Part of the celebration of this being the 100th game in the Washington-Washington State rivalry is an Apple Cup Rally on Friday that will...
Part of the celebration of this being the 100th game in the Washington-Washington State rivalry is an Apple Cup Rally on Friday that will feature the teams sharing a barbecue.
The event begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Qwest Field Events Center.
Most Huskies players knew nothing about it until being told by UW coach Tyrone Willingham on Saturday after Washington’s win over California, and a few said they were caught off-guard at the thought of having to mingle with their opposition the day before the game.
“I was surprised that we were doing that,” said defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. “But I just hope we can all enjoy lunch and hope it’s good.”
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Willingham said Wednesday this year’s game is unique and deserves to be celebrated.
“There are going to be a lot of mixed feelings about it [among the players],” he said. “But this is a special ballgame. I do think it’s a good idea to really rejoice in the 100 years of playing this game in some form or fashion.”
Huskies running back Louis Rankin said he likes the idea.
“I know some guys don’t like it,” he said. “I’m excited to go to it. These guys, when I see them play against other teams, I want them to win games and I want them to do the best they can do until they play us. That’s how I feel about the whole rivalry thing.”
Willingham said he doesn’t think such a banquet will become a yearly event.
“Those who will see a 200th game, I hope they do it also,” he said.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 and younger.
Start of a trend?
A few days later, Te’o-Nesheim was still relishing his big hit on Cal running back Justin Forsett in the third quarter on a second-and-goal play from the 1-yard line. Te’o-Nesheim broke through essentially untouched to hammer Forsett for a 2-yard loss, and Cal was forced to settle for a field goal that left the score 31-23.
Te’o-Nesheim replayed the hit with teammates that night and later smiled when told it is on YouTube.
“It’s probably the hit of my career,” said the sophomore. “I get big hits in practice all the time, and come game time I haven’t had one in 20-something games. So that was my first, but hopefully not my last.”
Washington State coach Bill Doba said starting tight end Jed Collins (ankle) is looking like a “four-play guy” for a second straight week. Third-string running back Marcus Richmond, who injured his left knee in Tuesday’s practice, is out. Unlikely to play is backup defensive tackle Aaron Johnson (back).
The Cougars had only two running backs — Chris Ivory and Kevin McCall — working with the travel team Wednesday.
Two freshmen who are redshirting, Logwone Mitz and Joe Campbell, worked with the scout team.
Options for Saturday if the Cougars run out of running backs and don’t want to break redshirt years are to use Tony Thompson as a blocking back or go with an empty backfield.
For Washington, Willingham said linebacker David Butler is unlikely to play. He has been recovering from a knee injury that has held him out since the Arizona game.
Willingham said cornerback Byron Davenport and receiver Marcel Reece should play.
• Willingham confirmed that Jake Locker will start and said he “moved around very well” and looked “like his old self” during practice Tuesday. Willingham said he had no reservations about playing Locker. “Based on the time that has elapsed, based on the nature of his injury, I think he’s fine,” Willingham said.
• Willingham said he plans to attend the Skyline-Franklin Pierce playoff game at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Willingham’s son, Nathaniel, plays for Skyline. He said “the schedule seems to work out” so he can attend that game to watch his son and get back in time to handle duties preparing the Huskies for the Apple Cup, which starts at 4 p.m.
• UW will have a team dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving tonight, but players who live locally will be allowed to go home.
• The Cougars held a padless, 90-minute workout Wednesday, and for the first time this week it was outdoors. The team will practice again this morning, then gather later for Thanksgiving dinner at the University Inn in Moscow, Idaho.