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First look: Washington State at Washington

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 20, 2017, 4:13 p.m.

Washington coach Chris Petersen, pictured during a game at Stanford two weeks ago, will try to lead the Huskies to their fifth straight Apple Cup win this Saturday in Seattle. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)

What is it? No. 14 Washington State (9-2, 6-2) looks to erase a four-game skid in the Apple Cup game and more importantly, win a Pac-12 North title, when it travels to face No. 15 Washington (9-2, 6-2).

Where is it? Husky Stadium in Seattle.

When is it? Saturday at 5 p.m.

Where can I watch it? The game will air on Fox 28.

Who is favored? The Huskies are for the 11th straight time. As of Monday afternoon, the spread was 9 points.

Why WSU will win: The Cougars have been takeaway artists all season and even after the bye week, they check in third nationally with 27 turnovers gained. Alex Grinch’s defense is also 11th in the country in total defense (303.8 yards per game allowed) and the Cougars have ceded 30-plus points in only three games this season. UW’s passing game has been able to manage fine in 2017 without John Ross, but the receiving corps has been worn thin and the Huskies, on three different occasions, have lost their No. 2 receiver to a season-ending injury. Does that begin to show against a WSU team that allows just 174.2 passing yards per game and has ceded eight touchdowns this year?

Why UW will win: Their recent dominance in this game aside, the Huskies are still one of the nation’s toughest on defense as well and they’ve allowed only 17 touchdowns in 11 games. That’s tied for third in the country. The Huskies rank No. 4 in the FBS in total defense (271.3 yards per game) and they’re equally adept at slowing the pass and the run. They give up 168.4 passing yards per game and just 102.9 rushing yards. If there’s a silver lining for WSU, it’s that six of the 17 TDs allowed by UW have come in the last two games.

What happened last time? With the Pac-12 North hanging in the balance, the Huskies charged into Pullman and blasted the Cougars 45-17 behind three touchdowns and 292 passing yards from then-sophomore quarterback Jake Browning. Twice Browning found Dante Pettis for touchdowns, and the UW signal-caller located Ross, the senior speedster, for a third. Pettis, Ross and Chico McClatcher all had at least 80 receiving yards. UW safety Budda Baker did it all on defense, leading the Huskies with eight tackles while tacking on two tackles-for-loss, one sack and an interception.