No. 12 Washington Looks to Reclaim Apple Cup Facing Wazzu
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — No. 12 Washington (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12, No. 13 CFP) at Washington State (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12), 10:30 p.m. EST, Saturday (ESPN)
Series record: Washington leads 74-33-6.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Washington will know by the time the Apple Cup kicks off whether it got the help from the rest of the conference needed to have a shot at playing in the Pac-12 championship game opposite Southern California. The Huskies have a chance at a 10-win season in Kalen DeBoer’s first year in charge and likely secure a top-tier bowl berth with a win. The Cougars snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Huskies in blowout fashion last season in Seattle. But the Cougars have not beaten the Huskies in Pullman since 2012 and haven’t won consecutive Apple Cups since 2007-08.
Washington’s pass game vs. Washington State’s secondary. Can the Cougars hold up in the passing game against Michael Penix Jr. and the top passing offense in the country? That’s the big question for Washington State. The Cougars have allowed just one 300-yard passer since Week 4 and just two all season. The Cougars made up for allowing 357 yards passing last week to Arizona by coming up with four interceptions. Penix played limited minutes in last week’s blowout win over Colorado and the Huskies had under 300 yards passing for only the second time this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Washington: WR Rome Odunze. It’s been a breakout season for the sophomore which has raised the possibility of Odunze becoming an early entry to the NFL draft and making Saturday potentially his last regular season game for Washington. Odunze has five 100-yard receiving games this season and needs 69 yards to reach 1,000 for the season.
Washington State: RB Nakia Watson. The Cougars have simply been a different offense since Watson returned after missing nearly a month with injury. Watson had 166 yards rushing against Stanford and 116 against Arizona State, and while he had only 56 yards on the ground last week against Arizona, he scored two touchdowns — one rushing and one receiving. Washington’s run defense has been an issue at times, including 318 yards allowed to Oregon and 175 to Oregon State.
FACTS & FIGURES
Washington State LB Daiyan Henley was named a finalist for the Butkus Award. Henley is second in the Pac-12 in total tackles and tackles for loss. ... Washington has scored on its opening possession in 10 of 11 games this season. ... Washington State leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense giving up 19.8 points per game. ... Washington coach Kalen DeBoer agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the Huskies through 2028 and includes a hefty raise. DeBoer's nine wins are the most by a first-year coach in Washington history.