No. 14 Washington State Cougars (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) at No. 15 Washington Huskies (9-2 SU, 6-5 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday, November 25, 8:00 PM EST
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA.
by Wilson, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WSU +9.5/UW -9.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
No. 14 Washington State Cougars will be looking for some serious revenge this Saturday when they lineup against their in-state rival No. 15 University of Washington Huskies. The Apple Cup is the most important game on the schedule for both teams all year long! No matter where the teams fall in the standings, like any rivalry, this contest is a must win and bragging rights for the rest of the year. Last years Apple Cup was a huge letdown for the Cougars as they got embarrassed and beat down by the Huskies in Pullman 45-17. This year with the game being played in Seattle, it once again has all the hype and potential to be an instant classic. Both QBs are back again as well as a majority of the key playmakers for both teams. UW QB, Jake Browning and WSU QB Luke Falk should provide for an entertaining evening. The Huskies have won the last four Apple Cups which adds to their series dominance of 71-32-6 dating back to the first meeting between these rivals on November 30, 1900 when the game ended in a 5-5 tie (Gee, that must have been a super exciting game with two FGs and two Safeties?) The last time WSU won this game was in 2012 in Pullman 31-28 in overtime. This will also be a matchup between the two head coachesUW Coach Chris Petersen is undefeated (3-0) coaching in Apple Cup games while WSU Coach Mike Leach is 1-4. This game should be a game worth watching and hopefully not another drubbing at the Cougars expense.
Offensively, both WSU and UW can be explosive. Washington State is well known for their Air Raid attack especially with the All Time Pac-12 Passing Leader in QB Luke Falk. Falk enters this contest with 3224 yards passing on the seasonhe has 320 completions on 479 attempts, and 29 passing TDs with 10 INTs. WSU WR Tavares Martin Jr. leads the team in receptions at 65 for 769 yards, 9 TDs, and averages nearly 12 yards per reception. The Cougs have also established a bit of a running game with Jamal Morrow averaging 6.3 yards per carry on 81 touches. Including Morrow out of the backfield, QB Falk has 8 receivers who have pulled in multiple TDs. The Cougars can cause havoc on defenses if they are firing on all cylinders. On the other side of the field the Huskies bring a more balanced attack between the run and the gun. UW QB, Jake Browning, has a higher QB rating (156.8) than WSUs Luke Falk (139.1). Browning, like Falk, has struggled at times this season and like Falk, basically eliminated himself as a onetime Heisman candidate. However, Browning looked every bit the Heisman hopeful last week in the Huskys last second win over the Utah Utes 33-30 at Husky Stadium. Jake Browning is playing as good as he has all season and if he continues to do so this week at home the Cougs could be in big trouble.
Defensively, both teams will have the same focuspressure the QB! If either QB is pressured the advantage will fall to the D. It is more likely that UWs Browning can handle the pressure better than his counterpart Falk as Browning is the more efficient scrambler/runner than Falk. Falk often shows he can allude tacklers and scramble but hed rather drop back in the pocket and fire the ball all over the field like Peyton Manning whereas Browning has more of a Russel Wilson approach. WSUs defensive backs have been decent for the most part as have the Huskies. The key for the Cougs will be slowing down UW RB Myles Gaskin (1090 yards rushing, 15 TDs) who has killed teams all year. The other significant factor in this contest will be play callingwhich coach will have the best plan? Leach, the gambling gun-slingin geter done guy or Petersen, the sharp, clean-cut master of trickery? Petersen totally caught Utah off guard last week when the Huskies needed a TD late by having Browning flank out wide as a WR then showed a wildcat set with Gaskin getting the direct snap; Gaskin walked into the end zone. Hopefully this will not be another lopsided affair as the Huskies have destroyed the Cougs two years in a row outscoring them 90-27.
If this game stays close the huge advantage in the kicking game will belong to WSU as K Erik Powell has an 82.6 FG percentage to UWs K Tristan Vizcainos 58.8 FG percentage. Powell has 99 points on the year to Vizcainos 69 points. The opening line on this contest was -11 UW and has moved as of this writing to -9.5 UW. Given the recent history of this rivalry I understand the line but it is about time for the Cougs to show up and take care of business in Seattle! I like the Cougs on the road to cover the points.
I like the Cougs on the road in Seattle.
Wilson’s Pick: Cougs cover on the road. Luck to ya. Not all sportsbooks are created equal! Many are fly by night, poorly run and your loot is actually at risk. End that problem today by signing up at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted sportsbooks! Online for over 15 years, your credit card will work and you’ll also receive a 50% bonus up to $250 FREE at Bovada Sportsbook!