Washington Football needs to find a way to pull off a victory in one of the biggest Apple Cup games in recent memory.
Are you ready Dawg fans? Washington football is preparing for one of the biggest Apple Cups in recent memory, as they travel into Pullman to face off with the #8 Washington State Cougars. Let’s review what’s at stake here: the winner of this game will win the Pac-12 North title. They’ll also be a heavy favorite to win the Pac-12 Championship. And while a CFP berth seems out of the question for either team, the Rose Bowl will be a pretty fun consolation prize.
This will be the biggest key to a Husky win, staying aggressive on offense. If the Huskies can get a lead, they need to keep pushing the ball down the field and letting Ty Jones, Hunter Bryant, and Aaron Fuller work. Jake Browning is definitely more than able to pick apart this Cougar defense, who are allowing 207 yards per game through the air. He can’t be afraid to take downfield shots. That doesn’t mean the Huskies have to shy away from their bread and butter though, they can pound the rock all they like. This way, they can keep the ball out of the hands of Gardner Minshew and that explosive Cougar offense, and in the hands of Myles Gaskin, who needs 94 yards on the ground to become the first player in Pac-12 history to rush for 1,000 yards in all four seasons.
Rush the Passer
The Huskies need to do that any way they can because, with this WSU offense that’s throwing for over 400 yards per game, there’s going to be a lot of pressure on the Husky defense to come up with some big stops. The Cougars have nine players with at least 200 receiving yards on the season, so the threats come from everywhere, and six of those nine have caught at least four touchdowns. The two biggest threats, however, are Davontavean Martin and Easop Winston, who both have 600 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. Ben Burr-Kirven is going to have his hands full too, keeping track of running back James Williams who’s the Cougars leading receiver in terms of catches, and he also has the most total touchdowns with 14. The Huskies have only recorded 16 sacks all season, but if they were saving a bunch for any one game, that would be this one. Look for Ryan Bowman, Joe Tryon, Ariel Ngata, and Benning Potoa’e as potential game wreckers on the outside.
Do It For the Band
The Huskies have emotions and a feel-good story on their side now, after the bus carrying the Husky band slipped and rolled over on a patch of ice just east of Ellensburg, Washington. Thankfully, it seems that none of the band members were seriously injured. Below is an official statement from the school, Director of Athletic Bands Brad McDavid, and Athletic Director Jennifer Cohen.
Be sure to keep the band in mind tonight Husky fans, as they’re just as big of a part as anyone else on the team, just ask Lavon Coleman! Here’s a great interview done by the Pac-12 Network which shows just how much the UW band means to these players.