No. 6 Washington Huskies (10-1 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. No. 23 Washington State Cougars (8-3 SU, 6-5 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Friday, November 25, 3:30PM EST (3:30PM ET)
Where: Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA.
by Wilson, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UW -6/WSU +6
Over/Under Total: 64
The Washington State Cougars host their in-state rival the Washington Huskies this Friday in Pullman, Washington for the annual rivalry Apple Cup game. The Cougs and Huskies are both currently ranked in the top 25 coaches and AP polls. WSU will look to avenge last year’s Apple Cup loss at Washington 45-10. This game has potential to be one the best games in recent years as these teams are fighting for the chance to play for the Pac 12 Championship and significant bowl game opportunities. To the surprise of many, both of these programs have performed extremely well for not being very dominant in the Pac 12 lately. Coach Petersen has made great strides with the Huskies, and Coach Leach has the Cougs going back to bowl games again. The Huskies are favored on the road as they should be with their high ranking, but I don’t see this game being anywhere near the blowout it was last season. The Cougs are for real this season, but they’ll need to execute better than they did in the loss last week at Colorado (two certain TDs were dropped and two huge penalties).
This contest is a tough one to cap especially when you look at the numbers by both teams. On paper these squads are both comparable in scoring, passing yards, and although the Huskies have a dynamic RB in Myles Gaskin (1130 yards, 9 TDs), the Cougs have shown they can run the ball effectively as well under the legs of Jamal Morrow (543 yards, 4 TDs). For a team who is “Air Raid” first, the Cougars have surprised a lot of defenses with their ability to run. However, this matchup will be more than just an offensive showdown—both teams have decent defenses. The Huskies defense only allows 17 ppg to the Coug’s 25. It is the Huskies secondary that may be the difference in this game. UW’s defensive backs are some of the best in the country, they are super-fast and have a nose for the football, not to mention how well they read offensive sets too. If the Huskies D is clicking they will give WSU QB Luke Falk fits all day long.
Perhaps one of the better QB battles of the season will take place at Martin Stadium this Friday with two QBs who have 73 touchdown passes (Browning 37, Falk 36) and nearly 7000 passing yards between them. UW’s QB, Jake Browning was a Heisman hopeful until just recently when most writers knocked him off of their elite list. Browning completes 64 percent of his passes and has already doubled his touchdown passes of last year from 16 to 37 with one regular season game to go—he’s a sophomore. WSU’s QB, Luke Falk, is arguably one of the best QBs to ever play at Washington State and that is saying something at a school nicknamed “Quarterback U.” When you consider some of the former QBs to come out of Washington State, such as Mark Rypien, Drew Bledsoe, Tim Rosenbaugh, Jason Gesser, and the infamous Ryan Leaf, Falk has earned his spot and broken several records along the way. Luke Falk enters this Apple Cup completing 71 percent of his passes, 65 yards shy of 4000 passing yards on the season, and he’s tossed 36 TDs—he’s a junior.
The Huskies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games. UW is also 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games (Hmmm? Keep an out on this stat). The Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The OVER is 6-0 in the Huskies last 6 road games. The OVER is 4-1 in the Cougars last 5 games overall (Hmmm? another stat to consider). Washington State is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games. The Cougs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in November. Head to Head, the Huskies are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings with Washington State. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
I believe this game will be an instant Apple Cup classic—both teams are solid and have a lot on the line. UW has the defensive edge while WSU has the home field and they are just as capable of holding their own on D too. I see a great QB duel and each team will display their “Primetime” players. I like the Cougars to cover this line at home and possibly upset the Huskies on a late, dramatic drive led by Mr. Falk hooking up with star Cougar WR Gabe Marks for the go ahead TD.
Wilson's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Cougars cover the spread. Luck to ya.
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