Here are three first impressions from Washington State’s 40-13 victory over Washington in the Apple Cup on Friday night at Husky Stadium.
Once again, it was no contest
We’ve gotten used to mismatches in the Apple Cup — but this time it was the Cougars who dominated after losing the past seven Apple Cups by at least 10 points.
There was never a doubt which was the better team, even when WSU’s lead was just 13-7 at halftime. The Cougars had dominated all the stats except scoring. In the second half, they dominated that, too.
The 27-point win was WSU’s largest margin of victory ever in an Apple Cup — topping their 26-point victory over the Huskies in 1972 (52-26).
Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura did not throw an interception and the Cougars had no turnovers as a team, while UW had four. In the past five Apple Cups, WSU had 21 turnovers to UW’s seven.
Both the Huskies and the Cougars went through adversity this season. A veteran Cougars team did a much better job of responding to it.
Same old story for UW in 2021
The Huskies struggled all season to successfully run the ball, and they struggled all season stopping opponents from running successfully.
It certainly was no different in the Apple Cup. And that, as much as anything, explains why the Cougars ended their seven-game losing streak in the rivalry game.
The Huskies held Max Borghi to no yards on his first two carries, but he rushed for nine yards on his next carry and then for 32 on a touchdown run. That was indicative of the night as WSU rushed for 209 yards to 10 for Washington.
It’s very hard to win football games when you’re not opening holes or stopping opponents from creating them. The Huskies, with just four wins this season, certainly found that out.
Huard gets needed experience
True freshman Sam Huard made the first start of his career, and while that didn’t give the Husky offense the jolt he or Husky fans would have hoped for, he will definitely benefit from the experience.
Don’t read too much into Huard’s lack of success in his first game as a starter. It has no bearing on whether or not he will become the next great Husky quarterback.
That’s because playing quarterback as a true freshman in the Pac-12 is a great challenge for even the most talented of QBs. Huard no doubt rues the four interceptions he threw, but getting the chance to play extensively Friday will no doubt prove beneficial to him the next time he starts.