Cougars lose seventh straight Apple Cup

Despite an early touchdown WSU keeps losing streak



Senior quarterback Anthony Gordon hands the ball off to Sophomore running back Max Borghi who scores the first touchdown of the Apple Cup Friday afternoon at Husky Stadium.

JACLYN SEIFERT, Evergreen reporter

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—There is nothing quite like the Boeing Apple Cup Series to bring together the entire state of Washington. 

With 70,931 fans in attendance at Husky Stadium for senior night, the Washington State Cougars (6-6, 3-6) fell short to the University of Washington Huskies (7-5, 4-5)  31-13 in the 57th Boeing Apple Cup Series for the seventh straight year Friday afternoon. 

“They haven’t switched up their plays, so we keep running the same stuff,” UW defensive back Elijah Molden said in an interview.

Compared to other years, where the fight for the Pac-12 North title was on the line, this year there was little to no urgent reason for the win other than the winner could potentially be assigned a better bowl game.

However, the Cougars couldn’t break the Huskies now seven-year win streak

“This game, as a team, as a group, we need to collectively treat this as any other opponent,” redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Gordon said. “We need to tone it down, relax and treat it like any other game.”

The Huskies junior quarterback Jacob Eason threw 244 yards and ran for a touchdown. UW’s redshirt freshman tailback Richard Newton had a pair of touchdowns to keep the lead for the Huskies. 

Perhaps one of the more noteworthy parts of the game for WSU was Gordon, who became the 16th quarterback in NCAA history to pass 5,000 yards in a season during the first minutes of the game.  He will start the bowl game with 5,228 yards.  

“Obviously the stats speak for themselves, he is unreal,” sophomore running back Max Borghi said. “He is an excellent quarterback and he is definitely a good leader for this team.”

Three Cougar senior wide receivers were recently named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch list including Brandon Arconado, Calvin Jackson Jr. and Dezmon Patmon. This is the most players named to a Watch list in the Pac-12. 

But after the first drive for the Cougars, when Borghi ran the ball into the end zone from the 1-yard line, the nation’s leader in passing yards could not find the end zone for the rest of the game. 

The touchdown was the first time the Cougars scored against the Huskies in the first quarter since WSU won in overtime in 2012. 

“Interceptions, sacks, fumbles, you can’t have that and can’t win a game,” Borghi said. “I just felt offensively we left a lot of plays on the field and it was evident that is what killed us today.”

Gordon was sacked five times during the game. 

“Miscommunication, I am to blame for that one for sure,” Gordon said. 

Again, the Huskies defense managed to solve head coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. WSU has usually averaged 41 points per game this season, but the UW defense only allowed 13 points. 

“They have loaded the NFL with defensive players and they are one of the finest defenses in our conference,” Leach said. 

The Huskies junior tight end Hunter Bryant became the second UW player in his position with at least 50 receptions in a single season during the game. UW senior wide receiver Aaron Fuller also celebrated 2000 career receiving yards. 

The Cougars and Huskies will now both wait to find out their bowl game assignment next week to conclude their seasons. 

“It was a tough one and we are all able to accept that it happens and we will come back and improve for the bowl game,” Gordon said.