Apple Cup: Keys to the game
What went right
Defensively the Cougars had no trouble with the Huskies in the first half, holding the home team to a field goal. WSU forced QB Keith Price into three fumbles and an interception and held RB Bishop Sankey to a tolerable 4.7 yards per carry. The Huskies entered ranked 2nd in the Pac-12 with 79 plays of 20 or more yards, but with a couple exceptions were unable to break free.
What went wrong
The Washington State defense couldn’t maintain its dominance in the second half, as Sankey upped his yards-per-carry to 6.6, and tacked on a critical 40-yard reception on a third-down play. The Huskies ran off 17 unanswered points to take control, and added a late touchdown to hold off WSU’s comeback.
The Cougars seemed poised for a comeback after marching down the field late in the fourth quarter to score a touchdown, then holding the Huskies to a three-and-out on the following drive. But UW cornerback Gregory Ducre intercepted QB Connor Halliday deep in WSU territory, allowing UW to run some time off the clock before scoring to take a decisive 10-point lead.
Quarterback Keith Price’s overtime interception to defensive lineman Kalafitoni Pole was the lasting image of WSU’s 31-28 Apple Cup win last season. But in his final game in Husky Stadium, Price’s solid play late in the second half won it for the Huskies. After struggling in the first half, Price finished 15 of 20 and added 42 rushing yards to ignite the UW offense in the second half.