The Washington Huskies Football team entered this year’s Apple Cup with a lot of unanswered questions, against their cross-state rivals.
In the end, the Husky defense would dominate the Washington State Cougars offense, with another annual drubbing in their 31-13 victory.
During the season, the Husky offense has struggled to consistently move the ball and score points, which has played into their record.
Many wondered if this was the year that the Cougars might make up the difference and actually knock the Huskies off the Apple Cup throne.
Washington State had the #1 passing offense in the nation and had been scoring a ton of points coming into the matchup earlier today.
Husky fans were wondering logically how the Husky offense was going to actually score enough points to match the Cougars on the scoreboard?
On the opening drive of the game, that question was immediately brought to the forefront, as the Cougars made an immediate statement on offense.
Washington State started with the ball on their own 19-yard line and marched the ball all the way down the field for a touchdown, to take a 7-0 lead with 9:07 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars took 5:53 off the clock on a 13-play, 81-yard drive that was quite impressive. It was clear at that point that the Husky offense was going to have to score points all game long.
It took a while for the Husky offense to settle in but eventually, they would answer back at the 3:53 mark of the first quarter.
Husky junior quarterback Jacob Eason would score on a 3-yard quarterback sneak to tie the game at 7-7, while gaining some momentum back.
That entire drive was setup by Eason’s 57-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Terrell Bynum, down to the Cougar 12-yard line.
After the Cougars’ first drive on offense, something happened with the Husky defense, as they were able to stymie the Cougars the rest of the half.
The Husky defense held the Cougars offense to only 62-yards total after the first drive, for a first half total of 143, which was remarkable.
Washington State would answer with a 28-yard field goal by Blake Mazza, as they retook the lead 10-7 at the 11:38 mark.
With facing a 10-7 deficit, the Husky offense needed to respond and help the defense and they would do so in grand fashion.
At the 7:12 mark in the second quarter, Eason and Bynum would connect once again on a 16-yard fade route for a touchdown and the Huskies seized back momentum.
The Huskies were now leading 14-10 with both the offense and defense producing at the same time against their “Little Brothers” from the Palouse.
Even with retaking the lead, the Husky offense was not done ,as they put up another touchdown at the 1:38 mark just before half.
This time, redshirt freshman Richard Newton scampered into the end zone for 1-yard and the Huskies pushed the lead to a two-score game.
Washington State would get the ball back and mount a drive down the field ,that would result in an interception at the hands of junior defensive back Elijah Molden.
The Husky offense would stall on their next possession and the Huskies were headed into halftime with 21-10 lead over the Cougars.
What was remarkable was the Huskies were out gaining the Cougars, 189 to 143 in total yards, which nobody saw coming before the game.
At the start of the third quarter, the Huskies would get the ball first, with an opportunity to really separate themselves from the Cougars on the scoreboard.
That is exactly what they did, as Washington went on an impressive 5-play, 75-yard drive, which was capped by a Newton 2-yard run into the end zone.
On the drive, the Huskies methodically took 3:06 off the clock and took a commanding 28-10 lead over the Cougars – delivering a “gut punch.”
Washington State would answer with what would be their final points of the game, near the middle of the third quarter.
Mazza converted a 38-yard field goal, that cut the Huskies lead to 28-13 at the 6:40 mark, but the Husky defense wouldn’t flinch the rest of the way!
In the fourth quarter, the Huskies would march the ball all the way down to the Washington State 5-yard line and was faced with a 4th and 1 decision.
Washington head coach Chris Petersen made the smart decision to send sophomore placekicker Peyton Henry onto the field.
Henry would convert the 22-yard field goal attempt, which was significant as the score pushed the game to a 3 possession contest.
With a 31-13 score and firmly in command of the game, the Huskies would put the game on ice down the stretch and beat their cross-state rival for a seventh consecutive year.
The Husky defense was simply spectacular as senior safety Myles Bryant came up with a fumble recovery, that was ruled dead on the field. If the referees had made the proper call on the field, Bryant may have had a touchdown all the way down the field.
True freshman defensive back Trent McDuffie also had an interception of his own, which he returned 29-yards and was a huge momentum shifter.
It was a complete game by the Huskies in all three phases of the game, which was nice to see for a change!
Offensively, the Huskies were not perfect but they were extremely efficient, as Eason took full command of the offense all game long.
Defensively, Washington was dominant and brilliant, as once again they were able to ground the “Air Raid” attack of the Cougars.
Finishing strong has been a huge point of emphasis for the Huskies this past week and once again they “owned” this Apple Cup matchup.
The victory pushed Petersen to a 6-0 record in the Apple Cup and also against his Washington State head coach counterpart, Mike Leach.
Make no mistake…Petersen owns Leach and there seems to be no feasible way for the Cougars to beat the Huskies, with Leach at the helm.
