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First Look: No. 6 Washington at No. 23 Washington State

A healthy Luke Falk could make a huge difference in the 2016 Apple Cup. He missed last year’s game, a 45-10 loss for the Cougars. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
A healthy Luke Falk could make a huge difference in the 2016 Apple Cup. He missed last year’s game, a 45-10 loss for the Cougars. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Here is staff writer Jacob Thorpe’s first look at Friday’s game between Washington and Washington State.

What is it: The Pac-12 championship semifinal. The winner of the 109th Apple Cup wins the Pac-12 North Division and a spot in the conference championship.

Where is it: Martin Stadium in Pullman.

When is it: Don’t forget, the Apple Cup is played the day after Thanksgiving this year. The game will kick off at 12:30 p.m.

Where can I watch it: Fox 28

Why WSU will win: This game is too big for WSU to lose at home, in front of what might be the loudest Martin Stadium crowd ever. Rose Bowl opportunities only come around every so often, and the Cougars and their fans will not blow this at home. This is what Gabe Marks came back to school for, it’s what Bill Moos envisioned when he hired Mike Leach and, with a healthy quarterback WSU is destined to win this game.

Why UW will win: The Cougars showed they can be stopped by a good defense last week at Colorado, and UW’s is even bigger and faster than the Buffaloes. The Cougars have not beaten these guys since 2012 and with every loss the mental barrier has grown bigger. The Huskies will hit the Cougars early and often and WSU will fold just like it has the last two Apple Cups.

What happened last time: Starting WSU quarterback Luke Falk missed the game and the Cougars turned the ball over seven times in the 45-10 loss in Seattle.

Three things to know …

1. Luke Falk is healthy. The Cougars have had their starting quarterback available for the Apple Cup just once (2013) since 2010.

2. Friday’s game will be the final game in Martin Stadium for 13 seniors.

3. Both schools are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 2001 when WSU was ranked No. 9 and UW was ranked No. 16.

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