2014 with two years to play (or maybe three. Not sure why that’d be, but I saw one news outlet reporting that).  Blackmon was a highly rated recruit out of high school who considered UW at the time.  I wonder about a guy who couldn’t get on the field much for a team with inconsistent receiver production, but he’s a talented, athletic guy and hopefully that will show by the time he can see the field.

Before I get to the predictions, in the spirit of the day, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the UW coaches.  I’m not sure how good the basketball team will be this year.  They’ve been spotty thus far and have less talent than in some recent years.  That said, I could not appreciate Lorenzo Romar more than I do.  Some people question his ability to take the team to the next level, and he might never do that.  Romar’s value goes beyond the court, though.  He’s one of the classiest, most respectable coaches in the country.  He has a lot of personality and great stories.  It would take the program completely cratering to convince me that the program would be better without Romar than with him.  Some people value winning at all costs, but I’m not one of them.  I love having a program that I feel good cheering for that’s also quite successful.

It remains to be seen whether Steve Sarkisian will succeed in returning the Huskies to prominence, but I think the job he’s done so far is commendable.  Sark has brought enthusiasm that was desperately needed, and he’s been a coach that Husky fans could watch grow along with the team.  While he doesn’t quite have Romar’s reputation, he’s conducted himself quite well.  He holds players accountable but also treats them well.  Mike Leach’s actions in Pullman have thrown into sharp relief how lucky we got with Sark.  Last week in Colorado, he brought the team onto the field early to watch Ralphie, Colorado’s buffalo mascot, run across the field.  It always feels like Sark takes the football quite seriously but also realizes that the football gives lots of amazing opportunities.  I think he has a nice balance, and I think that will benefit him in the long run.

Maybe the Huskies don’t have the best teams in the country, and maybe they won’t anytime soon.  Still, we’re lucky enough to have coaches that are easy to cheer for while they’re successful.  Go Dawgs!

Andrew

The Cougars lost to Colorado.  The Cougars played with ‘good effort’ last week, according to Mike Leach, and lost 46-7 to a Pac-12 team with 6 wins.  Serious question, would the Cougars get bowl eligible in the Mountain West Conference?  They barely beat UNLV, who is the worst team in that conference.  They’d lose to Boise, San Diego State, Fresno State, and probably Nevada.  Air Force, Wyoming and Colorado State might be toss-ups.  They might get to four wins in the conference.  I’m sure you wanted to know all of this….  Here’s my prediction.

The Cougars are just awful and falling apart.  Mike Leach is accused of having players roll around in a sand pit until they vomit as a disciplinary action.  Their best player left the team.  They lost to Colorado and are currently on a 9 game winning streak and if that’s not enough, their current best player (Travis Long) is questionable for this game.  Now, I know you throw out the records for the Apple Cup, especially when it’s in Pullman.  No question, the Cougars will come out fired up and have had moments where they’ve executed this year.  But, talent does matter some, even in rivalry games.  I think the Huskies will pull away eventually in this game and end up winning by a couple of scores.  I’m excited to see if the Husky secondary can hold up against the Cougars fairly decent passing attack.  Also, when the WSU defense shows up and plays hard, they have done some good things and kept the game close.  The Huskies will need to get off to a faster start than last week and not let the Cougs linger or gain confidence.  It should be an entertaining football game and I think the Huskies will end up with their 8th win, even if it’s not comfortable for some of the game.

UW 30 – WSU 17

Matthew 

I keep trying to get worried about this game.  Apple Cups do get weird, and these Cougars have some talent.  The Cougars have been so bad, though, and the Huskies are playing awfully well.  The Huskies pass defense has become one of the best in the conference, and all the Cougars do is pass.  They have the worst rushing attack in the conference and maybe the country.  I would be really surprised if the Huskies lose.  I think it’ll be close until the Huskies can deliver a blow or two (or the Cougars kill themselves in the foot).  That might take a half, or it might take two possessions.  The Huskies have lost Apple Cups that seemed a surer thing than this one, so no guarantees, but the Dawgs should win this one without much trouble.

UW 38 – WSU 13

Joe

The Apple Cup.  First, this game means a ton to me as a Husky fan.  No other game gets me more fired up.  I want to beat Wazzu, and I want to beat them bad.  Nothing is worse than an overly confident Cougar fan who gloats over one Apple Cup victory.  I like the lovable, funny loser Coug fans, not the cocky, drunk morons who come out of the woodwork after a victory. (I realize Coug fans are actually drunk whether they win or lose…)  If I had my way the Cougars would never win an Apple Cup.  Ever.  I like normalcy in life, and normal = UW Apple Cup victories.  Sound arrogant?  Yup, but that’s the reality of things when it comes to this game.  I hate Wazzu, always will.  Ok, now onto the game.I will keep this very simple.  It’s the same thing I have been saying since before the Oregon State game:  Run the ball with Sankey. A lot.  Then play action to ASJ and Kasen.  The Huskies have been doing this with a lot of success the past four games, and it’s translating into victories.  Second, keep doing whatever you’re doing Coach Wilcox.  The Huskies have improved by over 60 spots in total defense nationally between last season and now, warranting me to officially feel like the UW defense is “back” to some semblance of it’s former glory of tackling well and reading offenses with confidence.  As well, for the first time in over a decade, I feel the UW defense has legitimate star playmakers.  Shaq Thompson and Marcus Peters are future all Pac-12 players, Desmond Trufant has been nothing less than stellar all year, Danny Shelton has been a force on the line and John Timu and Travis Feeney (who I am massively impressed with right now) have been tackling machines all year. Look at this, I’m gloating over the Huskies defense! Amazing.  I personally expect the Huskies to come out and dominate the Cougars.  I know this is a rivalry game and it’s all circle the wagons talk in Pullman right now, but the fact is this:  The Huskies are a better football team. Period. Better players. Better coaching. The only thing going against them is the game is in Pullman. That isn’t enough for the Pirate and crew.  Drew Bledsoe and Phillip Bobo ain’t walking through that door.

UW 34 – WSU 17

Dan

It will feel odd being at work during the Apple Cup, but that’s the case for me this year.  I’m sure I’ll find a way to see some of the game but I feel like this will be a predictable outcome yet again. They say you throw out the stats and records for the Apple Cup, but honestly if the Huskies lose this game, it will be because everything that could go wrong does, and the Cougs play out of their minds. That’s possible, but quite unlikely.  WSU has not won a conference game for a reason. They are dreadful in all phases of the game. There’s no telling how long it will take for WSU to make it back to respectibility and playing in bowl games. The Huskies are in nearly the complete opposite position. The arrow is pointed up for the UW program, and while I’m excited at the possibility of finishing this year with 6 straight wins, I’m already gitty about next season. As for today, I see a slow, weird start for both teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a one score game at halftime, but ultimately we will likely see a lot of Bishop Sankey, some play action pass to ASJ/Kasen, and plenty open space in the Cougars defense will . Throw in a couple turnovers on D and by the 3rd quarter, things should go according to plan for Washington.

UW 30 – WSU 17

Go Dawgs!

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