Washington at WSU this Friday afternoon
Time: 12:30 p.m. Friday (Fox 28), Martin Stadium
Records: WSU (2-9, 0-8 in Pac-12); UW (7-4, 5-3 in Pac-12)
Last week: WSU lost to ASU, 46-7. UW defeated Colorado, 38-3.
Last time: UW defeated WSU in Seattle, 38-21, in 2011.
The line: UW by 10 1/2
What it means for WSU: This is the Cougars’ last chance to build some kind of optimism heading into the offseason. It seems that regardless of their record, and regardless of how well or how poorly they’re playing leading up to it, the Apple Cup always brings out the Cougars’ best effort. But effort hasn’t been enough for WSU to win for much of this season. Coach Mike Leach said he thought his team played hard in Saturday’s 46-7 drubbing at Arizona State. A quick turnaround in the execution department will be needed for WSU to salvage at least one conference win this season.
What it means for UW: The Huskies enter Friday’s game on a 4-game winning streak and can give fourth-year coach Steve Sarkisian his winningest season yet by beating the Cougars or winning a bowl game. UW’s edict before the season began was to “take the next step,” something the Huskies can accomplish by finishing the regular season with an 8-4 record. UW is also looking for its fourth consecutive win over the Cougars, who had won four of five games in the series prior to their current losing streak.
Key matchup: Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. WSU’s linebackers/secondary
The 6-foot-6 Washington tight end is one of the best in the country, and is a matchup nightmare for linebackers and defensive backs alike. The Cougars lost track of ASU tight end Chris Coyle a couple of times on Saturday, and it cost them touchdowns. Losing track of Seferian-Jenkins is a little harder, since he’s UW’s leading receiver with 58 catches for 753 yards. If WSU covers him well enough, UW’s offensive options will be limited.