This season will mark the 112th meeting in football between the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars. However, this season will be the first in four years that a birth in the Pac 12 championship game will not be on the table for either teams. Both universities have had underwhelming seasons where both were picked to finish in the top half of their conference, but now find themselves closer to the bottom than fans originally hoped.
The Huskies currently hold a record of 6–4 after taking down Oregon State 19–7 during a Friday night showdown in Corvallis. Since it was their sixth win of the year, they are now eligible for a postseason contest. They will find themselves playing in a bowl game for the tenth consecutive season, although they will not be partaking in a New Year’s Six bowl game, which are the premier postseason games in the NCAA.
It has been very hard to figure out the Huskies’ identity this year — even this far into the season. The biggest problem for them has been being unable to finish games in the second half. The team has held leads at halftime in three of their four losses. This leaves fans and the team thinking to themselves “what could have been.”
UW is coming off of their best defensive performance of the season, holding the Beavers to 119 total yards, with their only score coming off of an interception returned for a touchdown by the defense. This was a bright sign for the Husky defense as they have faced more struggles than in recent years. They are young, talented, and are finally starting to see results on the field.
As this is being written the Cougars are currently 4–5 and will need to win two games of their last three to receive a bid to a bowl game. This could possibly make the Apple Cup a win or go home situation for the Cougs, giving them extra motivation heading into the game.
The 2019 WSU football team has been about the same as recent years except without the same results. They are a trigger happy offense, led by senior quarterback Anthony Gordon, who will throw the ball fifty times a game, helping them score with ease. However, they doesn’t possess the defense to keep them in games. As a team they are scoring 39 points per game, but are allowing 30. Compared to the Huskies, UW is scoring 33 per game but only allowing 21.
Although the UW offense has been struggling, I expect them to find rhythm against an average WSU defense. Husky quarterback Jacob Eason should be able to easily find soft spots in the secondary and have a big day. Head coach Chris Petersen always seems to have WSU’s number as well and should be able to slow down their high powered offense. If the Husky offense can play up to their talent, I expect a great day for the Dawgs.