After the game, Leach was making excuses and alluding to the fact that the Huskies have superior recruiting classes every season, as a reason why he cant beat the Huskies.
Washington has the “kryptonite” to turf Leach’s aerial attack each season, and that is spearheaded by defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake.
Lake is the Huskies “Flight Controller” who constantly grounds the “Air Raid” attack, and the Cougars offense can’t escape the purple storm in the area!
If Leach is going to continue to be stubborn with not running the football enough against Washington, then these defeats will be an annual occurrence.
For the Huskies, they have built their personnel to defend these types of offenses, which is evidenced by playing 6 or 7 defensive backs at the same time on many occasions.
With rushing three down linemen and dropping eight into coverage, the Huskies have completely frustrated the Cougars offense throughout the years.
Offensively, the Huskies out gained the Cougars 342-339 for the entire game. Who would have thought that, heading into the matchup today?
Washington State sophomore running back Max Borghi declared that he would be “scoring a lot” in the Apple Cup. He had the only Cougars touchdown on a 1-yard run. That doesn’t seem like “A LOT” of scoring?!
A huge feat offensively was seeing Husky junior running back Salvon Ahmed rush for exactly 1,000 yards on the season; as he is an example of another stud Husky running back throughout Washington Husky history.
Next up for the Huskies (7-5, 4-5) is a bowl game berth that will be determined at a later date. Petersen said the Huskies will take this entire week off from practice and put something back together for next weekend.
Washington vs. Washington State Final Game Stats
Below is some actual “Game Notes” for the Huskies…..
42 degrees, sunny, no wind.
Nov. 29, 2019
- The captains for today’s game were: Salvon Ahmed, Elijah Molden, Levi Onwuzurike and Cade Otton.
- The Huskies honored 19 seniors before today’s game: Trey Adams, Andre Baccellia, Malik Braxton, Myles Bryant, Dustin Bush, A.J. Carty, John Clark, Aaron Fuller, Blake Gregory, Nick Harris, Jared Hilbers, Kyler Manu, Chico McClatcher, Benning Potoa’e, Quinten Pounds, Myles Rice, Henry Roberts, Brandon Wellington and Joel Whitford.
- The Huskies won their seventh-straight Boeing Apple Cup game and have held the Cougars to 17 or fewer points in each of those games, while scoring at least 27. UW has outscored them 203-99 during the streak.
- Hunter Bryant moved past Rod Jones (81) in the second quarter for fourth most receptions by a UW tight end and enters the bowl game with 85. Next up Jerramy Stevens (88), followed by Mark Bruener (95) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (146). He only trails Austin Seferian-Jenkins (1,838) for most receiving yards by a Husky tight end with 1,394.
- Bryant became just the second UW tight end with 50 receptions in a season (52), joining Seferian-Jenkins who had 69 in 2012. He also trails ASJ by 25 yards in a single season with 825 heading to the bowl game.
- Bryant has gone over 80 yards receiving in four-straight games.
- Terrell Bynum continued his strong play of late, catching a career-high 57-yard reception (also a season long for any Husky) in the first quarter and grabbing his first career TD. Over the last five games, the sophomore has made 23 receptions for 260 yards. In his first 17 career games, Bynum had three receptions for 41 yards.
- Salvon Ahmed will enter the bowl game with exactly 1,000 rushing yards on the season. It is the ninth time in the last 10 years that the Huskies have had an 1,000-yard rusher.
- Jacob Eason moved up to eighth in UW single-season history with 2,922 yards passing and sixth with 22 passing touchdowns. Complete top-10 lists on page 106 and 109 of the UW record book.
- Jacob Eason recorded his first rushing TD as a Husky. He recorded one rushing TD as a freshman at Georgia.
- Aaron Fuller became the seventh Husky to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards with his first reception in the third quarter.
- With two more sacks and 2 1⁄2 tackles for loss today, Joe Tryon has racked up six sacks and 10 tackles for loss over the last four games.
- Trent McDuffie had his first career pick and caused his second career fumble during a fourth-quarter stretch.
- Brandon Wellington shattered his previous career high of 11 tackles with 16. Elijah Molden also set a new career high with 14 stops and now leads the Huskies with 70 tackles this season.
- Aaron Fuller had one punt return for 12 yards to give the Huskies 266 yards vs. 15 by opponents for the season.
- The Huskies allowed just their second first-quarter touchdown of the season and now lead the opponents, 114- 23 in the first quarter.
- Anthony Gordon set a UW opponent record with 48 completions. He bested Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2007) by SIX. His 62 attempts were the second most by an opponent.
- Max Borghi’s 12 receptions were the tied for the 5th most by an opponent and the most since Cody Hoffman of BYU had 12 in 2013. His total is the most ever by a Cougar against the Huskies.
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