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Washington State coach Jake Dickert on Apple Cup’s extension: ‘That needs to continue’

Washington State head coach Jake Dickert reacts during the second half of the Apple Cup against the Washington Huskies on Nov. 26 in Pullman. The Huskies won 51-33.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Jake Dickert is glad to see the Apple Cup extended for at least another five years.

Washington State’s head coach made that clear during his weekly news conference on Monday, when he said he understands why fans might disagree about whether the series should continue as Washington heads to the Big Ten and WSU continues to look for a new conference home.

The series is on for another five years, the schools announced on Sunday, agreeing to play next season’s game in September at the Seattle Seahawks’ Lumen Field, then rotate sites for the next four matchups: 2025 in Pullman, 2026 in Seattle, 2027 in Pullman, 2028 in Seattle.

“We should never have to get to this point where we have to schedule out-of-conference games (against UW),” Dickert said. “I understand both sides of the reaction. I do. But when I step back, and I look at a 360-degree view, we’ve been playing for over 100 years, and that needs to continue.

“I think any time you have an issue that people have an emotional reaction to, that means they’re bought into it, whatever side of the coin you’re on, right? I see it both ways. I do. But at the end of the day, we’re playing for the Apple Cup. That means something to every person that wears the Coug, every man that has been in our locker room, it’s very important to him. So everyone tunes in to watch the game.”

This season’s Apple Cup, set for Saturday afternoon at Husky Stadium in Seattle, will be the final installment of the game as a Pac-12 matchup. The following games will be non-conference games, which is why next year’s game is slated for September. That will make the game feel different, Dickert acknowledged.

“Those are some of the things that you kinda look at it in the bittersweet aspect of it,” Dickert said. “But at the end of the day, this rivalry needs to continue, and I do think that’s important. Some of the other stuff involved around it, I get the reaction to it. I do, because I feel sometimes the same way. We’re excited. We wanna play against the best, period. So excited to play against a strong team and keep the Apple Cup tradition going.”