Nov. 24—There's not many football teams that have played each other more times than the Washington State Cougars and Washington Huskies.
Earlier this season, we looked at some of the numbers in WSU's Battle of the Palouse rivalry against Idaho. Now, it's time to do the same with by far the Cougars' biggest rival of them all.
WSU (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) will host No. 12 Washington (9-2, 6-2) in the Apple Cup at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) at Gesa Field in Pullman.
"When you talk to former Cougs, you don't remember a lot of scores, but you remember the Apple Cups," WSU coach Jake Dickert said. "That's what this group's excited about."
In fitting rivalry fashion, the first meeting between the two schools was a tie.
Washington Agricultural and UW battled to a 5-5 draw in 1900 in a game played in Tacoma.
The Cougars earned the first victory in the series a year later, shutting out Washington 10-0 in Pullman.
WSU and UW have faced off 114 times in 122 years.
The Huskies own a major edge in the series, 74-33-6.
The teams have tied six times but the last one was a 0-0 draw in 1942. Fun fact: four of those six draws came in a 10-year span from 1932-42.
The rivalry has had several official names and nicknames through the years, including the Governor's Trophy from 1931-61.
The game was named "The Apple Cup" starting in 1963 with the introduction of the "Big Apple Trophy" and it has held that title since.
WSU never has won more than two games in a row, while Washington twice has built eight-game winning streaks in 1959-66 and 1974-81.
WSU snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series in last year's 40-13 beatdown at Husky Stadium.
The Cougars intercepted Washington quarterback Sam Huard four times and WSU running back Max Borghi ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the surprise blowout.
Before that game, the Huskies had won seven straight since 2013, all by double digits. The game was not played in 2020 because of the pandemic.
It had become a talking point that former WSU coach Mike Leach would lead the Cougars to great seasons but would constantly lose in the most important game. Leach went 1-7 in Apple Cups, with his only win coming in his first season in 2012.
UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr.'s 351.7 passing yards per game are tops in the nation.
The nation's top passer is likely to surpass 4,000 yards this season as he already has 3,869 to his name.
The Indiana transfer has exceeded expectations in his first season in purple and gold and will be a major focus point for the WSU defense.
WSU allows just 19.8 points per game and is the only team in the Pac-12 allowing fewer than 20.
WSU's scoring defense ranks No. 23 in the country, just ahead of juggernauts like Clemson and LSU.
The number of Ol' Crimson flags former Cougar quarterback Jayden de Laura planted in the middle of the field at Husky Stadium after WSU's win last season.
Coaches on both teams likely will be on high alert for "extracurricular activities" in what could be a chippier game than usual between the two rivals.
According to OddsShark.com, Washington is just a 1.5-point favorite. The over/under is 60.
Wiebe may be contacted at (208) 848-2260, email@example.com or on Twitter @StephanSports.