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Wherever this season ends for the Cougars, all 17 outgoing Washington State seniors will lament the opportunity that passed them by Friday night under snowy skies in Pullman.
One by one, the Washington Huskies spilled from the sideline to the turf. In bright purple pants and gold helmets, they slid through the white slush covering the green turf in Pullman.
With just about everything ahead of the game going in Washington State’s direction – 10-1 record, good health, home field, the best quarterback Mike Leach has had at WSU, a top-25 defense to go with the nation’s top passing attack that helped put up 69 points a week earlier – he had no counter for the Huskies.
After another no-doubt Apple Cup victory, a few Washington Huskies slid headfirst onto the snowy Martin Stadium field. A few others made snow angels.
He took Pullman by storm, but Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew’s final game in Pullman was doomed in the Apple Cup on Friday by a storm that only the Palouse could produce.
Difference makers from Washington’s 28-15 victory over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman.
For those watching at home on Fox’s broadcast, the weather wasn’t a factor. It was the combination of Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Bruce Feldman and the Fox production that made it tougher to watch.
Once the band exited stage left, the plow crews began work of allowing fans to again see the yard lines and end zones in the 111th Apple Cup.
The failed WSU drive was set up by a Skyler Thomas interception of Jake Browning.
For the sixth straight season, the Washington State Cougars lacked the bite they needed to beat their bitter rivals. And in the 111th Apple Cup, the Washington Huskies had plenty.
Ryan Leaf played in three Apple Cups and won his last one, in 1997. Alex Brink became the “Husky Killer” after defeating UW on three occasions – 2004, 2005 and 2007. Timm Rosenbach got it done on his third try, leading the Cougars to a 32-31 win in 1988. It took Jeff Tuel four attempts, but the last WSU QB to snare a win over the Huskies was responsible for a 31-28 overtime triumph in 2012.
Last year UW won by 27. In 2016, by 28. In 2015, by 25 and in 2014, by 18. The Cougars will test the Huskies this time, I think. But will they beat them? I need to see it before I believe it.
The son of a WSU linebacker, the grandson of a Cougar defensive end and the great grandson of an ex-Wazzu flanker, Pelluer broke the school’s record for games played at 52 last Saturday against Arizona.
Action from the 111th Apple Cup between the Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in Pullman, Wash.
It’s not what a Washington State fan wants to hear, especially considering how the last four of these have gone, but Mike Leach is as honest as they come and even if it meant sending shivers down the spine of any Cougar supporter listening, the coach was going to stick to the script.
Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven might be the most unassuming of all the impact players on the standout defense for No. 16 Washington. He doesn’t seek attention and he doesn’t celebrate every play he makes. All he does is make tackles. Burr-Kirven is No. 2 in the country in tackles heading into Friday’s Apple Cup against No. 7 Washington State.
Here are five of the top Apple Cup performances by a Cougar quarterback.
Washington has limited the Cougars to an average of 13.5 points the last four Apple Cups, forcing a total of 18 turnovers in that stretch.
Keys to a potential victory for Washington State against Washington in the Apple Cup Friday at Martin Stadium.
The Washington Huskies have a series edge over the Washington State Cougars, but this year all eyes have been on Pullman and the Cougs’ unexpected performance to top the Pac 12 North. What do Husky fans say about their team’s chances, and how they’re feeling about the matchup that will determine how the division is represented in next week’s conference championship game?