The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Through the Lens: Apple Cup 2023

Huskies take down Cougs 24-21
Brennan+Jackson+and+a+UW+offensive+lineman+lock+helmets+in+a+war+in+the+trenches%2C+Nov.+25%2C+in+Seattle%2C+Wash.+
BRANDON WILLMAN
Brennan Jackson and a UW offensive lineman lock helmets in a war in the trenches, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

Another year, another Apple Cup that did not disappoint. Playing in Seattle, the Cougs came in 5-6, fighting for their bowl eligibility lives, and UW came in 11-0, ranked No. 4 in the country and fighting for their College Football Playoff hopes. While the Huskies were heavily favored, it was not going to be easy.

For the 2023 Apple Cup, the Cougs brought back the script helmet and wore anthracite, white, anthracite and UW wore gold, purple, gold. 

BRANDON WILLMAN
The Huskies wore gold helmets with a purple “W” for the 2023 Apple Cup, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.
BRANDON WILLMAN
WSU brought back the script helmets for the second time in as many years for the 2023 Apple Cup, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the game, both bands performed on the field and after the national anthem, UW had a flyover from a Boeing plane. Then the teams came out, ready for an absolute battle. 

BRANDON WILLMAN
A jet flies over Husky Stadium after the national anthem, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

WSU got the ball first, but their first drive stalled out after just three plays. They had the ball for just 2:14 of game time and did not get things going. Luckily, the Huskies’ first drive went just six plays and also ended with a punt. After another WSU punt, UW got on the board first. A one-yard rushing TD by Dillon Johnson gave them a 7-0 lead, but the Cougs answered back with no hesitation.

On the very next drive, a five-play, 76-yard quick drive saw Cam Ward find his top receivers for big gains before finding Josh Kelly for a 21-yard TD strike to tie things up. It quickly suffocated the UW crowd, as it became clear that the Huskies would not be able to run a way with things.

While most of the crowd was a sea of purple, WSU fans showed up in bunches. At one point in the game, a loud “Let’s Go Cougars” chant even rang out, a clear sign that this rivalry travels well. 

BRANDON WILLMAN
In enemy territory: crimson is spattered about Husky Stadium for the Apple Cup, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

The entire game was back-and-forth; while WSU never had a lead, they never trailed by multiple possessions. Rome Odunze had a 40-yard TD reception to make it 14-7. Kyle Williams answered back with a 25-yard TD catch with time running out in the first half to tie it up at 14.

BRANDON WILLMAN
Cam Ward serves up Josh Kelly a beautiful ball at the end of the second quarter to make it 14-14, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

To end the third quarter, Odunze caught his second TD, a 21-yard catch to make it 21-14. Then, Lincoln Victor completed the TD reception trifecta for WSU with his very own 8-yard reception.

BRANDON WILLMAN
Lincoln Victor does WSU’s celebration toward the UW crowd as Josh Kelly and Kyle Williams come to celebrate with him, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

But, it all came down to the final 0:05. UW kicker Grady Gross lined up for the 42-yard kick. And he nailed it. A 24-21 win for the Huskies to win the Apple Cup.

It was a battle throughout. Jaden Hicks intercepted Michael Penix Jr., a play that appeared to give the Cougs heavy momentum, it was the second play of the second half after all.

BRANDON WILLMAN
Jaden Hicks goes up to defend the ball, coming down with the interception to start the second half, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

While Odunze finished with seven receptions for 120 yards and two TDs, but he also got targeted 14 times. The secondary did a lot of shut him down other than two trick plays where they lost sight of him which gave the Huskies big plays. One Odunze target stands out above the rest, as Jamorri Colson got up to break up the Penix Jr. pass. 

BRANDON WILLMAN
Jamorri Colson goes up to break up a pass intended for Michael Penix Jr.’s No. 1 wideout Rome Oduzne, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

Penix Jr. and Cam Ward had a battle individually. Penix Jr. finished 18-of-33 for 204 yards, two TDs and one interception, a rating of 120.4 while completing 55% of his passes. Ward, on the other hand, went 32-of-48 for 317 yards, three TDs, and two interceptions, a completion percentage of 67% and a rating of 134.4. 

WSU finished the game with 10 penalties for 85 yards and UW finished with seven penalties for 49 yards. While missed calls are always going to be a thing, WSU fans felt slighted with how much the Huskies got away with.

BRANDON WILLMAN
Fa’alili Fa’amoe has a UW defender’s hand in his facemark as he blocks for Cam Ward, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.
BRANDON WILLMAN
WSU defensive lineman had to deal with hands in their faces all throughout the Apple Cup, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

However, that does not matter. The Apple Cup is over. UW won. Here’s to next year. 

Gallery:

More to Discover
About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2023 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.