Washington scored more points (69) and piled up more yards (692) than it ever has against a conference opponent in its blowout of Oregon State late Saturday night.
The record numbers, set in subfreezing temperatures in Corvallis, were, well, numbing.
And yet, even after all that in their 69-27 victory over the Beavers, here’s the one number that matters most to the Huskies: 8.
An Apple Cup victory at home over Washington State on Friday (12:30 p.m., Ch. 13) would finally get the Huskies (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) over the seven-win rut that has had them spinning their wheels since 2010. An eighth win would also get back state bragging rights for UW after the Cougars’ stunning rally from an 18-point deficit to win the Apple Cup 31-28 in Pullman a year ago.
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Even in the moments after the victory in Corvallis, the Huskies said last year’s loss to the Cougars was already looming large on their minds.
“It’s right there. I’m thinking about it right now,” UW center Mike Criste said. “I’m thinking about kicking their (butt) and just having a great week of preparation. … We want to break out of that seven-win streak. We want to beat them. Bad.”
With redshirt freshman Cyler Miles making his first start at quarterback, the Huskies led 48-0 in the third quarter Saturday night and beat up the Beavers with 530 yards on the ground and seven rushing touchdowns.
The 69 points were the most Oregon State has ever allowed; it was also the most UW has scored since a 71-0 victory over Whitman in 1944 and, according to UW, the fifth most by one Pac-12 conference opponent over another since the league formed as the Pacific Coast Conference in 1915.
UW’s 692 yards were the second-most in program history, behind only the 734 against San Jose State in 1996. And the Huskies had three 100-yard rushers — Bishop Sankey (179), Deontae Cooper (166) and Dwayne Washington (141) — for the first time since that San Jose State game in 1996 (Corey Dillon, 222; Terri Hollimon, 148; and Maurice Shaw, 100).
“I knew if I kept going to work, I was going to spring one,” said Cooper, a junior playing for the first time this season after three ACL injuries.
On the Reser Stadium’s south sideline, the Huskies jumped and danced throughout the night in what amounted to their own house party. The celebration continued well after the game, with Gill Coliseum’s basement hallways booming to the bass of rap music blasting out of the visitors’ locker room.
“I don’t know if you could ever predict this,” Sarkisian said of the game’s outcome.
Saturday night, Sarkisian wasn’t ready to announce a starting quarterback for the Apple Cup. Miles threw for 162 yards and one touchdown and ran UW’s up-tempo offense like a seasoned veteran.
Senior Keith Price, UW’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, watched from the sideline in a large overcoat while nursing a sore throwing shoulder. Price had tested his arm during pregame warmups, but Miles said he’d known since Thursday that he would start.
That could change against Washington State if Price shows continued improvement with his shoulder.
“Keith’s our starting quarterback,” Sarkisian said. “I’m glad that we didn’t have to use him. We’ll assess where we’re at Monday. We’ll practice Monday morning and see where we’re at and we’ll go from there.”
For the first time since 2002, the Huskies and Cougars (6-5, 4-4) each enter the Apple Cup with winning records.
The Cougars are one of the most prolific passing offenses in the country. Connor Halliday ranks third nationally with 355.0 passing yards per game, with 26 touchdowns.
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @a_jude.