Sunday, November 26, 2017

Huskies Win the Apple Cup

Last night was the annual cross-state rivalry football game between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars.

Going into the game, the Cougars were at #13 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. Washington was #17. In the AP Top 25 poll of sports writers, UW was at 15, WSU at 14.

But what happened showed that those rankings were reversed. Washington received the ball at the kickoff and easily marched down the field through the Cougar's vaunted defense to make a touchdown. And it got worse from there. Even though star wide receiver Dante Pettis went out early with a ankle sprain, the Dawgs dominated. Our wide recieving corps have been decimated by injury this season. So quarterback Jake Browning was throwing to players whose name I'd never heard before.

While the Huskies never turned over the ball, the Cougars had at least three interceptions and one
fumble. The star was running back Miles Gaskin, who ran for 192 yards and had four rushing touchdowns. Even Viscano, the kicker, did well, going 2-2 on field goals and getting every extra point after touchdowns. The Cougars didn't score until the fourth quarter, managing two touchdowns, but it was too little too late. And I suspect Coach Petersen had pulled some starters out of the defense by then, as he tends to do in blow out games.

The final score was 41-14. This is the fifth time in a row UW has won the Apple Cup. The Huskies are 10-2 on the season (7-2 in conference).

This is the first time this year the Huskies have played a ranked team, and they won handily.

The next game for the Huskies will be a bowl game, and we'll find out in a week which one. That is because Stanford won the Pac-12 North and will play USC in the Pac-12 Championship game on Friday.  Stanford is also 7-2 in conference but since they beat the Huskies, they are the North winners, even though the Huskies have a better over-all record (Stanford is 9-3 overall after beating Notre Dame last night).

More Deep Thoughts:

Last week I gave my criteria for a "good" Husky season. I came up with these years ago when the Huskies were not able to do these things:

  • Have at least an 8-4 record
  • Beat Oregon
  • Beat WSU
  • Go to a good bowl and win it

  • Well, they've done three of those, the first three, this year. I assume with a 10-2 record they will go to one of the better bowls.  And they'd better win it.


    The CFP rankings will come Tuesday, as always. I assume Washington will move up and Washington State will move down. But neither move will change either team's prospects at getting into the playoffs. Unlikely any Pac-12 team will be in the four teams that make it to the playoffs.

    In the AP Top 25 College Football poll that came out this morning (Pacific Time), Three Pac-12 teams have been ranked every week so far this year: UW, WSU, and USC. And this week they are still ranked. USC is unchanged at #11 (they didn't play this week), UW moves up to #13 (from 15), WSU fell to 21 from 14, and Stanford went from 20 to 14.

    Next Year:

    Washington has been criticized for playing creme puff (or in one case, cupcake) non-conference opponents. That's not happening next year. Washington plays Auburn (who beat Alabama yesterday and moved to #4 in AP poll) in their season opener. Then play BYU in their third game. They do play FCS North Dakota in their second game. I think the Auburn game is at home (which will help because that's going to be a tough game).

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