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Washington State football: Pac-12 schedule makers pencil 2022 Apple Cup in for Saturday

Washington State players warm up before the Apple Cup against Washington on Nov. 26 in Seattle.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Schedule makers gave Washington State fans a surprise, ditching a recent trend and penciling in the next Apple Cup for the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Each of the past three editions of the Evergreen State’s rivalry game between the Cougars and Washington Huskies had been slated to kick off Friday, one day after the holiday.

Next year, UW will travel to Pullman for the first time in three years and meet WSU on a Saturday for the first time in four years.

The Pacific-12 Conference revealed its 2022 football schedules Thursday, announcing game dates but not kickoff times. WSU plays five games at Gesa Field in Pullman next season.

In opening their first full campaign under coach Jake Dickert, the Cougars will revive a traditional series that’s been dormant since 2016 when they host neighbor Idaho for the 93rd Battle of the Palouse. It’ll be the Vandals’ first game as an Football Championship Subdivision/Division I-AA member against WSU since 1989.

Dickert leads the Cougars into his home state for an intriguing nonconference Power Five matchup with Wisconsin on Sept. 10. Dickert grew up within 200 miles of the Badgers’ campus in Madison.

WSU and Wisconsin last squared off in 2007, and the seventh-ranked Badgers emerged with a 42-21 win at home.

The Cougars entertain Colorado State to close the nonconference portion of their schedule with a rematch of the 2013 New Mexico Bowl – the Rams erased a 22-point second-quarter deficit and stunned second-year coach Mike Leach’s Cougars 48-45.

Newly hired Oregon coach Dan Lanning, most recently the defensive coordinator at Georgia, brings the Ducks to Pullman for WSU’s Pac-12 opener Sept. 24.

The Cougars remain home the following week for another Pac-12 North game, against Cal, before traveling to Los Angeles to take on USC, which will be in its first season under former Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley. WSU last topped the Trojans at Memorial Coliseum in 2013.

Before an Oct. 22 bye week, WSU heads to Corvallis, seeking its ninth straight win against Oregon State. Fourth-year Beavers coach Jonathan Smith agreed to a six-year contract extension recently after guiding OSU to its best season in nine years.

WSU returns to the Palouse to stage a rare home game against Utah. Three consecutive Cougars/Utes games have been played in Salt Lake City.

Hoping for their sixth consecutive victory over Stanford, the Cougars visit Palo Alto, California, on Nov. 5.

Arizona State heads to the cold-weather climate of the Inland Northwest to face WSU on Nov. 12, then the Cougars fly to the Southwest to play Arizona.

One Saturday later, WSU will try for its first Apple Cup win in Pullman since 2012. The Cougars stopped their seven-game skid in the series with a 40-13 rout in Seattle this year.

“Making our 17th bowl appearance later this month and coming off an Apple Cup victory under head coach Jake Dickert, there is a tremendous amount of excitement for Cougar football heading into the 2022 season,” athletic director Pat Chun said in a news release.

Homecoming and family weekend dates will be announced later, per a school release. The Pac-12’s television partners are entitled to move games to either Thursday or Friday, but that seems unlikely with the Apple Cup because three conference games are already scheduled for Nov. 25.

WSU compiled a 6-3 record this year against teams that also appear on its 2022 schedule.

Deposits are being taken for season tickets at Season ticket holders will receive a renewal notice next month, and single-game tickets are set to go on sale in spring .


Sept. 3 – vs. Idaho

Sept. 10 – at Wisconsin

Sept. 17 – vs. Colorado State

Sept. 24 – vs. Oregon

Oct. 1 – vs. Cal

Oct. 8 – at USC

Oct. 15 – at Oregon State

Oct. 22 – Bye

Oct. 29 – vs. Utah

Nov. 5 – at Stanford

Nov. 12 – vs. Arizona State

Nov. 19 – at Arizona

Nov. 26 – vs. Washington