2018 Apple Cup Preview

UW looks to continue their win streak to 6 while WSU tries to earn their first Pac-12 North title. In the battle for Washington, UW and WSU have a lot on the line. Let’s do an extremely quick breakdown of what to watch for during the Apple Cup.

Minshew vs Browning

Minshew has been an elite passer all season so much so that he finds himself in the spot light for multiple awards this season. With UW averaging 192.8 yards a game, it may be enough to limit Minshew and halt this rather 1-dimensional offense.

Outside of Oregon State, Browning has not thrown for at least 250 yards since UCLA. WSU defense averages 206 yards allowed which may cause problems for WSU if Browning finds his stride. California had both UW and WSU under a vice and it wouldn’t be surprising if WSU implements something similar in their defensive scheme. 

Advantage: WSU

UW Running Backs vs WSU Defense

Utah and Oregon State were able to put up over 200 yards on the Cougars. With the WSU defense allowing at least 125 rushing yards a game, it would not be surprising if the Huskies keep the game on the ground. The Huskies are averaging 178.5 yards a game and only have 1 game this season under 100 yards rushing. Ommitting that game, the Huskies average 187.2 yards a game rushing.

Advantage: UW

Coaching

Mike Leach was a gem that bestowed WSU football and brought them back from being a laughing stock that Paul Wulff made them. Chris Petersen of UW has a resume other coaches would die for and has brought the Huskies to a playoff birth. But with the resume both can boast of, Leach is yet to beat UW in the Apple Cup

2015

45

10

Seattle

UW 3

2016

45

17

Pullman

#6 UW 4

2017

41

14

Seattle

#15 UW 5

WSU may be favored for the first time in over 10 years, but Petersen seems to be the wall Leach is yet to bust through.

Advantage: WSU

Home-field Advantage

There is nothing like the student section screaming “Go” and the rest of the stadium being a mix of “Cougs!” and “Huskies!” But with the game being at 5:30, Pullman will be a warm 40 degrees with a mix of rain and snow. It shouldn’t matter in football, but players from the west side don’t know what it is like to go to school, practice, and play in the weather the east brings. While fans, writers, and announcers don’t want to admit it, weather does play a part in a team’s performance.

Advantage: WSU

Averages

Based on average scores this season, here is our score prediction per quarter:

  • 10 – 10 ALL
  • 19 – 24 WSU
  • 23 – 28 WSU
  • 26 – 41 WSU

Apple Cup will start at 5:30 PM and be on Fox. WSU is currently a 2.5 point favorite.

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