New season, same result. The Huskies were able to handle business in the 112th annual Apple Cup and take down WSU 31–13. This marks the Huskies’ seventh straight win over the Cougars — who have lost ten of the last eleven games against the Huskies — dating back to 2009. This also extends UW’s lead in the all time series with WSU to 74 wins, 32 losses, and 5 ties. It was a very similar result to past seasons, so what does UW do that has made them so successful against WSU?
It was one of the best atmospheres of the year at Husky Stadium as expected, where over 70,000 people attended. The Cougars came out firing, scoring with ease on their first drive of the game to go up 7–0, silencing the crowd. That was about all that Cougar fans had to cheer for, as UW dominated every aspect of the game from that point on.
It started on UW’s second offensive possession of the game where junior quarterback Jacob Eason connected with sophomore wide receiver Terrell Bynum for a 57 yard completion. Eason capped off the drive with a quarterback sneak for the Huskies’ first touchdown of the day. This really set the tone for the game, and Eason recognized that when asked about the play.
“Yeah that is the energy we needed,” Eason said in his post-game interview, “The momentum changer we needed. They went down on the opening drive and scored and we had a three and out on our drive. Terrell ran a great route and gave me an opportunity to throw him the ball and then made a nice play. So, that was kind of the spark in the first half and we went after that.”
WSU bounced back with a field goal, but the Huskies answered with a their second touchdown, and another outstanding play from Bynum. This sixteen yard score gave them their first lead over the Cougars of the game 14–10. During the second half of the season, Bynum has shown that he will be an important part of the Husky offense next year and will likely be the #1 target for whoever ends up under center.
UW put one more touchdown on the board, giving them a 21–10 lead going into halftime. Since their first drive of the game, WSU was unable to gain any momentum on offense, as the Husky defense did what they always do and completely neutralize the Cougars’ pass heavy approach. WSU quarterback Anthony Gordon threw 62 pass attempts but only for 302 yards showing that UW was able to stick to their assignments and limit big plays from WSU.
A second touchdown from freshman running back Richard Newton, and field goal from Peyton Henry, capped the scoring for the Huskies and secure their seventh straight Apple Cup victory 31–13. It was the perfect way to send out the seniors who finished their careers never losing an Apple Cup, and head coach Chris Petersen recognized the importance of that.
“I’m really happy for the seniors, there are only so many groups of guys who can go through here and say they never lost to their rival,” Petersen said in his postgame presser. “We played good team ball today, our defense did a great job once again, playing that ‘bend and don’t break’ defense, it’s about points and not yards.”
The win brings the Huskies record to 7–5 on the year, and they will be heading to a bowl game in the following weeks. Although it was a disappointing season for UW, it was important for them to take care of WSU, as this guarantees them their tenth straight year with a winning season. This was also the second senior class in a row to never lose to WSU. Senior Nick Harris gave us the moment of the day when after the game he lifted up his jersey to show a shirt that read, “WE DON’T LOSE TO COUGS.”