It’s the latest edition of the Apple Cup as a pair of Pac-12 opponents from the Pacific Northwest clash on the gridiron on the Palouse. The #17 Washington Huskies are on the road as they make the in-state trip to face the Washington State Cougars Saturday night. Washington rolled over Colorado 54-7 at home last Saturday night in their previous game, covering the 30.5-point spread in the process. Washington State dropped Arizona 31-20 on the road in their most recent game last Saturday, covering the line as a 3.5-point favorite. In the all-time series between the teams, the Huskies own a 66-31-4 advantage but it was the Cougars rolling to a 40-13 win on the road in the most recent matchup on November 26, 2021.
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Washington Huskies Looking to Reclaim Apple CupWashington had no problem dismantling a bad Colorado team as they reeled off a fifth straight win after back-to-back losses back in October. The Huskies improved to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-12 for first-year coach Kaleb DeBoer with the win. Against Colorado, Washington led 14-0 after one quarter and 21-0 with under two minutes to play in the half before breaking the game wide open with 16 points in the final 92 seconds of the half. That put the Huskies up 37-0 at the half: the margin reached 47-0 late in the third quarter before Colorado got on the board. The Buffaloes never got closer than 40 as the Huskies romped to the win. Washington racked up a 575-202 edge in total offense, piled up a 29-10 advantage in first downs, controlled the clock by a 32:47 to 27:13 margin and forced a pair of turnovers while committing one. The Huskies also forced a safety in the victory.
This season, the Huskies are 1st in the nation in passing offense with 366.8 yards per game through the air while they are 85th in rushing offense with 138.4 yards per contest. Washington is 7th in the FBS in scoring offense with 39.8 points per game and stand 62nd in scoring defense by allowing an average of 25.7 points per contest. Michael Penix Jr. has completed 305 of 457 passes for 3,869 yards with 26 touchdowns and six interceptions while adding 52 yards plus two scores on the ground. Dylan Morris (nine of 16, 142 yards, TD, INT) and Sam Huard (two of two, 24 yards) have seen limited work as well. Wayne Taulapapa leads the team on the ground with 113 carries for 653 yards and nine scores this season. Cameron Davis (101 carries, 467 yards, 13 scores), Richard Newton (34 carries, 169 yards, TD) and Will Nixon (20 carries, 89 yards, two TD) have had their share of work as well. In the passing game, Jalen McMillan leads the team with 65 receptions for 890 yards and seven scores this season. Ja’Lynn Polk (34 grabs, 567 yards, five TD), Giles Jackson (26 catches, 291 yards, TD), Jack Westover (25 grabs, 296 yards, TD) and Rome Odunze (65 catches, 931 yards, six TD) are all over the 250-yard mark in receiving yards. Peyton Henry has hit all 49 extra points and 16 of 19 field goal attempts with a long of 50 this season. Addison Shrock hit his lone extra-point attempt and has not attempted a field goal this season.
Washington State Cougars Seek to Win Fourth StraightWashington State won their third in a row as they swept the Arizona schools by dropping Arizona on the road last week. The Cougars improved to 7-4 overall and stand 4-4 in the Pac-12 after picking up the win in the Valley of the Sun. Against Arizona, Washington State scored on the game’s opening drive and led the rest of the way. The Cougars were up 7-0 after the opening quarter, 21-6 at the half and 31-6 after three quarters before Arizona scored twice in the final quarter to make the final score more respectable. Washington State was outgained 441-354 in total offense though they won the first down battle 22-19 and held a 33:00 to 27:00 advantage in time of possession in the game. The Cougars dominated the turnover battle, forcing four turnovers, including a pick-six, while committing just one.
The Cougars enter this game 42nd in the nation in passing offense as they average 254.9 yards per contest through the air while they are 110th in rushing offense with 115.6 yards per game on the ground. Washington State stands 76th in the FBS scoring offense as they average 27.3 points per game while they are 23rd in scoring defense as they allow an average of 19.8 points per game for coach Jake Dickert. Cameron Ward is 265 of 413 passing for 2,772 yards with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions on the year. He does have 67 yards on the ground plus four rushing scores on the season. Nakia Watson leads the team on the ground with 115 carries for 663 yards plus seven scores. Jaylen Jenkins (63 carries, 386 yards, TD) and Kannon Katzer (six carries, 54 yards, TD) are the next guys up in the ground game. Donovan Ollie is third on the team in receptions as he has hauled in 41 passes for 373 yards and three scores on the year. De’Zhaun Stribling (44 grabs, 544 yards, five TD), Renard Bell (27 receptions, 315 yards, two TD) and Robert Ferrel (42 grabs, 446 yards, three TD) have all exceeded the 250-yard mark in receiving yards this season. Dean Janikowski has connected on 37 of 38 extra point attempts and nine of 12 field goal attempts with a long of 42 this season.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This one is going to be a typical bitter rivalry game between a pair of in-state rivals. Washington has been explosive through the air this season, leading the nation in passing offense. The Cougars have been okay but not great against the pass, allowing 246.8 yards per game through the air and 14 touchdowns. Washington State does have 11 interceptions defensively but the Huskies have turned the ball over just eight times this season. Both teams have been solid on the defensive side of the ball and while the Cougars are at home here, DeBoer has gotten his team back on track after back-to-back losses to UCLA and Arizona State. Look for Washington to win a spirited contest as they come up with their 10th win of the season.
Full-Game Total Pick
On the season, Washington comes in with the over having posted a 7-3-1 record despite being a top-20 scoring defense in the nation. The Huskies split their four road games in relation to the total this season entering this game though one of those saw the teams combine for 71 points against a number of 73.5 in their win over Oregon. Washington State has been one of the biggest under teams in the nation this season as they have fallen short of the number in nine of their 11 games this season. That includes five unders in their six home games this season. Both teams have been stout defensively and that should be enough to hold this game short of the number.