The Apple Cup Trophy will return to Pullman this season

Nikki Garcia | Evergreen columnist

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After WSU’s past few games, Coug fans have been a little wary of where the football team stands in terms of Apple Cup 2014. After starting the season off with two losses the Cougars showed hope after blowing out Portland State, barely knocking off No.2 ranked Oregon and coming back on the road to defeat Utah. The win against the Utes restored faith in Coug fans.

Now with a 2-4 record the question is, how will the team fair out against their rival, the Washington Huskies in the 2014 Apple Cup? The Cougar football team hasn’t clenched the coveted title since 2012, when the team won with a final score of 31-28. This year’s Apple Cup will be held in none other, than Cougar country on November 29th.

WSU is currently resting at No.5 in the Pac-12 North Division, while UW (4-1) is ranked No. 4 in the conference.

The WSU football team will end up knocking off their rival and once again attain the prestigious Apple Cup trophy. Here are three reasons why WSU will defeat UW:

The Crowd

This year, the Cougs will have home field advantage. Additions made at Martin Stadium – such as the recently debuted Crimzone – will raise the volume level, and put pressure on the Dawgs offense. There is no doubt that the Coug fan base will show up in full force next month.

The game against Oregon and California proves it all – the fans were wild, loud, and followed Coach Leach’s instructions to come early and stay late. WSU’s recent home games illustrate the pride behind the Cougar audience.

The Quarterback

WSU quarterback Connor Halliday is in the prime of his college football career. Halliday recently shattered the FBS record for most passing yards in a single game with 734 yards during the California Bears game. This record has remained untouched since 1990. Though the Cougs ended with a loss against the Bears, Halliday went on to clench the Pac-12 Player of the Week recognition on Monday. This is Halliday’s final year at WSU, and he has something to prove if he wants to get drafted in May. A win against the Huskies would solidify that.

The Rivalry

The WSU football team may be 2-4, but nothing can stand in their way to beat the Dawgs. This rivalry lives well and dies hard. For many fans, this rivalry began at birth with the first purple or crimson onesie. For others, this rivalry ended with a “house divided” as the send-off for college began. Thousands of Washingtonians tune in every Thanksgiving weekend to see which team will take home the coveted title. The legacy stands today as one of the largest rivalries in the NCAA.

The Cougs are playing strong, competitive football this season. Though the team may have more losses than UW, they did not go with ease for the opponent and did not finish with large scoring gaps. The win against UW will bring the Apple Cup title back to Pullman and give Cougars fans bragging rights for a whole year.