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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Apple Cup — Just the Facts


As always on the day before the game, here’s our fact box with nuts and bolts info on the game:

Washington (7-4, 5-3); Washington State (2-9, 0-8)

Time: 12:30 p.m. Friday, at Martin Stadium (that’s the new side pictured above)

TV: Ch. 13. Radio: KJR-AM 950, ESPN 710, 102.9-FM. The line: UW by 13.5.

The setup: It’s a surging UW team, winners of four in a row, against a deflated WSU squad, losers of eight in a row. The overall fates of each team have been set – UW is off to a bowl, maybe the Vegas or Sun, while WSU’s season ends today. But it’s often said that WSU can save, or at least put a happier face, on even the worst of seasons with a win in the Apple Cup, and the Cougars will be hoping to do that Friday.

Key matchup: WSU’s pass offense against UW’s secondary. The Cougars are 10th in the nation in passing at 328 yards per game. The Huskies are ninth in the nation in pass defense at 174.3. WSU’s passing yards account for almost all of its 358 yards per game, so if the Cougars can’t throw the ball it’s hard to envision WSU winning.

What to expect: WSU will throw, throw and throw it some more, hoping to find some gaps in UW’s defense. UW’s base defense includes two converted safeties so it may not have to juggle personnel much as a result, but the Huskies might go with some different looks to combat WSU’s air game. UW has rushed for at least 174 yards in each of its last three games and figures to again try to establish the running game (led by tailback Bishop Sankey) to establish physical control and keep WSU off the field. WSU has had some success defending the run against teams like Stanford and UCLA and may try to sell out to stop the Huskies and force Keith Price to throw.

Notes: UW has a 67-31-6 edge in a series that dates to 1900. UW has won the last three, all under Steve Sarkisian, with WSU’s last win in the series coming in Pullman in 2008, 16-13 in double overtime. UW won 35-28 in 2010 in Pullman and 38-21 last year at CenturyLink Field. … The Cougars plan to honor 13 seniors before the game, a group that includes quarterback Jeff Tuel, linebacker Travis Long and receiver Gino Simone. … From 1934-61 the winner of the game was given the Governor’s Trophy. In 1962 it was renamed Apple Cup. UW holds a 35-14 record since then. … WSU is also fifth in the Pac-12 in sacks and tied for 11th nationally with 32. … UW has won two straight road games for the first time since the end of the 2010 season. It has not won three straight true road games in a season since 2000. … The game will be televised live nationally on FOX with Craig Bolerjack on play-by-play, former Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt on color and former USC fullback Petros Papadakis handling the sidelines. …

Upset brewing? Anything can happen in this game, as illustrated by WSU wins in 1982 and 1992, or by UW in 2002, among other notable upsets in the series. WSU has lost eight in a row, but has been competitive at times, notably at Stanford, a 24-17 loss, and also gaining 524 yards against UCLA. If the Cougars play as they did in those games, anything is possible.

Injuries: UW — The big question for UW is the status of cornerback Desmond Trufant, who sat out against Colorado with a lingering hamstring injury. He was said to be progressing this week, however, and the hope was that he would play. Out for the season for UW are RB Jesse Callier (knee), DE Hau’oli Jamora (knee), RB Deontae Cooper (knee), WR James Johnson (wrist), OL Erik Kohler (knee), OL Colin Tanigawa (knee) and DL Lawrence Lagafuaina (leg).

WSU — Like UW, WSU does not officially release injury statues. LB Travis Long, though, sat out practice early this week with an apparent knee injury, and QB Connor Halliday was also out this week with an apparent concussion.



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