The Cougars can still win 11 games for the first time in school history, but their sixth straight loss Apple Cup loss will sting for a while. As for the Huskies? They made it clear early and often they were going to run early and often.
PULLMAN — A game with the Pac-12 North title on the line — the 111th Apple Cup — did not disappoint, with the teams trading punches in the snow. In the end, it was the Huskies who came out on top, 28-15, over the Cougars. Here’s Scott Hanson’s quick take on the game:
Cougars still haven’t solved the Husky D
The WSU quarterbacks change but the results don’t. The Huskies rushed just three players on most plays — and occasionally four — and it worked just as well as it did against Luke Falk and Peyton Bender the previous few Apple Cups. The Huskies were still able to get to Cougar quarterback Gardner Minshew II occasionally and WSU was unable to make big plays as the Cougars had trouble creating space with so many Husky defenders in coverage.
The field condition got worse as the game went on, and unlike the 1992 Apple Cup when the snow proved to be a big advantage for the Cougars, this time it wasn’t.
Run, run and hit the big plays
The Huskies made it clear early that they were going to run early and often until the Cougars could stop it. Just like in last year’s Apple Cup, the Huskies had great success on the ground early, and that helped open some big passing plays for UW quarterback Jake Browning. Senior running back Myles Gaskin rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns, after rushing for 192 yards yards and four touchdowns against the Cougars last season.
The Cougars held Gaskin in check during the third quarter, but his 80-yard run with 12:30 left was a killer for WSU.
Browning also made some huge plays, helped by the return of tight Hunter Bryant, who brings the Huskies the big-play potential they had missed for most of the season.
Not all is lost for WSU
This loss will linger for a while, but the Cougars can still win 11 games for the first time in school history, and it will happen in a good bowl game, most likely the Fiesta Bowl or the Alamo Bowl. The Cougars far exceeded expectations and even the most optimistic Cougar fans would have had a hard time envisioning 10 wins at this point before the season began.