Saturday, December 4, 2010

Top five Husky blowout wins in Apple Cup history

By Kshell

In rivalries like the Apple Cup for example the media likes to portray how on any given Saturday anyone can win. You hear the phrase "you can throw out the records" well in this rivalry some upsets have happened that is true. What they won't tell you is how lopsided this series is. The Huskies lead 65-31-6 and have won more games in my lifetime(born in 1985-16 wins) than the Cougars have won in my dad's lifetime(Born in 1961-15 wins). The Cougars have never defeated the Huskies three years in a row, while the Huskies have defeated the Cougars three years in a row nine different times. In this following post I'll break down the blowout wins that are never brought up which took place in my lifetime.

5. November 17th, 2001: #9 Washington State Cougars(9-1,6-1) at #16 Washington Huskies(7-2,5-2)

This game was hyped up as the biggest Apple Cup since 1981 which took place 20 years earlier in Seattle. If the Oregon Ducks reached the national championship game there was a good chance the Cougars could play in the Rose Bowl with a win in Seattle. Instead they realized they weren't ready to beat the Huskies in Seattle yet.

The Huskies would feature the young passing attack of Cody Pickett to Reggie Williams. Pickett would end up throwing for 371 yards on the day while his freshman receiver Williams would have 11 receptions for 203 yards. In the first quarter the Huskies would also have a huge goal-line stand on the Cougars. Cougars coach Mike Price would elect to go for it on fourth and goal and the Huskies defense would stuff the Cougars in the process.

After the score was tied at 7-7 the Huskies would kick a field goal with nine seconds left to go up 10-7. The Cougars would then fumble the following kickoff so the Huskies would kick another field goal to go up 13-7 at halftime. Then in the second half the Cougars would continue to cost themselves with turnovers, a running back pass on the Huskies 13 would be intercepted. The Huskies would score their final three possessions off Cougar turnovers. At one point the Huskies led 26-7 before the Cougars finally scored making the final score 26-14. This game didn't live up to the hype as the Cougars showed they weren't ready for the Huskies.

4. November 28th, 2009: Washington State(1-10,0-8) at Washington Huskies (3-7,2-5)

This game I attended and was the only game I walked away not happy with my teams performance despite a blowout win. The Huskies won 30-0 but left so many points on the board that the score could have been really ugly.

The Huskies led by Mason Foster and the defense shut out the Cougars for the first time sinec 1964. It was a great way for Steve Sarkisian in his first year to begin his Apple Cup career much like Don James, Jim Lambright, Rick Neuheisel and yes even Keith Gilbertson did which was win the game.

The shut the Cougars out 30-0 behind Jake Locker who completed 16 of 28 passes for 196 yards and a 50 yard touchdown to Jermaine Kearse in the first quarter. Locker also ran for 94 yards and a touchdown. Chris Polk rush for 130 yards on 25 carries as the Cougars were no match up front for Chris Polk. Kearse would finish with four receptions for 94 yards and the touchdown.

The Cougars would finish with a pathetic 163 yards of total offense. There was no jumping around for Paul Wulff this year. The Huskies were pumped for this game having lost two in a row and in typical Apple Cup fassion when they are the superior team they blow the Cougars out.

3.November 18th, 2000: #6 Washington Huskies(9-1,6-1) at Washington State Cougars(4-6,2-5)

The Huskies had found out the Oregon State Beavers had knocked off the Oregon Ducks meaning a win here and the Huskies would be going to the Rose Bowl. The Huskies all year long had to use fourth quarter magic to win games but not this game. There was no drama in this contest which stands as the biggest Apple Cup blowout ever.

The Huskies came out from the beginning on fire knowing what they had to do. Led by Pac-10 player of the year Marques Tuiasosopo who hit freshman Wilbur Hooks for a 19 yard touchdown pass then Justin Robbins for a six yard touchdown pass. In the second quarter the Huskies fullback Pat Conniff would score on a six yard rushing touchdown. Then Tuiasosopo would hit Robbins again from 34 yards out with four seconds left in the half to give the Huskies a 27-0 lead. The lead was so huge that a Cougar runningback quit the team at halftime.

The Huskies would be up 37-0 before Price and the Cougars would kick a field goal to avoid the shutout. The Huskies would win the game 51-3 which saw backup quarterback and future Apple Cup star Cody Pickett play the entire fourth quarter. Tuiasosopo would finish 11 for 20 for 190 yards with three touchdowns. The running game which saw freshman Rich Alexis rush for 122 yards on 11 carries and Braxton Cleman rush 15 times for 105 yards on the game. This was your classic Huskies going to the Rose Bowl beat up on the Cougars to prepare for Pasadena game.

2. November 17, 1990: #10 Washington(8-2,7-1) at Washington State(3-7,2-5)

This was another classic Husky domination over the Cougars which featured quarterback Drew Bledsoe as a freshman. The Huskies led by sophomore Mark Brunell were coming off an upset loss to UCLA at home. The Huskies were already going to the Rose Bowl were hoping to play for a National Championship. Those dreams would have to wait for a year.

The Huskies would have to play without Doak Walker award winner Greg Lewis. Good thing for the Huskies they also had the very talented Beno Bryant backing him up. The Huskies defense destroyed Bledsoe and the Cougars and the Huskies killed the Cougars this game 55-10 in Pullman. Showing the Cougars whose was boss in another game that would help them gain confidence heading into a Rose Bowl win over Iowa 46-34. Mark Brunell would the Rose Bowl MVP. Just remember like usual when the Huskies go to the Rose Bowl it involves a blow out win over the Cougars.

1. November 23rd, 1991: Washington State Cougars(4-6,3-4) at #2 Washington Huskies(10-0,7-0)

The controversy heading into this week was that Cougars head coach Mike Price publicy stated he was going to vote the Miami Hurricanes #1 in the coaches poll because he was friends with Dennis Erickson. The Huskies again clinched another trip to the Rose Bowl but were hoping to win the National Championship.

The Huskies again would blow out the Cougars whose quarterback was Drew Bledsoe. With the Huskies leading 12-7, Walter Bailey intercepted a Bledsoe pass 37 yards for a touchdown after a two point concersation the Huskies led 20-7. The Huskies defense kept the pressue on Bledsoe sacking him seven times and forcing six Cougar turnovers. While Billy Joe Hobert passed for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Hobert would connect twice with Mario Bailey for touchdowns. The Huskies would later add a safety on Bledsoe.

When it was all sad and done despite Bledsoe throwing for 334 yards on the Huskies impressive defense the Huskies would win 56-21. The Huskies were so used to greatness they weren't happy with their performance or how they allowed 21 points to the Cougars. That is when you know you kick someone's behind when you win by five touchdowns and still are complaining.

The Huskies would finish this season with a 12-0 record, beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl 34-14 and winning the coaches share of the National Championship. The Huskies also had beat the Cougars in back to back years by a combined score of 111-31. Drew Bledsoe is remembered for beating the Huskies in the "snow bowl" but people often forget he was part of back to back blowouts.

At the end of the day during the game and Apple Cups for years to come you'll hear how great this rivalry is. Just remember that this is a one sided rivalry where if the Huskies are the better team they'll blow the Cougars out. The last time the Cougars beat the Huskies by more than seven points was in 1994, while the Huskies have beaten them by more than seven points in that same span four times. The Huskies since 1990 have beaten the Cougars by more than 30 points four times. So when the Huskies are clicking against the Cougars that usually means that it's a blowout. Hopefully the game later today is another game the media conventiently forgets about.

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