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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 22, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Apple Cup ticket update, and early look at WSU

For all the obvious reasons — and maybe some unobvious ones, who knows? — this Apple Cup isn’t exactly stirring excitement throughout the state of Washington.
UW officials report that heading into the weekend, 65,600 tickets had been sold for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. kickoff. They also report that WSU returned about 500 tickets of its allotment of roughly 4,000.
That means that unless there’s a heavy run-up sale this week, this could be the first Apple Cup crowd under 70,000 since Husky Stadium was expanded in 1987.
The smallest Apple Cup crowd since then came in 2005, when 70,713 saw the Cougars beat the Huskies 26-22. That also is the last time the teams had records this bad heading into a game in Seattle — UW was 2-8 going into that game and WSU 3-7 in the last season before a 12-game schedule.
LOOKING AT THE COUGS — WSU coach Paul Wulff talked to reporters via a conference call tonight and Vince Grippi of The Spokesman-Review has a good wrapup.
What readers of this blog probably care about the most is WSU’s QB situation. Sounds like it’s still muddled. Wulff said there’s a chance Jeff Tuel may be able to return after missing the last two games with a kneecap injury, but that won’t be determined until he goes through practice for a few days.
Tuel, a true freshman who played alongside UW true freshman safety Nate Fellner at Clovis West High in Fresno, Calif., had earned the starting job before being injured. Senior Kevin Lopina, who went all the way in the Apple Cup last year, started against Oregon State Saturday and would presumably start again if Tuel can’t go.
Wulff said tonight that WSU’s offensive line may have played its best game of the year against Oregon State. It either speaks to how bad a year WSU has had, or how good OSU’s defense is, that the Cougars were held to 192 yards despite apparently getting a good performance up front. That includes just 59 yards rushing on 24 attempts and only nine yards rushing on nine attempts in the second half.
WSU was within 21-10 at halftime, but the score was a little deceiving as there was no doubt Oregon State was the better team throughout, its mistakes and sloppy play the only thing preventing the margin from being a lot worse.
WSU’s 80-yard scoring drive to close the half was helped by four Oregon State penalties on four straight plays, taking the ball from the WSU 47 to the Oregon State 4 (there was also a four-yard gain on one of the plays). From there, it took four plays for WSU to get it in the end zone.
WSU also had a 49-yard drive on its first possession of the game when it seemed to catch the Beavers off guard a little bit with QB runs — Lopina had five carries for 18 yards on the drive, picking up both third downs with his feet. Otherwise, WSU only had one other drive longer than 21 yards the rest of the day.

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