by Luke Schwartz | Staff Writer
Since the dawn of time, the everlasting rivalry between a Cougar and a Husky has been nothing short of an epic Battle. A game once a year that’s treasured quite dearly in the state of Washington, but at a young age, a side must be chosen. No Washington native has ever been both a UW and WSU fan, that would be outrageous.
On November 23rd the 111th Apple Cup was held in Pullman, full of snow and eager desire for a win. Both teams are having a good season, but Washington State had the chance to snag a spot in the College Football Playoffs, having only one previous loss this season. The Huskies sat at an 8-3 record with losses to Oregon after a missed game winning field goal, and to the California Bears who only won six games this year.
With freezing temperatures and snow, this game had weather advantage written all over it. Starting quarterback of the WSU Cougars, Gardner Minshew, who leads the NCAA in completion percentage for pass attempts at 70.6%, but snow most certainly affected his game after coming off a six touchdown performance last week and a total of 473 yards against the Arizona Wildcats. The Huskies defense only allowed 152 yards and zero touchdowns from Minshew. Chris Peterson, head coach of the Huskies, had been 3-0 for Apple Cups, and looked to keep that unbeaten record alive for another year. Luckily for Peterson and the entire UW organization, Myles Gaskin was in attendance to play.
In his senior season after playing brilliantly for the first three, star running back Myles Gaskin used the snow to his advantage, to slip by the Cougs defense and march down the field for 170 yards and three touchdowns. This yardage led to Gaskin’s fourth straight 1000+ regular season rushing record, the first ever in Pac-12 history and the tenth overall in college football.Gaskin’s dominance of the cougars and over the rest of the Pac 12 will definitely boost his draft stock after his senior season.
Although Pullman was packed and bundled up together, hoping for one more win, the Huskies prevailed for the 4th straight year and beat the Cougars 28-15 off of Myles Gaskins’ big day on the ground and benefitting from the weather that affected Minshew’s throwing capability as well as the receivers route running and ability to catch the ball.
As a result of the Apple Cup win, the Huskies won the North Division and went on to face Utah Friday the 30th in the Pac-12 Championship.The Huskies won 10-3, securing a spot in the Rose Bowl versus the Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 1, 2019. Both teams squared off earlier in the year and the Dawgs took the win the first go around, but who knows this time. Bigger stage and more at stake for these two teams hoping for a New Year’s Bowl Game. Coach Peterson said “I have 3 hours to celebrate until I start game planning for Utah next week.” The Huskies finished the regular season ranked 8th, their highest finish since their trip to the College Football Playoff in 2015. With Pac 12 schools going 1-8 in bowl games last year, the Huskies will look to shake things up in the Rose Bowl.