Sour apples on the Palouse: UW takes possession of Apple Cup once again

WSU lost to UW 51-33 in highest-scoring Apple Cup



WSU wide receiver Robert Ferrel dives for a pass during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

The Huskies ripped away the Apple Cup Trophy from the Palouse. It will be missing from the Cougar Football Complex for the next year.

WSU lost to the No. 12 University of Washington 51-33 in the 114th Apple Cup, the highest-scoring game in the rivalry’s history.

This game was supposed to be an elite strength-on-strength matchup with the electric UW offense versus a stout WSU defense. It did not end up this way.

The Cougar defense fell apart. In the worst performance they have had all season, they allowed a season-high in points (51) and total yards (703).

WSU wide receiver Donovan Ollie argues with a referee after a failed two-point conversion during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

The Cougars allowed a total of 703 yards, which is the third most in program history. WSU head coach Jake Dickert spoke on the historically bad performance of the defense.

“I would say it’s obviously not good enough. No one likes it. I’m not gonna let one bad performance just sour all the good that I feel like we’ve done throughout 12 games,” Dickert said. “Obviously not where we want to be. So, it’s tough to take in this moment.”

The offense played relatively well Saturday. Cam Ward went 33/52 throwing for 322 yards for two touchdowns, he also rushed for a 14-yard touchdown.

WSU quarterback Cam Ward throws a pass during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

Nakia Watson rushed for 73 yards and barreled in for a tough touchdown run. Watson also caught seven passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. Robert Ferrel led the team in receiving with four grabs for 71 yards including a 34-yard receiving touchdown on a gutsy Fourth and 10 conversion.

WSU running back Nakia Watson scores a touchdown during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

Michael Penix Jr. is the leading passer in the nation. He destroyed the WSU secondary. He threw 25/43 for 485 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Penix Jr. also had two rushes for 34 yards and two touchdowns. He looks like one of the best quarterbacks in college football and proved it against WSU.

UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. runs toward the endzone during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

The UW offense had two receivers with over 150 yards, one over 80 receiving yards and one running back with over 120 rushing yards.

Rome Odunze caught five passes for 157 yards and one touchdown along with rushing for one touchdown. Jalen McMillan caught six balls for 150 yards and a touchdown and Ja’Lynn Polk caught four passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Wayne Taulapapa rushed 13 times for 126 yards and a touchdown.

UW wide receiver Rome Odunze catches a pass during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

The Huskies’ offense had success in the explosive play game. They had 10 explosive passing plays, with nine of those worth more than 25 yards. They also had eight rushes worth more than 10 yards.

This is an extremely disappointing loss for the Cougs. The Apple Cup is always competitive and it especially hurts for Coug players and Coug fans.

WSU recognizes senior linebacker Daiyan Henley before the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

“I mean I told them the locker room, it should scar ‘em and scars are good if you learn from them. So there’s no joy in there. And I remember the jubilation of last year,” Dickert said.

The weight of the Apple Cup was not lost on Dickert.

“This isn’t a game we just game plan for seven days, this is 365 days a year trying to outwork an opponent,” Dickert said. “It should scar us, it should hurt especially talking to the young guys. They don’t understand what this means. You know, we’ll bounce back. We’ll handle adversity.”

WSU wide receiver Robert Ferrel scores a touchdown during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

This was the seniors’ last attempt at winning the rivalry game. RJ Stone spoke on the disappointment for these players.

“Losing any game hurts and I think this one just hurts a little more because there was a lost opportunity for our seniors to have played in an Apple Cup. So I really just feel for them more than anything and I’m disappointed we couldn’t come out on top for them,” Stone said.

WSU is looking forward to flushing this game out of their memory but learning from their film. The Cougs are finishing their regular season 7-5. They will play in a bowl game in December.

UW students rush the field and celebrate with players after defeating WSU 51-33 in the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.