The Cougars didn’t just win the Apple Cup, they dominated it.

Like never before.

WSU certainly had reason to celebrate Friday night after its 40-13 win over Washington — the largest victory by the Cougars in series history — gave Cougar fans and players the Apple Cup victory they so dearly wanted with the WSU not winning one since 2012.

2021 Apple Cup: Cougars 40, Huskies 13

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That the win was by 27 points, beating the 26-point spread in WSU’s 52-26 win in 1973, was just a bonus.

“I am just so proud of our guys,” said interim coach Jake Dickert. “They earned this. They put in the work (and) stayed together. … And the celebration in the locker room right now is unbelievable.”

The celebration started before the Cougars got to the locker room when WSU fans rushed the field at Husky Stadium after the game, culminating with WSU QB Jayden de Laura planting a Cougar flag at midfield.

But the celebration might not last long because the Cougars might need to get right back to work.

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With the Apple Cup win, the Cougars might have another Friday night game next week, one with even higher stakes: the Pac-12 championship. That’s because if Oregon State upsets Oregon on Saturday, the Cougars would be tied with the Ducks and the Beavers atop the Pac-12 North at 6-3.

But the Cougars would advance to the Pac-12 title game in Las Vegas in that scenario because they would win the tiebreaker with the best record in Pac-12 North games at 4-1.

Either way, WSU will eventually be heading to a bowl game with seven victories, with the one Friday night meaning an awful lot for anyone associated with the Cougars.

“It means a lot to our team, it means a lot to our players, our fans, our faculty and the university,” said Dickert, who improved to 3-2 since taking over for Nick Rolovich, who was fired after six games this season for not abiding by the state’s vaccine mandate, and undoubtedly helped his case a lot for having the interim tag removed.

The Cougars dominated, in the same manner the Huskies had in the past seven Apple Cups, with all the victories coming by at least 10 points.

It was clear this game would be different when WSU went down the field so easily to score on its first drive. And it was confirmed when the Cougars also rolled down the field on their first possession of the second half to take a 20-7 lead.

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It only got better from there for the Cougars. There was a moment of angst for WSU fans when, after the Cougars took a 23-7 lead late in the third quarter, UW quarterback Sam Huard completed a 55-yard pass to the WSU 18.

But on the next play, WSU linebacker Justus Rogers picked off Huard, returning the interception 60 yards to the UW 29. The Cougars converted that into a touchdown and WSU fans could finally relax.

The Cougars had plenty of stars Saturday, with de Laura, Max Borghi and Armani Marsh leading the way.

De Laura completed 27 of 32 passes for 243 yards against UW, which was allowing a nation-low 134 yards passing per game. Perhaps the only thing de Laura did Friday that Dickert didn’t approve of was the planting of the WSU flag on the field.

“I didn’t see that, but we will address those things as we go,” Dickert said.

Borghi rushed 129 yards on 22 carries and scored twice. Marsh had two of WSU’s four interceptions, including a pick-six.

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UW had four turnovers. Washington State had none.

It was that kind of night.

“Their best was good enough tonight,” Dickert said of his players. “We knew that coming in to the game. We didn’t have to be some super human team. Just be us. Being us was going to be good enough, and it showed on the scoreboard tonight.”

Dickert said early in the week that he wasn’t thinking about Saturday’s Oregon-Oregon State matchup, because he wanted to focus on what his team could control, which was win the Apple Cup.

That accomplished, the Cougars will definitely be focused on Saturday’s game, and they will be among the Beavers’ biggest fans.

“I think it’s two good teams playing each other, and we’re hoping the Beavers (win) by one,” Dickert said.

That would be the capper to an already great weekend.

Borghi summed up what the Apple Cup win meant to WSU.

“I am so happy,” he said. “I know the rivalry in the state is huge. I absolutely hate the Huskies, every Cougar absolutely hates the Huskies. Purple is the ugliest color in the world. I just know this Cup is never going back over here (to Seattle). I told every young guy on the team: Make sure this Cup never comes this way again. It’s ours now.”